Electronic contracts and signatures
Electronic contract availability
Are electronic contracts legally valid in your jurisdiction? If so, what rules and restrictions govern their formation (including any mandatory or prohibited provisions and contract formats)?
Yes. There are no general requirements regarding the format or medium of contracts. Therefore, electronic contracts are legally valid to the same extent as other contracts.
Are there any limitations or restrictions on transactions that can be concluded through electronic contracts?
No. There are in principle no limitations or restrictions on transactions that can be concluded through electronic contracts.
Do any data retention requirements apply to electronic contracts?
Yes, the following regulations require the retention of electronic contracts:
- the Norwegian Bookkeeping Act of 19 November 2004 requires that any entity obliged to keep books must retain contracts (including electronic contracts) for three years and six months, unless the contract is insignificant for the business (ie, it is of low value or is not important to the business); and
- the Norwegian Money Laundering Act of 6 June 2009 requires that the following documents are retained for at least five years:
- documents and information concerning measures taken to conduct customer due diligence for anti-money laundering purposes; and
- documentation regarding all circumstances which may indicate money laundering or terrorist financing and any actions and decisions taken in the examination of suspected money laundering or terrorist financing transactions.
The Norwegian Personal Data Act of 2018 (which implements the EU General Data Protection Regulation) stipulates that personal data must be deleted when it is no longer necessary for processing (eg, after the required retention period).
Are any special remedies available for the breach of electronic contracts?
No, Norwegian contract law does not distinguish between the ways in which a contract is written. Therefore, the available remedies for the breach of an electronic contract depends – as for other contracts – on the content of the contract and any applicable legislation.
Are electronic signatures legally valid in your jurisdiction? If so, what rules and restrictions govern their use?
Yes, electronic signatures are legally valid in Norway.
Contract law stipulates that the formation of a contract is not subject to formalities and can be done in any way the parties choose. Therefore, contracts are generally valid if legally competent parties reach an agreement, regardless of whether the agreement is made verbally, electronically or in the form of a physical document.
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