Halt | January 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

What You Need to Know to Legalize Paperwork for Overseas

Whereas doing business overseas can open up a whole new world of opportunities and expand your horizons, it is also not without its challenges. You see, like most things in the business world, one of the most challenging aspects of doing business overseas, is the paperwork. Authenticating and certifying various corporate documents for use overseas can cause business owners a real headache. Despite the fact that we are living in an age where communications overseas can be made in milliseconds, additional processing of certain paper works is still often required before documents can be deemed as authentic and genuine by the foreign jurisdictions that requested them in the first place. To help make things that little bit easier, we’ll be looking at notarizing documents and will be taking you through the correct process on how to apostille a document to legalize it for overseas work.


To begin with, we’re going to look at Apostille. Now, in order to certify corporate paperwork and documents for use overseas, one of two paths are usually taken. Between countries which are party to the Hague Convention #12, you can certify documents via a streamlined process which is known as Apostille. In countries which happen not to be party to this convention, yet still require apostille certificates, things get trickier. Now, documents must undergo a more complex process known as authentication and legalization of documents. In this process within the US, secretaries of state, offices of county clerks or the equivalent, and even some county courts, can often be involved in this certification process.

Now, in order for an apostille to be obtained, a legal authority figure in the country of origin of the document will affix its seal to the documents in question. In some instances, a certified copy of the document is also acceptable. In some instances, this seal is attached to the document via a separate sheet of paper. This is called an allonge. Once a document has been affixed with an apostille, it is now legally acceptable for use overseas in foreign jurisdictions. The thing to remember is that in order for the apostille to be accepted, the document will need to have been issued by one country party to the Hague Convention, for use in another country party to the Hague Convention.


But what happens if apostille is not an option? Say for example, you’re looking to do business overseas in a country that is not party to the Hague Convention? Well, when apostille is not an option, any documents required for business purposes must instead be authenticated. This process usually begins with the appropriate party signing said document and then having it notarized. After this, state or county officials will go over the notary acknowledgement, examine it, and the U.S Department of State will then certify the document.


After a document has been authenticated, a foreign jurisdiction will then certify it to enable it to be valid in the country in question. This is a process known as legalization. This usually takes place at a consulate, or the embassy of the country in question. This is the final step in the whole of the authentication process.

To extend support to people who really need immediate assistance and notary, apostille and embassy legalization services companies like DC Mobile Notary are the most preferred and advisable options in Washington DC area.

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