Electronic signature law in commercial contracts in Hungary

If a paper-based legal statement is signed with a handwritten signature. An electronic legal statement will be deemed to be written if:

  1. the signatory can be identified;
  2. the time of signature can be identified; and
  3. if the content of the electronic document is unchanged and this can be proved (integrity).

Although the definition of a written statement is as same as in the case of employment law, the Hungarian Supreme court interprets it differently in cases of civil law legal statements and commercial agreements: only commercial contracts signed with an advanced (AES) or qualified electronic signature (QES) qualify as written agreements.

There are many types of commercial agreement where a written form is mandatory under Hungarian law. The Civil Code and other Hungarian legal acts may require a written form for different types of contracts. Among others, agreements on maintaining ownership in the case of sale and purchase agreements, contracts containing pre-emption or repurchase rights, purchase or sale options, and licence contracts for copyright and neighbouring rights must be in writing. If the contract contains a mortgage, pledge, security deposit, suretyship or guarantee, at least those provisions must be in writing. Based on the practice of the Hungarian Supreme Court, an AES or QES is necessary for signing such contracts.

N/A

4. Main and relevant court practices

The Hungarian Appeal Court decisions stipulates that only electronic documents signed with QES or AES can be deemed as legally binding written documents when the law requires written form.

5. In which cases are documents with wet ink signatures required?

Real estate sale and purchase agreements and legal statements if they must be submitted to the land registry office. 

6. List of the relevant national legislation

  • Act V of 2013 on the Civil Code, EU eIDAS Regulation

1. Electronic document signed with qualified electronic signature (QES as defined in the eIDAS Regulation) and with a time stamp

Yes

2. Electronic document signed with qualified electronic signature (QES as defined in the eIDAS Regulation) without a time stamp

No

3. Electronic document signed with advanced electronic signature (AdES as defined in the eIDAS Regulation) and with a time stamp

Yes

4. Electronic document signed with advanced electronic signature (AdES as defined in the eIDAS Regulation) without a time stamp

No

5. Electronic document signed with advanced biometric signature

Yes

6. Electronic document signed with a simple, standard electronic signature (SES)

No

7. Scanned electronic version of the original paper-based document with handwritten signature sent as an attachment in ordinary e-mail without an electronic signature, but with standard e-mail signature panel

No

8. Legal statement sent as a text of an ordinary e-mail without an electronic signature, but with a standard e-mail signature panel

No

9. Legal statement sent in an SMS

No

10. Electronic document with a copy-pasted image of a handwritten signature, sent as an attachment of an ordinary e-mail

No

11. Electronic document with the typed name of the signer and sent as an e-mail attachment

No

12. Electronic legal statement sent in a social-media message sending application (e.g. Messenger, Viber, LinkedIn, Facebook message, etc.)

No

13. Electronic legal statement sent in a chat application

No

14. Electronic document created on an electronic platform ensured by the other party requesting the legal statement (without an electronic signature) by another party whom the operator of the platform granted access 

No

15. Electronic document signed in DocuSign/Adobe Sign with a simple standard electronic signature (no QES or AdES)

No

16. Electronic document signed with a qualified electronic seal as defined in the eIDAS Regulation

Yes

17. Agreements accepted by the other party online, by ticking a checkbox or by clicking on a button ("click on agreements")

No
Dóra Petrányi
Partner
Budapest
Katalin Horvath
Katalin Horváth
Senior Associate
Budapest