Are electronic signatures legal in Thailand?


Thailand has legally recognised electronic signatures since 2001, since the passing of The Electronic Transactions Act. Which has given businesses the option to use them whilst trading.

Yes, e-signatures are court admissible

Each country has it’s own regulations that determine whether an electronic signature is seen as legal or not. So, as long as your electronic signature adheres to these, a signature won’t be rejected simply for not being handwritten.

Yes, e-signatures can be used in business

Whilst 100% legal; there are exceptions for very specific types of transactions. It is still up to the discretion of the independent user, or governing body, whether they are used or not. As each business needs are different and the agreements themselves may vary. We always advise you to speak with an authority within your businesses category.

Legal Model

Thailand’s legal model is a tiered one. This means that Qualified Electronic Signatures are seen as a legal type of e-signature. This doesn’t mean that a non-QES e-Signature can’t be submitted in court, but it will need extra evidence to support it.

Legal Classification

The laws of Thailand are based on the civil law, but have been influenced by common law. The principal law sources in Thailand are:

  • Constitution of Thailand – prevails over other laws.
  • Acts and statutes – Many of which created and amended the 4 basic codes: Civil and Commercial Code (CCC), Penal Code (PC), Civil Procedure Code, and the Criminal Procedure Code. Newer codes include the Land Code and the Revenue Code. Years on Thai statutes are dated with the Buddhist Era (BE) year based on the Thai solar calendar.
  • Emergency decree or royal proclamation – these are issued by the king, upon the advice of the cabinet, where an urgent law is needed for national security, public safety, national economic stability, or to avert a public calamity. An example is the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation BE 2548 (2005).
  • Treaties
  • Subordinate legislation – Regulations (ministerial), orders, notifications, royal decrees, and rules.
  • Supreme Court opinions and other judicial decisions – Judicial precedent in Thailand is not binding. Courts are not bound to follow their own decisions. Lower courts are not bound to follow precedents set by higher courts. However, Thai law has been influenced by common law precedent. Courts are therefore significantly influenced by earlier decisions or decisions of higher courts. The Supreme Court of Justice publishes its decisions, known as “Supreme Court Opinions”. These are frequently used as secondary authorities and are numbered according to the year issued. Other judicial decisions or rulings are published by the Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court.

For more information, click here.

Full Summary

Thai law highlights that a handwritten signature isn’t always needed for a contract to be considered credible, and that contracts can’t be refused for simply being electronic. They’ll usually be seen as such as long as legally able individuals have reached an agreement. This can be by verbally agreeing, electronically or physically signing something (Sections 7, 9, 13 of the E-Transactions Act). And The E-transactions Act 2006 states that electronic contracts can’t be dismissed for being electronic.