Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


Best e-signature software 2022: Box, Docusign, and more

What is the best e-signature software? Our top pick for large businesses is Adobe Acrobat Pro/Adobe Sign. We analyzed price, features, compatibility, and usability below.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer

When you own a small business, contracts and forms are a part of daily life. The right e-signature service can help you secure your company's most proprietary information while also allowing efficiency and enhanced security. Even better, many of these programs offer special integrations with the apps and services that you already use, like Microsoft Office and Google Drive. 

The best e-signature signature for a small business can save you precious time and money when your business signs a lot of documents, creates a ton of forms, and negotiates contracts. 

These are our best picks.



Payment Processing

Popular Integrations

Adobe Acrobat Pro / Adobe Sign

Windows, Mac


Microsoft, Salesforce, Workday


Windows, Android, iOS, web

Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, Microsoft Office


Windows, Android, iOS, web


Dropbox, Slack, Salesforce, Microsoft OneDrive



iOS, Windows, Android, web

Salesforce, Zoho, Google Drive, HubSpot, Zapier


iOS, Windows, Android, web

Salesforce, Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office


Adobe Sign comes with a free 30-day trial. Custom team plans and pricing are available by calling Acrobat Sign Solutions at 800-424-0841 for details.

Acrobat Standard DC

  • Individual price: $12.99/month
  • Team price: $14.99/mo. per user
  • Popular features: Unlimited signatures, send and track agreements, create and edit PDFs
  • Compatibility: Windows

Acrobat Pro DC

  • Individual price: $14.99/mo.
  • Team price: $16.99/mo. per user
  • Popular features: All of the above, plus Mac access, advanced PDF tools
  • Compatibility: Mac, Windows

At a glance

Acrobat is well-known in both professional and personal circles for its document creation and signing abilities. Its clients number over 300,000 and feature big names like Microsoft, HSBC, Groupon, and Tesla. There is document signing via two plans: Acrobat Standard DC and Acrobat Pro DC plans. Scanning and uploading forms are made simple when you use the free Adobe Scan companion app. Signing is also available by both mobile and desktop access, and your clients will not have to download or sign-up to complete the form. There is customized branding available, plus the ability to send and track reminders in case your clients forget. If you use Microsoft 365, Acrobat will integrate at no additional charge with the option to add on Acrobat PDF tools, if needed. Upgraded security protocols include enterprise-level security with compliance regulations that include HIPAA, FERPA, GLBA, and FDA 21 CFR part 11. 


  • Enhanced security protocols
  • Multiple integrations
  • Custom plans and pricing


  • No payment processing
  • Subpar customer service
  • No edits to sent files


A free trial is available for DouSign's paid plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee after you buy. You can also call 1-877-720-2040 for custom enhanced plans.

Free Edition

  • Monthly cost: $0
  • Annual cost: $0
  • Key features: Unlimited signing


  • Monthly cost: $10
  • Annual cost: $120
  • Key features: 5 signatures per month


  • Monthly cost: $25 (up to 5 users)
  • Annual cost: $300
  • Key features: Customized branding

Business Pro

  • Monthly cost: $40
  • Annual cost: $480
  • Key features: Collect payments

At a glance

DocuSign offers the ability to send and receive documents known as envelopes. The number of envelopes you can use each month varies and depends on the plan you choose. For example, while the Personal plan includes just five envelopes, you can use up to 100 envelopes each month with the Standard and Business Pro plans. Plans with over 100 envelopes or more than five users are available but require personalizing pricing based on your specific needs. A free edition also allows unlimited signing with additional cloud storage. However, while you are limited to a specific number of envelopes each month, you can sign an unlimited amount of documents each month. Special protocols are available to help with security, such as FedRAMP, BAA, HIPAA, 21 CFR Part 11), and an eNotary.


  • Unlimited signing 
  • Built-in cloud storage
  • Additional security protocols


  • A limited number of envelopes
  • Additional cost for many features 
  • Subpar customer service


There is a 30-day free trial for the Professional plan to get you started.

e-Signature Plans:


  • Monthly cost: $15
  • Annual cost: $180
  • Users: 1
  • Templates: 5


  • Monthly cost: $25
  • Annual cost: $600
  • Users: 2-4
  • Templates: 15


  • Monthly cost: Varies
  • Annual cost:  Varies
  • Users:  Varies
  • Templates:  Varies

Bundle plans

Dropbox Professional + eSign Bundle

  • Monthly cost: $31.99/mo.
  • Annual cost:  $24.99/mo.
  • Users:  1
  • Encrypted cloud storage:  3TB

Plus - 2 TB

  • Monthly cost: $11.99/mo.
  • Annual cost:  $9.99/mo.
  • Users:  1
  • Encrypted cloud storage:  2TB

Plus - 3 TB

  • Monthly cost: $19.99/mo.
  • Annual cost:  $16.58/mo.
  • Users:  1
  • Encrypted cloud storage:  3TB


  • Monthly cost: $19.99/mo.
  • Annual cost:  $16.99/mo.
  • Users:  6
  • Encrypted cloud storage:  2TB

At a glance

HelloSign works like many of the other small business signing services, allowing customers to sign your documents without an account. All parties will receive a copy once the document is signed. HelloSign uses templates, which provides an easy way to recycle repeat forms to the same or different parties. It significantly simplifies signing, allowing for far more efficient processing. There are several different plans that include individual, family, and business plans to support your home or workplace. Multiple users can easily share documents and connect with individual accounts. Encrypted cloud storage is included with some plans and is available in either 2TB or 3TB of encrypted cloud storage. For greater features, HelloSign offers its Professional + eSign bundle. However, payment processing is not available.


