3 letters dictate most corporate document management: PDF. Work contract, invoice, purchase order... It's the universal format par excellence, and the most practical too: unlike a Word document, it focuses on the document's presentation. In addition to looking just like the original, PDFs can be consulted by anyone, with no restrictions on tools, and are displayed in the same way on all devices (smartphone, tablet or computer). 

So it's no surprise that this is the format most widely used by companies of all sizes. All the more so in a context of digitized exchanges: it's often in PDF format that you're asked to sign such and such a document. While PDF reader software such as Acrobat offers basic functionality, it is more limited when it comes to meeting advanced electronic signature requirements.  

In this article, we preach for our parish, but with a very objective conviction: electronic signature software lets you sign your PDFs easily, while offering guaranteed security and legal compliance. We explain why and how to sign PDF documents electronically?

What types of PDF documents can I sign electronically?

Most PDF documents, online contracts, quotations, sales proposals, promises of sale, invoices... can be signed electronically. The electronic signature of a PDF document offers a practical and legal solution in a multitude of professional situations (partnership contract, NDA...) and personal situations (real estate purchase, administrative papers...). 

To guarantee the integrity and legality of electronically signed PDF documents, it is crucial to ensure that they cannot be altered, and to rely on a trusted third party in accordance with European eIDAS regulations. PDF files are perfectly consistent in terms of text, layout, fonts and images, but they can still be easily modified using any number of software programs available on the market: only an electronic signature process can guarantee their integrity in a secure and durable way. 


💡How can I protect myself against document forgery?

The use of electronic signatures and electronic seals is the key to protect against the risk of document forgery. These digital tools should be your first reflex: they secure your document exchanges by guaranteeing their authenticity and integrity, thus helping to protect your professional reputation. They also enable you to verify the origin of documents, so you can easily detect any attempts at fraud.

What are the main advantages of using an electronic signature to sign a PDF document?

Adopting electronic signatures transforms the way documents are signed and managed, bringing considerable benefits to your business:

  • Time-saving Signing processes are accelerated, eliminating the need for printing, manual signing, scanning and sending (by post or e-mail).
  • Enhanced security Depending on the security level chosen for the electronic signature, both signature authenticity and document integrity are guaranteed, reducing the risk of forgery.
  • Legal validity Electronic signatures are legally recognized and governed by European and French law. The qualified electronic signature has exactly the same legal value as a handwritten signature.
  • Respect for the environment: Reducing paper and ink consumption helps reduce your environmental impact.

Signing a PDF document without dedicated software: not always practical!

Traditional PDF tools, such as Adobe Acrobat, can lack advanced features for effective authentication and signature security. They do not always have the necessary features to guarantee : 

  • Robust verification of the signatory's identity, which can lead to risks of fraud and forgery.
  • The security of signed documents, since these traditional tools do not systematically ensure data integrity once the document has been signed. For example, the simple signature function, which allows you to add your signature and/or stamp, offers no security whatsoever. In this case, the content of the document can easily be altered, even after signing. 

These limitations underline the importance of choosing advanced electronic signature solutions that offer strong security and authentication measures, in line with the security standards defined by the eIDAS regulation. It is important toto adapt the level of security to the level of risk of your documents.

💡There are 3 signature levels in accordance with the European eIDAS regulation :

  • Simple: basic identification without in-depth verification.
  • Advanced: more robust signatory authentication.
  • Qualified: highest level of safety and legal compliance.

How do you add your electronic signature to a PDF document using dedicated software? 

To insert an electronic signature on a PDF document, use an electronic signature solution by choosing the right provider. This method ensures fast, easy and secure signing, and is easy to set up.

Here's a step-by-step guide to working with Lex Enterprise.

How do I create an electronic signature? On the user's side 

  • Log in to your Lex Enterprise account;
  • Click on "New signatory" in the dashboard;
  • Upload your PDF document ;
  • Define signature zones and add signatories via their contact or user card, or create them on the fly; 
  • Click on "Start" to automatically send the signatory(ies) an email with a link to the document to be signed.

How do I sign PDF electronically? On the signer's side

Everything is done to make life easier for the signatory, who simply has to : 

  • Open your mailbox and click on Lex Persona's invitation to sign (which can be customized so that it's branded with your name and corporate colors); 
  • Click on the link in the e-mail;
  • View the document(s) to be signed ;
  • Sign electronically in the indicated area of the document(s) ;
  • Finally, validate so that the document is automatically signed and the sender notified.




With Lex Enterprise, say goodbye to complicated printing, manual signing, scanning and signature legality procedures

The seriousness of our approach and tool offers you solid guarantees:

Lex Enterprise benefits
The security of your documents and the validity of your signatures All levels of security are covered to meet the needs of professionals and enterprises, including data partitioning, multi-factor authentication, and regulatory compliance (eIDAS, RGPD, etc.).
Expertise backed by solid certifications and labels Lex Persona is an independent French company certified ISO 27001:2017 and HDS (Hoster of Personal Health Data), Labellisée FnTC CEV génération & vérification, Qualifiée eIDAS ETSI EN 319 421 pour l'horodatage, Certifiée ETSI EN 319 411-1 LCP et Qualifiée eIDAS ETSI EN 319 411-2 QCP-n-qscd pour la délivrance de certificats de signature électronique.
Easy integration Thanks to its API and the many connectors available, connect Lex Enterprise with all your systems and software, making it easy to adopt our electronic signature.


See for yourself how easy it is to sign PDF documents with Lex Enterprise. Book your free demonstration demonstration now.