What is an apostille?

An apostille can be thought of as an international notarial certificate for the legal certification of foreign documents. Those countries who signed The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (‘the Hague Convention’) will accept documents legalised by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (‘the FCO’) without further legalisation processes.

For example, if a UK document has to be legally valid in Germany, the apostille issued by the FCO confirms to the German authorities that the signature, seal or stamp on the UK document is genuine.

What documents can be apostilled?

The FCO can only legalise original, signed or sealed documents issued by a public authority such as Companies House. If you need to have other documents apostilled which have not been issued by a UK public authority, such as a power of attorney, resolutions, or an affidavit, these will need to be notarised by a UK registered notary prior to having them apostilled.

Do I need to have documents legalised by the recipient Country’s embassy as well?

Countries which are party to the Hague Convention will accept documents legalised by the FCO without needing these to be processed further.

Countries not party to the Hague Convention may require documents to undergo additional legalisation or attestation by their embassy in the UK before the documents are accepted.

We would always recommend checking with the authorities in the receiving country whether legalisation at their embassy is required in addition to the FCO apostille.

How can London Registrars assist?

We can assist our clients by arranging for the documents to be notarised (typically requires a director to attend in person), apostilled by the FCO, legalised by the London embassy of the receiving country if required, and their return to the client (or direct forwarding to the foreign authorities requiring the documents).

As an ISO 9001 accredited organisation, we always aim to tailor our services to the specific requirements of our clients and ensure that they are delivered to the highest standards.

For an informal, no obligations discussion on how we can assist you, please contact us.