Proof and Identification, Documentation and Consultation

Proof and Identification: Individuals or Companies

In order to meet the high standard of Notarial acts, the Notary is required to obtain proof (to his discretion and satisfaction) of:

  • identity
  • any represented legal capacity and authority
  • clients understanding of documentation, interpretation/or translation into or from other languages
  • effectiveness of documentation
  • validity, signature and witnessing
  • observance of required formalities both in Hong Kong and abroad
  • and the requirements of the Court and/or any relevant consular or similar authorities.

PROOF OF IDENTITY: INDIVIDUALS

In the case of individuals, proof may be required, with production of appropriate certificates where applicable, of birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, deed poll on change of name, or statutory declaration. Identification of individuals will be required.

Individuals should produce a current passport or, in exceptional cases, other proof of similar validity and reliability, which may include identification by third parties known both to the individual and to the Notary.

PROOF OF IDENTITY: COMPANIES

In the case of companies, details of the proof and information required, depending on the circumstances and service required, should be discussed in advance with the Notary. Notarial attendance at a company board meeting may be required in some cases, which may be arranged at our offices if required.

Company searches may be required in support or proof of certain corporate acts. It is required that these are obtained direct from Companies House by the Notary, at the cost of the client. Time should be allowed to obtain these in advance of any personal attendance.

Apostille (and/or the endorsements of the relevant High Commission/Embassy/Consulate of the country in which it is proposed to use the document the subject of a Notarial act), is required in some cases for use abroad, as an additional authentication to notarised documents. This is usually obtained by the Notary at the expense of the client and is usually applied for by personal attendance or by the notary's representation.

Documentation

Preparation of documentation for Notarial action is formal and prior preparation of documents or draft documents may be required.

Early discussion of outline requirements with the Notary is advised.

Time, expense, and error, may be saved if clients, or their advisors, provide, in advance of any personal consultation, the originals or exact and complete photocopies of:-

  • all documents to be notarised
  • covering correspondence or forms of instructions from the country to which the documentation is to be provided that relate to that act
  • identification evidence (as referred to above)
  • Copies of documents produced ancillary to or in support of Notarial acts may be required for retention, as will copies or original duplicates of Notarial acts, to form part of the required Notarial register/record.

Documents to be notarised should not be bound, as the Notary may have to re-bind them with a covering Notarial Certificate.

Translations may be required of documents before and/or after or as part of a Notarial act. The Notary can usually arrange or advise on this aspect if required.

Consultation and Personal Attendance

An initial appointment and an appointment to finalise the Notarial act may be required, particularly if documentation has to be prepared in formal style.

Personal attendance at our office will usually be required to ensure all necessary secretarial facilities are available. However, in exceptional cases, attendance arrangements out of the office can be made.


Notarial Acts. Apostille or Legalisation.

notarial acts

Documents certified by notaries are sealed with the notary's seal or stamp and are recorded by the notary in a register (also called a "protocol") maintained and permanently kept by him or her. These are known as "notarial acts".

apostille or legalisation

In countries subscribing to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization for Foreign Public Documents only one further act of certification is required, known as an apostille, and is issued by a government department (usually the Foreign Affairs Department or similar). For other countries an "authentication" or "legalization" must be issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the country from which the document is being sent or the Embassy, Consulate-General, or High Commission of the country to which it is being sent.

In Hong Kong, this is done by a notary public (around 400 in Hong Kong) through the High Court.

For more information on Apostille service, also see www.ApostilleSeal.com