Docusign PowerForms: How to set up self-service documents in Docusign

Buyer’s Guides
June 18, 2024
What are Docusign PowerForms, and when should you use them?

This guide takes you through the process step-by-step, as well as comparing the use cases for PowerForms vs templates in Docusign.

What are Docusign’s PowerForms?

Docusign’s PowerForms are documents that allow users to initiate and complete signing processes without the need for individual invitations

They are templates that can be accessed through a URL or embedded in a website, enabling users to fill out and sign agreements at their convenience.

Docusign PowerForms vs templates: what’s the difference?

Docusign PowerForms let users access and complete documents on their own through a link, making them great for forms like consent forms, surveys, and waivers that many people need to fill out. 

Docusign templates, on the other hand, require the sender to prepare and send the document to each recipient, making them better for personalized documents like contracts and sales agreements

This means that PowerForms and templates have different use cases. When choosing between Docusign PowerForms and templates, you can use the following logic: 

Use PowerForms if:

  • You need a self-service option for users to access and complete documents independently.
  • You require a scalable solution for documents that will be used by many people, such as consent forms, surveys, or registration forms.
  • You are sharing documents that won’t be subject to negotiation, or need legal review.

Use templates if:

  • You need to maintain control over document distribution and initiate engagements yourself.
  • You require a standardized format for recurring transactions that need to be personalized for individual recipients, such as contracts or agreements.
  • You’re dealing with documents that undergo internal collaboration processes, like review, negotiation, or approval.

Put simply: Docusign’s PowerForms are great for simple agreements that exist as formalities and can be quickly signed by individuals accessing a service. However, they won’t work for all routine documents, particularly not contracts where both parties are more involved in the exchange. 

If you’re looking for a way to automate routine contract admin, Juro’s AI-native contract management platform will be a better choice. 

Juro empowers legal and other business teams to accelerate the creation, execution and management of contracts, agreeing them up to 10x faster than with traditional tools.

To find out how Juro works and compares to Docusign’s PowerForms, hit the button below to schedule a personalized demo.   

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How do Docusign PowerForms work?

Docusign PowerForms offer a convenient and efficient way to manage and distribute documents that require signatures. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how Docusign PowerForms work, and how you can set them up yourself:

How to create a PowerForm Template

Before you start using PowerForms, you first need to create a template. This template will serve as the base document that can be used repeatedly. 

Here’s how to create a PowerForm template:

  1. Log in to Docusign: Access your Docusign account.
  2. Navigate to Templates: Go to the "Templates" tab and click on "New Template."
  3. Set Up the Template: Upload the document you want to use, then add necessary fields (e.g., signature, date, text fields) where the signers will input their information.
  4. Configure Settings: Customize the template by setting signing roles, adding instructions, and configuring other options like automatic reminders or expirations.

How to create a PowerForm in Docusign

Once your template is ready, you can convert it into a PowerForm. Here’s how:

  1. Access the Template: From the "Templates" tab, find the template you want to use for your PowerForm.
  2. Create PowerForm: Click on "More" next to the template, then select "Create PowerForm."
  3. Configure PowerForm Settings:some text
    • PowerForm Name: Give your PowerForm a name that reflects its purpose.
    • Form Fields: Verify that all required fields are correctly set up.
    • Completion Settings: Choose what happens after the form is completed, such as sending a copy to specific email addresses or storing it in a repository.
  4. Generate URL: Once configured, Docusign will generate a unique URL for the PowerForm. This URL can be shared via email, posted on a website, or distributed in any other way you prefer.

How to distribute a Docusign PowerForm

With the PowerForm URL ready, you can distribute it to your intended audience:

  1. Share the URL: Send the URL to recipients via email, post it on your website, or share it through any other communication channel.
  2. Access the Form: Recipients click on the URL to access the PowerForm. They do not need a Docusign account to fill out and sign the document.

How to complete a Docusign PowerForm (as a recipient)

Recipients can now complete the form at their convenience:

  1. Open the PowerForm: Recipients open the form via the URL provided.
  2. Fill Out Required Fields: They fill out all necessary fields, such as name, date, and any other required information.
  3. Sign the Document: Recipients electronically sign the document where indicated.
  4. Submit the Form: Once all required fields are completed and the document is signed, recipients submit the form.

How to manage completed PowerForms

After the PowerForm is submitted, you can manage and track the completed documents:

  1. Receive notifications: Get notifications when a PowerForm is completed. You can configure these notifications in your Docusign settings.
  2. Track status: Monitor the status of your PowerForms in the Docusign dashboard. You can see who has accessed and completed the forms, and generate reports as needed.
  3. Find and store: Completed PowerForms are stored in your Docusign account. You can retrieve them for review, download, or further processing.

Find out more about Docusign's functionality

Looking for more guides on Docusign's functionality and competitors? Check out the articles below:

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