How would you like the ability to collect e-signatures right from your WordPress site? Okay, that may not be too far-fetched of an idea. But what if the signatures and documents were legally binding for all participants — without ever having to leave your site or use a third-party service?
If you already use Gravity Forms, you can quickly and easily add this functionality to your site. The team at CosmicGiant has built a plugin specifically for this purpose, and it integrates perfectly with Gravity Forms.
No wasted paper, no scanning documents, and it’s 100% cross-platform. Your clients won’t have to fumble around trying to sign your contracts or install any new software. It all happens on your website.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to start creating legally binding contracts on your WordPress site using the Legal Signing plugin.
Easy Legal Signing for WordPress
The Legal Signing plugin makes collecting e-signatures simple. And, you have full control of your form entries and structure. It’s as easy as uploading a fillable PDF and mapping the fields to your form. Okay, it’s a little bit more involved than that, but if you can create a form, you can make a legally-binding contract that’s ready for signing.
While the Gravity Forms Signature add-on can be used, it is not required as CosmicGiant includes its own Legal Signature field with all license tiers. There are no lawyers necessary, and the plugin handles all the legally binding stuff under the hood.
You also have complete control over your forms. You can map fields to specific people and hide them from others as needed. This can be helpful if you have multiple participants and only need certain information from a select few.
If you need to be specific about who signs first (and last), you can set up a signing sequence tailored to the form. Or, you can make it totally random. It’s completely up to you. You can also set up reminders to be sent to all signing parties, so everyone knows when it’s their turn. If you’re used to chasing people down to sign your contracts, you can automate that process and free up your brain. Additionally, you can map every step of the process to a specific timeline, so everyone knows what’s expected and when.
The proof is in the API. When everyone has signed and submitted, Legal Signing provides a secure certificate. The plugin also allows you to generate an Audit Trail that you can view at any time. You can view the dates and times of the entire process for each signer: viewings, signings, and notifications.
Those are the main features of Legal Signing for Gravity Forms. Now, let’s peek under the hood and see how you can get set up and start collecting signatures.
How to Use Legal Signing for Gravity Forms
As I mentioned earlier, you’ll first need to have Gravity Forms installed in WordPress. Once you have Gravity Forms installed and set up, you can get started with Legal Signing.
Download and Install the Legal Signing Plugin
You can purchase Legal Signing from their website. I’ll cover pricing options in detail later on, and they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee — so there’s no risk.
Once you have the plugin downloaded, install it as you would any other plugin for WordPress. Once you activate it, you’ll see a new item under your Gravity Forms menu called, “Legal Signing.”
Create Your Fillable PDF Form
This is an important step. Before you can create a contract form, you need to have a fillable PDF ready to go. You can do it using whatever software you’re comfortable with, but it must include the fillable form fields you want to be completed and signed. CosmicGiant has a great tutorial to assist in the creation of fillable PDF templates. It’s helpful that when originally creating your fillable field PDF, you label each field descriptively. You’ll thank yourself later.
Create a New Form
The next step in the process is to create a form on your site using Gravity Forms. You’ll want to add fields to match the fillable fields on your PDF. It’s also a good idea to insert an HTML block so you can display the content of your contract.
You also need to add the appropriate signature fields. Legal Signing makes this easy by providing a Legal Signature field. This looks similar to the usual e-signature field you see in services like DocuSign.
Create a Legal Signing Feed
Once you have your form saved, you’ll need to create what’s called a Legal Signing Feed. This is where you’ll import your fillable PDF and map the fields to create your legally-binding contract.
When you click Map Fields, you’ll be able to scroll through your PDF and see the fillable fields. As you click on each field in the PDF, you’ll select the appropriate field from the list on the right and match it up. This is where those descriptively-labeled fields come in super handy.
The Signing Workflow
The next step is to set up your contract’s signing workflow. This is where you’ll decide the order of signers — or even if you just want them to be in random order.
You’ll also need to choose email fields for each participant and assign fields to their respective signers.
Legal Signing allows you to choose whether you want to hide form fields from other signers, so each signer only sees the ones relevant to them. You can also choose to generate an Audit Trail showing the timeline of all signing and viewing activity.
In the signing workflow area, you have full control over the signing schedule. You can choose a relative date when signers are required to complete their portion, or you can set it up to be more specific.
Signing the Document
That’s it for setting up the document. Now all you have to do is display it on a page and send the link to your participants.
You can simply display the form on a page using the Gravity Forms block and choosing your new form.
When a party is ready to sign, a popup will give them a choice of either typing their name or drawing a signature using a mouse or stylus.
Once someone has signed, an email notification will automatically be sent, alerting the next signer in the process. After everyone has signed, you’ll receive a PDF that includes the signed document and the audit trail, if you chose that option.
At any time, you can view the entry details on your WordPress site as you would any other form.
These were the rough, basic steps for creating a legally-binding contract using Legal Signing for Gravity Forms. CosmicGiant has more detailed documentation on their website — and great support if you get stuck.
What About Compliance?
You may be wondering how this can work. Is it really legally binding? Short answer, yes.
The U.S. Federal E-Sign Act of 2000 declared that electronic signatures are legally binding, and the 1999 UETA — which is up to each state to adopt — is very similar. CosmicGiant provides a plethora of compliance info on their website.
There are multiple pricing tiers for the Legal Signing plugin, with each tier based on the number of websites and templates you can use.
The first tier is best for those who only manage a few sites. For $249 per year, you can use Legal Signing on up to 3 websites and create up to 10 templates. You also get one year of updates and support, plus all of the features with the exception of PDF conversion and Dropbox Export.
With the Professional tier, you get a license for up to 5 websites and up to 100 templates for $379 per year. You also get updates, support, and access to all features.
If you manage multiple websites for a wide array of clients, the Agency tier is best for you. For $499 per year, you get all features, updates, and support. The plan gives you a license for up to 50 websites and up to 500 templates.
The CosmicGiant team also has some new features up their collective sleeve that will be released soon.
The features include:
- Automatic Signing
- Saved Signatures
- Live Preview
The Power of Contract Signing in Your Hands
If you work with legally-binding contracts in any profession, you don’t have to use a third-party service to take care of the signing. You can host them on your WordPress site and offer the same experience for all signers, regardless of platform.