Well, if you are not going to pay for DocuSign in all it's glory, here's a simple way to manage critical documents. That is things with signatures for your startup that you are worried about.
Send from admin account but don't sign there
The process is a little convoluted because you want to make sure that it's general available and you don't need to sign things:
- Create a standalone DocuSign account for your company something like
firstname.lastname@example.org. You need this because you want something that isn't dependent on one person.
- You can share the password with others and this can be the place for your standard signatures and things.
- Now when you want to start a signature chain, you should do it from this account and route it to your ceo and everyone else. The nice thing about this is that all signed documents will be in one central place
- So you should
START NEWfrom that account.
- Make sure that the document you upload has a name that makes sense, it shouldn't be
file.docbecause you will never be able to find it. I normally use the naming scheme
<date signed> - <company > - <type of document> - <signatories>.docso it would be
2020-05 - newco - NDA - John Doe, Big Boss.pdf
- Now then this is done upload it and you should never say "I'm the ownly signer" because nothing should be signed by the admin account.
- Instead rout it to the right people and then they will get copies and a copy goes into the central repository at this admin account.
In this way, you won't have documents scattered across a zillion different employee accounts and as long as you trust a few folks, give them the rights to access the admin account.
Archive documents in admin as the only signer
If you already have a signed document, like the Articles of incorporation that are coming in over the transom or were signed before you saw the DocuSign religion then:
- Login as email@example.com
- Choose Start Now
- Change the file name of the document to something understandable, it should be “file.doc” but something you can search for like “2020-05 Articles of Incorporation”
- Draw and drop the documents or choose upload
- MAKE SURE to Click the “I’m the Only Signer” (this is critical because you want to short circuit the signing process)
- Choose next
- You will be asked to put something there. I normally just stick a “checkbox” at some random place. It requires something
- Then say “signing complete” which fools Docusign and then it will just stick it into the list.
- You will get a final screen saying send to someone, you can change the subject line from “Please Sign:” to “Signed Document” and email to yourself
It will take a little bit of discipline, but it sure nice to have all signed and critical documents in one place in an admin account.