How to Apply for an E-Signature
A digital signature is now essential to conducting business. With a digital signature, the authorized signatory does not have to be physically present to authorize and facilitate business. It is also required by government agencies to review and cross verify business transactions.
What is a Digital Signature Certificate?
A digital signature certificate (DSC) is a secure digital key that certifies the identity of the holder. A certifying authority (CA) issues these certificates. Moreover, the DSC comprises of identifying information like an email address and an APNIC account name. Digital certificates use public key infrastructure for data that has been digitally signed or encrypted by a private key. Moreover, this certificate also works as an authentication that establishes your credentials when conducting business online.
Types of Certificates:
Class 1 certificates shall be issued to individuals/private subscribers. These certificates will confirm that a user’s name (or alias) and email address from an unambiguous subject are within the certifying authority’s database.
Class 2 certificates aare required as e-filing is made compulsory in ROC, every director / signing authority needs to have their digital signature. Hence, it is now mandatory to obtain Class-2 or Class-2 with PAN encryption digital signature. Moreover, this is required for any person who is required to sign manual documents and returns filed with ROC.
Class 3 certificates is the upgraded version of Class 2 digital signature. By using this certificate you can participate/bid in any kind of online tenders/auction across India. Therefore, to participate in the e-tendering process, every vendor is required to use a class 3 digital signature.
A Digital Signature can be attained by:
- Submitting the DSC application duly signed and filled
- Producing PAN card of Applicant
- Providing any ID proof having photo and address of the applicant
eMudhra is a certifying authority authorized by the Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA) for issuance of digital signatures in India. eMudhra provides Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 digital signatures along with digital signatures for specific needs such as income tax filing, MCA, e-tendering, e-procurement and foreign trade.
Components of a Digital Signature
- Public key: This is required as part of a verification system
- Name and email address: This is required for contact information purposes and for ease of identification
- Expiration date of the public key: This part of the signature is used to set a shelf life and enable the signature to be reset
- Name of the company: This section identifies the company that owns the signature
- Serial number of the digital ID: This part is a unique number that is bundled to the signature for tracking ad extra identification reasons
- Digital signature of the certification authority: This is a signature that is issued by the authority that issues the certificates
Also, all those that are authorized as signatories that sign manual documents are required to obtain a digital signature under MCA21. Therefore, personnel like directors, auditors, company secretary, bank officials and other authorized signatories must obtain a digital signature.
Use of Digital Signature
With a digital signature, you can access secured websites and surpass the requirements of specifying the username and password. Also, this verifies and validates the user. This is done by combining the user’s credential to the digital certificate and in turn, this method uses one point of authentication. Digital certificates ensure confidentiality and ensure that messages can only be read by authorised intended recipients. Hence, digital certificates also verify the time and date to resolve disputes between the senders or recipients.
Ensure that your small business has applied for a valid electronic signature as it is now mandatory for e-filing by a certain section of businesses, families, and individuals.