Online contracts and paper contracts are much the same. Just like you cannot prove somebody signed a paper contract outside of your presence, you have the same potential issue with online contracts. However, that does not make them less valid. In fact, you have more proof with online contracts with IP address, as well as the unique public id that we provide with contracts, which means only the e-mailed party (and account holder) know the contract.
Contracts are written to convey intent and outline the parties responsibilities. What makes contracts valid legally is when you can prove intent. So any communication surrounding a contract helps back that up. If you get a contract signed and have NO further records of communicating with that person, then it is harder to prove that intent. However, if (and this is the case for almost all 17hats clients) you have communication around it as well as any payments, you should be covered. It is also extremely rare that a person will say they didn't sign a contract; it typically involves a breach of the contract (and you can only claim a breach if you have signed it).
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