Can a scanned copy of a contract, serve as an original?

I’m trying to go paperless in my business. What I have been doing is having my customers sign hard copy contracts, taking their carbon copy, and scanning the copy I have and shredding my hard copy. If push comes to shove, and the customer claims to have “lost” their copy, can my scanned copy serve as my copy? My concern is that the copy I could print would only show the front, which has the details of what they wanted, how much I charged in total, what deposit was made and when. The back side of the contract has all the terms and agreements that they are a accepting by signing. Do I lose my claim because I don’t have their signature on the same piece of paper where the terms are listed?

Asked on September 11, 2014 under Business Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a scanned copy of a contract is enforceable, though the contract should state somewhere in it that a scanned copy constitutes an enforceable copy of the contract and no original is required, and that a scannned or facsimile signature is a valid signature. However, you would need to scan the entire contract, front and back, and be able to reproduce a true and complete copy of it.


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