Apostille and Legalisation
Using an Apostille Certificate on your Company Documents
An Apostille certificate can be obtained for any UK company document. If you are planning on doing business overseas, importing or exporting, opening bank accounts in another country, then we can assist you with getting your documents legalised.
The following list is an example of some of the many documents that we legalise for existing UK and overseas clients operating UK businesses.
- Certificates of Incorporation
- Certificates of Good Standing
- Certificates of Name Change
- Memorandum of Association
- Articles of Association
- Company Registers
- Share Certificates
- Share Transfer Forms
- Power of Attorneys
- Meeting Minutes
- Bank documents
Foreign governments may request bearers of documents to have them authenticated - legalised. Legalising a document means verifying the signature of the person and/or the seal or stamp it bears. Please note that this process does not verify the contents of the document.
An apostille involves the addition of a certificate, either stamped on the document itself or attached to the document.
Apostille Certificates and Document Legalisation Service
- No additional charges for multiple documents under the same apostille certificate (where possible)
- Express same day service also available
An Apostille certificate authenticates the signature of the public official who has signed the document in your country. The Apostille certificate confirms the person that signed the document has the authority to do so and that the document should therefore be recognised as legal without further evidence in another country.
The certificate, placed on the document, is dated, numbered and registered. The verification of its registration can be carried out without difficulty by means of a simple request for information addressed to the authority which delivered the certificate.
- The certificate contains the following information:
- Country of origin
- Name of signatory on the document
- The capacity in which that signatory has acted
- If the document has been sealed/stamped instead of signed then the details of the authority
- Place of certification
- Date of certification
- Issuing authorities details
- Certificate number
- Stamp of issuing authority
- Authorised signature of authority
A Certificate of Authentication / Certificate of Good Standing - both domestic and foreign, only validates the signature of a notary public or certain local or state officers. The certificate of authentication does not validate the contents, completeness, or accuracy of the notarised or issued document. The authentication process includes matching signature and seal with the information on file.
Certificates of Incorporation and other documents issued by Companies House
We can arrange the legalisation of the originals of these documents only after they have been signed by an official of Companies House. When the originals do not bear an original signature of a Companies House official then they must be certified by a UK solicitor or notary public as being original documents. Photocopies of Companies House documents can be legalised if they have been certified by a UK solicitor or notary public as being true copies of the original document. Foreign governments may request bearers of documents to have them authenticated. Legalising a document means verifying the signature of the person and/or the seal or stamp it bears, this process does not verify the contents of the document.
What is Legalisation?
Legalisation simply means confirming that a signature, seal or stamp appearing on a document is genuine.
Why Documents need to be Legalised
The signatures or seals of British public officials (such as solicitors, notaries public, registrars) on certain documents like Powers of Attorney and Certificates of Good Standing from the United Kingdom have to be confirmed before those documents can be accepted overseas.
Photocopies of any documents must be true copies of the original and signed by a British practicing solicitor or notary public. Make sure the solicitor signs his or her own name, and not the company's name.
If they attach an apostille or legalisation certificate to a document, it only confirms that the signature, seal or stamp on the document is genuine. It does not mean that the contents of the document are correct or that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office approves of the contents. However, in certain cases, UK courts may need to confirm the signatures on documents presented to them.
Authenticating and Legalising Documents
- The Department of Foreign Affairs can authenticate documents executed for use in other countries.
- Authenticating a document means verifying the signature of the person and/or the seal or stamp it bears.
- Legalising the document means authenticating it for the purpose of making it acceptable in a court.
- The apostille or legalisation certificate attached to the document, confirms that the signature, seal or stamp on the document is genuine.
An apostille enables the presenter to bypass further certification and immediately use the documents in the intended country. It involves the addition of a certificate, either stamped on the document itself or attached to the document which certifies:
- Country of origin of the document
- Name and identity of the signature - Capacity in which a document has been signed
- Official seal - Name of authority which has affixed a seal or stamp to the document
- Place, date and document number
Certificate of Authentication/Legalisation
A Certificate of Authentication only validates the signature of the notary public or state officers. The certificate of authentication does not validate the contents or accuracy of the notarised or issued document. The authentication/legalisation process simply means confirming that a signature, seal or stamp appearing on a document is genuine.The signatures or seals of British public officials on certain documents like Powers of Attorney and Certificates of Good Standing from the UK have to be confirmed before those documents can be accepted overseas. Photocopies of any documents must be true copies of the original and signed by a British practicing solicitor or notary public. If they attach an apostille or legalisation certificate to a document, it only confirms that the signature, seal or stamp on the document is genuine. It does not mean that the contents of the document are correct or that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office approves of the contents.
|An UK Apostille typically takes 2 ~ 15 days.|
To get your documents as quickly as possible the Express service can be used which halves the time taken to obtain the certified copies then have them apostilled.
|Apostille Express Service - 3 days||£320|
|Apostille Express Service - same day||£490|
|Certificate of Good Standing Express (1-2 Days)||£80|
|Certificate of Good Standing Normal (5-10 Days)||£60|
Fee per document
|Companies House Certified Document (same day service)||£104|
|Preparation of Document for Notarisation||£67|
|Companies House Certified Document (normal service)||£54|
|Apostille (normal service)||£67|
Notes on Fees
Notaries are rarely used in the UK. A UK Notary requires a fee of £72 per signature. Our fee includes the notary fee, administration, travel to and waiting time at the notaries offices.
Documents that are certified by the UK company registry do not require notarisation prior to apostille
The fee for the Apostille express service includes the travel to and waiting time at the Legalisation Department London
|Most documents can be apostilled providing they bear an original signature, seal or stamp from a UK public organisation or official.|
United Arab Emirates
|All documents require certification by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office before presentation to the UAE Embassy for legalisation.|
|Certificate of Incorporation, Certificate of Good Standing etc||£400 UAE fee|
|3 days - express service same day £10 per document|
|Certificate of Incorporation Apostilled from Panama takes 10 days our fee is £180 + air courier £50 and the Panama government fee is £260|
|Full set of certified copies of primary documents Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles, First Resolutions certified by Notary and Apostille for international use.||£480|
|Certificate of Good Standing||£100|
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