An Apostille is the certification of a document by government authorities so that the document is legalised and authenticated for international use. It is an international certification comparable to a notarisation in domestic law. Countries that have signed up to be part of The Hague Convention for Legalisation of Foreign Public Documents will accept such certified documents between them.
Such documents may be required if your company is signing legal contracts in a foreign jurisdiction or opening a bank account in a foreign jurisdiction. They are also required if you wish to register a branch of your company or a place of business in another country.
Before the document is apostilled, the document must be signed by an official public officer e.g. in Ireland it includes such officers include the Registrar of Companies and authorised Revenue personnel or else a Notary Public. In Ireland, the apostille stamp can then be issued by the Consular Section of Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. The apostille stamp verifies the authenticity of this signature so that it is a genuine and official document for international use.
Apostille of Documents
Documents that would be commonly required to be authenticated and apostilled would include the following:
- Certificate of Incorporation or certified copy thereof
- Company Constitution / Memorandum & Articles of Association
- Certificate of Incumbency
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Tax Residency Certificate
- Power of Attorney
- Resolutions passed and Minutes of meetings held
- Passports and proof of address of individuals
- Declaration of Trust
See the following link to see what countries have ratified the 1961 Hague Convention on the legalisation foreign documents: Hague Convention Countries
Notarisation of Documents
As stated above, the Notarisation of documents is used in domestic law; this process is used to legally certify that a document or a signature is authentic and true. A notary or notary public is a public officer who is appointed by the Chief of Justice to notarise documents. They serve the public in matters usually concerned with foreign or international business and may also be able to arrange further legalisation that is required.
Notaries can verify and legally certify a deed, a contract or other document as well as:
- Authenticate documents
- Witness and sign documents
- Administer Oaths
- Take affidavits (not to be used in Irish courts)
- Draft Powers of Attorney and other legal documents
Company Bureau can assist you with the apostille or notarisation of documents for an Irish Company in just 1-2 working days. We can also assist with arranging other certified documents such as those certified by the Companies Registration Office in Ireland and also arranging Notary certification of documents. We also have an in-house Commissioner for Oaths who can certify most documents for you.