Official and transactional documents often require the seal of a notary public to confirm their authenticity. A notary will do this by putting their signature or a seal on the relevant document. This is common for individuals where documents are meant for international use, such as personal documents used for immigration purposes. It can also include documents dealing with the purchase or sale of land abroad.
Businesses or organisations may also need notary services, such as if you’re planning to form a subsidiary company abroad.
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.
For individuals, you may need your documents authenticated by a notary and then legalised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with 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 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. Contact our team on 0370 1500 100 if you’d like to find out more about our notary services.
Making An Appointment And Being Prepared
Our notaries are based in our offices in Chichester and Crawley (Gatwick), they’ll provide a personal service in these areas. Appointments with our notaries are typically available within 48 hours and are between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. If necessary, you could arrange an appointment outside of these hours, but there may be an additional cost.
Your appointment 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.
If your situation is more complicated, it may take between three and fourteen days to complete. We’ll discuss any work needed and the time it will take in your appointment with us. The typical steps to complete our notary service will include:
- Receiving and reviewing your documents and any instructions you have about how we should notarise the documents
- Liaising with your legal advisers or other bodies to get any necessary supporting documents, such as information from Companies House or foreign registries or powers of attorney
- Checking the identity, capacity and authority of the person who needs to sign the document
- Checking with the issuing authorities that the document or award is genuine. If an award needs certifying, we would check with the appropriate academic institution
- Meeting the signatory to verify their identity and to make sure they understand what they’re signing
- Making sure the signatory is signing with their own free will and ensuring that the document is executed correctly
- Drafting and affixing or endorsing a notarial certificate to the document
- Arranging for the legalisation of the document as appropriate
- Arranging for the storage of copies of all notarised documents according to the requirements of the Notarial Practice Rules 2019.
You must bring an original identification document (e.g passport, driving licence or national identity card) for each individual signatory. You’ll also need 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’ll also need evidence of the due incorporation of the company or organisation.
We charge a minimum fee of £150 + VAT. If your documents take longer to prepare, we charge an hourly rate between £290 - £305 plus VAT. Typical costs for the services outlined above are between £150 - £350 plus VAT.
The above fees do not include fees paid to third parties, such as the FCO or foreign consulates. They can charge between £54 and £150 including VAT. We’ll advise you of the exact fee if necessary.
Our solicitors who carry out our notary service are Michael Camps, Iain Macleod and Lucy Samy. They are each English Notaries and are regulated by the Master of the Faculties through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Our Notaries are covered by professional indemnity policy for at least £1,000,000.00.
If you're unhappy with our notary services, please see our complaints procedure for information about how you can give feedback to us or The Notaries Society.