Electronic signature in Guatemala

Updated October 2023

The electronic signature must guarantee the authenticity, confidentiality and integrity of the signed message or document. For this purpose, different authentication methods or factors or identity data are used. The main types are:

  • Digital signature: It is a numerical value that is added to a message or document and guarantees its integrity and authenticity by means of asymmetric cryptography and a digital certificate.
  • Electronic signature: Any method that makes it possible to identify a person in relation to a message or document.
  • Certified electronic signature: Any method of electronic signature made with identity factors or data, which includes a digital certificate to guarantee its security and integrity.


  • Legal validity of electronic signatures in Guatemala

      The law that regulates electronic signatures in Guatemala is the Law for the Recognition of Electronic Communications and Signatures, Decree 47-2008 of the Congress, and its subsequent amendments (the “Law for the Recognition of Electronic Signatures”):

        • Types of electronic signature in Guatemala

            The regulations on electronic signatures in Guatemala differentiate between two types of signatures:

                  1. Simple electronic signature

                The simple electronic signature associates data in electronic format with the signatory, but there is no evidence of who the signatory actually is. This type of signature is used in processes or actions where it is not necessary to guarantee the enforceability of a document against third parties; for example, to seal internal authorizations within a company, budget or expense approvals.

                      1. Advanced electronic signature

                    The advanced electronic signature, also called digital signature, has the same legal validity as the handwritten one. It is equal in all legal aspects to the handwritten signature; therefore, it is the most appropriate to use when signing any contract, document or transaction that requires personal and legal guarantees.

                      The Advanced Electronic Signature can be issued in two modalities: in physical token, or signature in the cloud.

                        electronic signature in Guatemala

                          Types of advanced electronic signature in Guatemala

                            There are several types of advanced electronic signatures in Guatemala. Depending on the project, needs, desired scope, and the signatory’s professional role and activity, one or another may be used:

                                  • Signature of Individual Person. Issued to individuals who have fully identified themselves with a personal identification document.
                                        • Signature of Public Official. It is issued to national or foreign individuals who have been fully identified as a public official belonging to a state entity.
                                        • Qualified Professional Signature. It is issued to individuals who have fully identified themselves and have obtained the corresponding Member Number for the practice of their profession.
                                        • Signature of Legal Representative. Identifies a legal entity of private law, the individual person acting as legal representative of the legal entity will have the quality of subscriber.
                                        • Entity Relationship Signature. Issued to persons who have identified themselves as members of a particular business entity or organization without having the legal representation of the same.
                                        • Signature of Legal Entity. It identifies a legal entity of public or private law or State entity through its legal representative, and that this legal entity may digitally sign data messages automatically or manually, binding itself legally.

                                In order to use the advanced electronic signature in Guatemala you must have a digital certificate, issued by a Certification Service Provider, accredited in the Registry of Certification Service Providers under the Ministry of Economy. You can request your Electronic Signature Certificate at the following link.

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