We offer a full range of Notary Public services for both individuals and businesses through our Company/Commercial Consultant, Sharon Stone, who is also a Notary Public for England and Wales.
Notaries are an independent branch of the legal profession. There is also a separate complaints procedure for Notarial work, which you will be informed of when you use the service. Sharon Stone is regulated as a Notary Public by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. She is also a member of the Notaries Society.
Notary Services in London
The duty and function of a Notary Public is to prepare, authenticate, witness and certify documents for use overseas.
A Notary will check your identity, that you understand the essence of the document and are willing to be bound by its terms. Notaries cannot give legal or commercial advice on your document. The Notary will certify the genuineness of the document and its execution by you, then sign and seal the document with an official notarial seal. The Notary's signature and seal verifies to the authorities in any country that such checks have been carried out and that the document is authentic.
If you sign in the capacity as a director of a Company, the Notary will need to check the registration and standing of the Company. Or you may be signing as attorney or agent for a third party. In all these cases the Notary will need to check your underlying appointment and be satisfied that you have the necessary authority to execute the document to be notarised.
Businesses involved in international trade and individuals with interests abroad, are at some time are likely to need the services of a Notary.
The documents which a Notary may be asked to prepare and/or certify are various and might typically include:
- All types of corporate or business documents including incorporation documents and Certificates of Good Standing;
- Powers of Attorney for use overseas;
- Bank instruction documents;
- Documents relating to buying and selling property abroad;
- Documents for use in foreign court litigation;
- Identity documents: passports/true likeness photos/utility bills;
- Documents relating to the administration of estates of people who have died or have assets abroad;
- Affidavits, declarations and depositions for use abroad;
- Verifying translations;
- Verifying academic qualifications;
- Immigration, emigration, residency or status documentation (e.g. OCI or PIO declarations for India) including sponsorship letters to support visa applications;
- Documents for people proposing to marry or work abroad;
- Change of name deeds and declarations;
- Consents to take children abroad;
- Adoption documents;
- Recording facts to serve as evidence in legal proceedings.
Many foreign documents require further authentication through a process called "legalisation". This enables foreign authorities to check that the Notary's signature and seal are those of a proper and qualified Notary. Documents bound for countries who are signatories to the Hague Convention of 1961 can be legalised by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth office by means of a certificate called an "Apostille". Documents going to other countries may require additional stamps and seals, typically from foreign embassies in London. Sharon Stone, our Notary, can arrange these services for you.
Seeing Our London based Notary
You will need to make an appointment to see Sharon Stone, our Notary. Please bring good evidence of your identity – ideally your current passport, identity card or driving licence with photo, together with a council tax or utility bill or a bank statement to confirm your address. Please also bring all relevant papers or documents which relate to the matter. It is always helpful to email in advance of your appointment, the documents you wish to be notarised. This may save you time and expense by enabling Sharon to resolve any queries before she sees you.
What Does it Cost?
Our minimum fee for notarial work is £60. More complex transactions might be charged out at an hourly rate. We will give you an estimate of the cost before we start work.
Fees may payable to third parties such as legalisation by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or a foreign Embassy or to other agents or couriers.
How Long will it Take?
If the document is straightforward, already prepared and in the correct form, your meeting should not require more than 30 minutes. If the document is more complex, or needs to be drafted or bound, the process will take longer. The Notary must keep a Register containing a copy of all notarised documents as well as of your identification evidence.
The legalisation process (see above) can take several days, although a fast track, more expensive same-day Apostille service is available and most foreign Embassies offer a faster legalisation procedure for an increased fee.