There's an App For Legally Binding Contracts

Illustration for article titled There's an App For Legally Binding Contracts

Signing something on a smartphone may not feel very legit, but be careful where you squiggle because mobile contracts are for real. And if you're trying to keep legal fees down, a contracts app like Shake may actually help. Shake's CEO claims that $1 million worth of contracts have already been signed on the app, which was originally released last year. A significantly updated 2.0 version is out this week.

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There are big names behind Shake including Jon Steinberg of BuzzFeed, Stuart Ellman from RRE, and Jared Grusd from Spotify. Basically the idea is to reduce legal costs by providing free, stock agreements for independent contractors, non-disclosure, buy and sell, goods rental or a personal loan. And other types of agreements are coming. A user creates a document by answering a series of questions, reading an agreement, signing and then sending the document to the other party or having them sign in person. The philosophy behind Shake is to “combine the simplicity, convenience, and collaborative spirit of a handshake with the protection of a legal agreement.”

Shake agreements are available to view and sign cross-platform in the web app, <strike>Android</strike> and on iOS, but creation is iOS-only for now. This week's overhaul includes a new UI, Facebook integration which adds things like expanded language options, draft saving, and editing for pending contracts. And it really can't be beat as an alternative to signing in blood, which honestly just gets old after awhile. [AppAdvice, Forbes]

Update: There's currently no Android version available.

DISCUSSION

This is a great idea to empower small business owners and protect themselves from being ripped off. Usually the existence of a contract is enough to make most people handle the situation with care.

Point of caution, depending on the complexity of your business/transaction and your jurisdiction, this might not be a replacement for a lawyer.

Awesome app, hopefully people will embrace it.