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Legalisation services - what is an Apostille?

Frequently, once a document has been notarised, some further formalities must be undertaken before it can be sent overseas, generally either in the form of consular legalisation (often referred to simply as consularisation) or an Apostille.

An Apostille is a certificate issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) confirming the signature and seal of the notary, in accordance with the Hague Convention dealing international legal matters. The FCO now only operate a postal service to obtain an Apostille, which can take a few weeks for them to process, but are open to professional users such as us, and so we would be pleased to help you if you cannot early and quickly attend to this yourself. This usually takes up to 10 days. We also offer an Express Apostille service.

Our fees for our Express Apostille service are £100 (including the FCO Apostille fee of £75, and courier fee to/from FCO).

Some countries still require notarial documents to be legalised, and the document must in these circumstances be presented to the consulate or other diplomatic representation of the country where the document is to be used. Again, we can arrange for a courier service to deal with legalisation at a number of agencies, and if this is required we will need to know in advance to obtain a fee quote from our courier agent.

What does it cost?

We normally charge a set fee of £150 per document/signature required to be attended to by the Notary Public.

If further independent witnesses are required, we charge £5 per witness.

For companies, we are required to undertake searches at Companies House and these cost in the region of £1 to £6, and these disbursements will be in addition to our fees.

A full quotation can only be provided if full papers are provided to the Notary Public in advance of making an appointment.

Non-routine work is charged for on an hourly rate basis. The hourly rate of the Notary Public is £295.00. The Notary Public will agree this with you beforehand, but can usually offer a fixed fee.

If you require an office visit, for company documents, we charge this on a time spent basis at the hourly rate of the Notary Public. We require you to send in full papers, so we can prepare and print any notarial certificates, and can invoice the company for the agreed fees.

We accept cash or cheque.

But all I want is a signature?

It is not just any signature that you are after, it is the signature and seal of a Notary Public that you require. A Notary Public is a specialist lawyer that deals with international legal matters, and so charges in accordance with the expertise they offer.

There are a number of professional obligations which are inherent in the process of notarising documents that the Notary must comply with, which include: identifying the Appearer; keeping copies of the Appearer's identification documents; ensuring that the Appearer has the necessary capacity to sign the document; ensuring that the Appearer has the necessary authority to sign the document; ensuring that the Appearer has read and understood the document and that they understand that they will be bound by the document; maintaining a protocol register of details of the Appearer and details of the work performed; keeping and storing copies of the relevant documents (for the rest of the life of the Notary, including making arrangements for the storage of your documents after death!). A Notary Public is usually a member of the Notaries Society, and is answerable to the Faculties Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Call us today on 01234 35 80 80 to speak to a member of our qualified team.