  • Several plans to choose from
  • Custom branding
  • Unlimited signatures


  • Can only sign in black ink
  • No payment processing
  • No dedicated app


PandaDoc offers a free 14-day trial, along with a free plan.


  • Cost: $0
  • Key features: Unlimited signatures and document uploads


  • Cost: $19/mo./user
  • Key features: Templates, document editor and analytics


  • Cost: $49/mo./user
  • Key features: Enhanced integrations, custom branding, and content library


  • Cost: Custom
  • Key features: SSO support, unlimited team workspaces, Salesforce

At a glance

PandaDoc reports that its signing software has saved users 12 hours per week with a 65% decrease in document creation time and a 28% increase in closing rates. It is used by over 30,000 companies, including AutoDesk, Bonusly, and TomTom. Its traditional e-signature services are combined with bonus features, like more than 450 templates, the ability to custom fields and manage approval workflows. There is also an API available so that you can integrate PandaDoc into your existing site or app. PandaDoc pulls heavy-duty with its services, interactive quotes, pre-approved contracts, built-in signatures, and shareable forms. You can sign documents and forms right within Microsoft Word, or you can use the exclusive mobile app to complete a PDF document. Either way, live analytics show progress as your client views and signs each document. Your security is protected by ESIGN, UETA and HIPAA compliance with a SOC 2 Type II certification. 


  • Expanded integrations
  • Free trial with the free plan
  • Easy contract negotiation tools


  • It can get pricey with users
  • Limited mobile app functionality
  • No document editing after sending


signNow is available for a free seven-day trial before you purchase a paid plan.


  • Monthly price: $20/mo.
  • Annual price: $8/mo.
  • Key features: Unlimited templates

Business Premium

  • Monthly price: $30/mo.
  • Annual price: $15/mo.
  • Key features: Personalized branding


  • Monthly price: $50/mo.
  • Annual price: $30/mo.
  • Key features: Bulk sending, specialized fields

airSlate Business Cloud

  • Monthly price: $50/mo.
  • Annual price: $50/mo.
  • Key features: HIPAA compliance and SSO

At a glance

signNow is made for businesses by offering several key features, including document signing, agreement creation, and contract negotiation. It offers many features that other services do not, such as demo templates, permission-based roles, document merging, and private cloud eSignature management. It also gives you the ability to process payments while automating business workflows. In addition to document signing, there is also tracking and storage to keep you organized. All in all, there are over 100 features designed to support both small businesses and large enterprises. No downloads are required, but new visitors will need to create an account in order to access documents. Pricing runs the gamut from the cheapest on our list to one of the most expensive, depending on the plan you choose. Regardless, there is enterprise-grade security with built-in GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA compliance with PCI DSS and SOC 2 Type II certifications.


  • Unlimited templates and signing
  • Extended security protocols
  • Affordable plans


  • Limited 7-day trial
  • Custom plan for over 10 users
  • Some snags with the editing tool

How did we choose these products?

It seems like every day there is a new service or app created for businesses, but not all of them will always fit the bill when it comes to your company's specific needs. 

To find today's best e-signature service for small businesses, we considered several factors that may aid in your search.

  • Security: When you have sensitive documents and contracts, you want to protect them. The right security from your e-signature service can keep your company's proprietary information out of the wrong hands.

  • Ease of use: A program is only good if you can use it, so consider how simple it is to sign and send your documents.

  • Cost: While some services offer free plans, others may require you to purchase a pricey plan to use an e-signature service for small businesses.

  • Features: In addition to an e-signature service, there may also be other features to help, such as cloud storage, custom plans, and free templates.

  • Integrations: Several programs can integrate with your e-signature services, such as Microsoft Office, Salesforce, Google Drive, and Workday.

When searching for the right e-signature service, consider these features to best determine which one is right for you.

Which is the right one for you?

There are many candidates for the best e-signature service for small businesses, but not all of them offer the kind of services, integrations, and pricing that our best picks offer. When narrowing your search, these expert tips can help you find the right signing service for your company.

Choose this product...

If you want...

Adobe Acrobat Pro / Adobe Sign

Enterprise-ready signing for your PC 


When your business frequently signs and manages contracts


An excellent starter choice for new users or freelancers


An approachable pick that accepts payments at signing

Preview for macOS

When you want software compatible with your Mac 


An excellent choice for smaller teams

Why do I need an e-signature service?

The right e-signature service is able to provide a series of exclusive tools and pricing to serve your small business best. This can include upgraded encryption, software integrations, and multiple users.

What is the best e-signature software?

The best e-signature software is Adobe Acrobat Pro/Adobe Sign for large businesses and DocuSign for contracts, based on price, features, and usability.

What kind of security encryptions are available for an e-signature service?

Several security encryptions come with an e-signature service, such as IPAA, FERPA, GLBA, and FDA 21 CFR part 11. However, the type of encryptions may vary based on the provider you choose. 

What is the best e-signature service for my small business?

There are many choices for an e-signing service, but not all of them may fit the specific needs of your business. Our picks for the best e-signature service for small businesses are a great place to start when choosing the right service for you.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

In our search for the best e-signature service for small businesses, there were many other services that we considered. These other options almost made our list.

Editorial standards