Within the past 10 years, the Internet has rapidly removed geographic barriers and revolutionized the way the world communicates and transacts business. In response to this move towards a more paperless society, the Georgia Legislature recently passed the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. Georgia is the 47th state to adopt the Act, which will go into effect on July 1, 2009.
The Act establishes guidance and uniform standards for the enforceability of electronic transactions. Importantly, the Act is voluntary and does not require parties to conduct business electronically. For it to apply, parties must intend to conduct transactions electronically. In those instances, the Act sets the following ground rules for e-commerce transactions:
1. Electronic records and signatures are expressly recognized under the law.
2. If the law requires a writing, an electronic record satisfies the law.
3. If the law requires a signature, an electronic signature satisfies the law.
4. Computers can form contracts with other computers.
5. Mandatory Records may be stored and maintained electronically.
6. Negotiable instruments, memorialized electronically, may be transferred electronically.
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