Official and transactional documents often require the seal of a notary public to confirm their authenticity. This is much more common when they are meant for international use, such as personal documents used for immigration purposes, and those dealing with the purchase or sale of land abroad.
In these cases, you may need to have the documents authenticated by a notary and then legalised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) by means of an apostille. Depending on the country concerned the documents may need further legalisation by the consulate of the relevant country. The FCO and the foreign consulates will usually only accept authentication by the seal of a notary public - a solicitor's signature will not be accepted.
Our expert team of notaries public have experience dealing with a wide range of documents, both for domestic and foreign use, including those that affect:
- Transactions for foreign contracts
- The formation of foreign subsidiary companies
- The purchase of land and property abroad
- Powers of attorney for use overseas
- Immigration or emigration
- Applications to marry or work abroad
- Foreign wills and estate administration
Our notaries can also provide authentication and a secure record for almost any sort of transaction, document or event. All of our notaries are also fully qualified solicitors.
Making An Appointment And Being Prepared
Our notaries are based in our offices in Chichester and Crawley (Gatwick), and are able to provide a personal service in these areas. Appointments with our notaries are typically available within 48 hours, and can be as short as 30 minutes, if the relevant documents are straightforward and correctly prepared. It's extremely helpful if you can send a copy of relevant documents before your appointment.
Appointments are generally available between 9 am and 5.15 pm. If necessary you may be able to arrange an appointment outside of these hours, but there may be an additional cost for this service.
You must bring an original identification document (e.g passport, driving licence or national identity card) for each individual signatory, as well as proof of residence such as a recent utility or council tax bill (this can't be a bill downloaded from the internet). If we're acting for a corporate client, we will also need evidence of the due incorporation of the company or entity.
In most cases, our minimum fee is £150 plus VAT, but for more complex matters we will advise you on how the fee is calculated (usually based on the hourly rate of the notary handling the case).
There may also be fees to pay to third parties, such as the FCO or foreign consulates. We can advise you of these as appropriate.