How to Notarise Company Documents

Posted: 8th September 2014

London–based businesses with international interests might often find themselves in need of the services of a London notary public. Foreign Commercial Registries, Regulatory Bodies, Courts and business partners among others might request that certain corporate documents be “notarised”. These documents can be split into two broad categories: – those which need to be signed by a representative of the company and those where no signature is required.

Attesting signature, capacity and authority

In the majority of cases where a document to be signed by a representative of a company requires notarisation, the purpose of the notarisation is to provide confirmation of the signature of the individual signing, and often also of that signatory’s capacity and authority to represent the company on whose behalf he or she acts. Documents falling into this category would include Powers of Attorney, Board Resolutions and Assignments among others. Where the signatory is not known to the Notary, it will be necessary to arrange a meeting at which the document will be signed in the notary’s presence.

The signatory will need to produce proof of identity (such as an original passport or driving licence) and proof of residential address (such as a recently issued original bank statement, council tax bill or utility bill). In addition, the notary will also need to see evidence of the capacity in which the signatory is signing. In many cases this will be relatively straightforward – for example where documents are to be signed on behalf of UK–registered companies by one or more Directors, the notary will be able to confirm the Directors’ capacities by conducting an online search of the Companies House website. In other circumstances, such as where documents are to be signed by Attorneys, Authorised Signatories, or on behalf of foreign entities, a London notary public will ask for additional documentation evidencing the signatory’s capacity.

Finally the notary will need evidence of the signatory’s authority to sign on behalf of the company or legal entity he or she represents. Often this can be ascertained by obtaining copies of the constitutional documents from Companies House. On other occasions the Notary may request additional documentation such as authorising Powers of Attorney or Board Resolutions.

Once the document has been signed and all the necessary checks have been made, the London notary public will issue a notarial certificate confirming the authenticity of the signature, the signatory’s capacity and authority. Additionally, where UK–registered companies are concerned, the notary will usually also confirm valid execution in accordance with the Companies Act 2006. In the case of Scrivener Notaries – a highly specialised branch of the profession who provide notarial services in London – the notarial certification will often be issued directly in the language of the place in which it is to be used.

Notarising Companies House and other documents

Sometimes the document to be notarised does not require a signature and therefore no meeting with the notary is necessary. Documents relating to UK–registered companies such as copies of Certificates of Incorporation, Articles of Association and indeed any corporate document held on file by Companies House can be directly attested by a London notary public on a remote basis. In such cases the notary will issue a notarial certification confirming that he has conducted a search of the public register and attach copies of the relevant documents. Other documents such as those issued by HMRC can also be notarised remotely.

Notarial services London – Translations and “legalisation”

A provider of notarial services in London will also be able to arrange, where required, for notarised documents to be “legalised” by “Apostille” and / or at the London Consulate of the destination country. A London notary public will also be able to arrange for translations into or from the relevant language.

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