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Doing Business Overseas? Take Our Public Notaries Crash Course on Apostilles | CM Law Blog

If you ever find yourself needing to conduct some sort of business overseas, a special type of lawyer or solicitor can help you out with handy little certificate. There are many Public Notaries in Sydney's Inner West and any one of them can give you an Apostille Certificate. But what is an Apostille Certificate?

A lot of the law, particularly international laws, can be confusing, and the system of Apostille Certificates is no different. But to help you get to grips with that special piece of paper, here are a few of the most common questions about Apostille Certificates answered for you:

  • What is an Apostille Certificate? Let's start with the basics of what an Apostille actually is. It's an official government certificate that will be attached to documents to authenticate the seal and signature of a Public Notary issuing the documents. Confused yet? The Apostille just proves that the Public Notaries who signed or stamped the document had the right legal authority to do so.
  • Why do you need one? You don't necessarily need an Apostille Certificate but they can be very handy if you intend to have documents used overseas. If you don't get the Apostille, you just have to visit more foreign representatives to confirm that your documents are legit. It's much easy to get the Apostille and not waste time.
  • What documents can it authenticate? Your Apostille Certificate can authenticate just about any sort of public document, including:

* Powers of Attorney

* Change of Name Documents

* Affidavits

For a more extensive list, visit www.apostille.com.au.

  • Where can it be used? Apostille Certificates can be used in any country that has signed the Hague Convention to end the required legalistion of foreign documents. Presently this includes almost 100 countries, though there are a few who haven't come to the Hague Convention but they still accept Apostilles.

How long does it take to get one? Where you could be waiting weeks to have your documents authenticated by a foreign representative, you can get an Apostille Certificate within three business days if you like. All you need to do is use the form on the Apostille Australia Certificate Service website (www.apostille.com.au).