Electronic seal and electronic signature. Do you know the difference?

The increasing rate of digitization is gradually penetrating Slovakia, with its utilization expanding in both public and private sectors. How to determine when a seal is used and when you need a signature?

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What is an electronic seal

According to eIDAS, an electronic seal, also called an e-seal, represents data in electronic form that is linked to other data in electronic form to ensure their origin and integrity, while the originator is a legal entity.

Although this definition sounds really complicated, an electronic seal is nothing more than the equivalent of a traditional company stamp, which a company places on documents in written form to confirm their origin and integrity.

Difference between an electronic seal and signature

As we have already mentioned, signature and seal are almost the same thing and in some cases, they can serve the same tasks or complement each other. However, there is a fundamental difference between them. While an electronic signature can be issued to a natural person, an electronic seal can only be issued to a legal entity.

Simply put, the electronic seal is equivalent to the electronic signature of documents for legal entities. It can be used by several people within one legal entity.

Levels of electronic seal

Similar to a signature, an electronic seal also has multiple levels varying in security measures and utilization capabilities:

Electronic seal

The lowest form of e-seal represents the basic level of authentication of a legal entity. It has no legal certainty and does not provide strong evidence of the signer’s integrity. This is the same level as an electronic signature.

Advanced electronic seal

A higher level of authentication and security, an advanced electronic seal, will reliably confirm the identity of a legal entity. It is suitable for signing documents on behalf of a legal entity. It represents the equivalent of an advanced electronic signature.

Qualified electronic seal

The highest form of the electronic seal makes it possible to unequivocally determine the legal entity behind the executed signature and the immutability of the signed documents at the time of their signing. It represents a substitute for a physical seal (company stamp) and a physical signature of the statutory representative.

In addition to companies, cities and municipalities also use a qualified electronic seal. Similarly, documents that are sent from various state institutions to the slovensko.sk mailbox are also signed with a qualified electronic seal.

Individual levels of seals can be used for most commonly required actions. However, each has a different level of legal certainty and security. When choosing a suitable level, we therefore recommend you to follow a simple rule – the more important and financially costly the process, the higher the level of the used seal.

Legal aspects of the electronic seal and its use within submissions via slovensko.sk

In 2016, the European Union issued the eIDAS regulation, the aim of which is to define the building of trust in the online environment. It contains legislation that standardized the correct use of electronic identification, including electronic time stamps, certification services for authenticating websites, electronic documents, as well as electronic seals and electronic signatures in all EU member states.

Based on this regulation, the qualified electronic seal is valid across all states of the European Union, within the framework of communication between individual legal entities and in communication with public authorities. In addition to it, a mandate certificate or a qualified electronic signature can also be used for submission via slovensko.sk.


The electronic seal is an excellent way to save paper and time in your company. You will appreciate it in internal communication, but also when negotiating various remote contracts, issuing invoices or communicating with public authorities. Simply choose the necessary level of security according to your company’s needs, and communication in the company can be more modern and faster.

Don’t forget. Only a certification authority registered in the EU trusted list can issue a certificate for a qualified electronic seal. Do not hesitate to contact us and together we will take your company’s electronic communication to a new level.

The author of the article is

Miroslav Rechtorík