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Why would I need my company documents certified and apostilled?

In order to make documents acceptable in another country – other than where they were issued. Without notarization and (often) apostille legalisation, You might be unable to use commercial or business documents issued by a Cyprus company back at home in your own country, or in any country where You plan to do business. This is generally true with any documents created abroad.

If you wish to open another financial account for your Cyprus company, purchase real estate or any other asset requiring public registration, establish a branch office or a subsidiary of your company, or enter into any similar transaction where you would have to present the company documents to an official third party outside Cyprus, Your documents need to be apostilled in order to be accepted.

Contrary to what the name may suggest, apostille does not have anything to do with religion. Apostille certification is a formal name for an official procedure, whereby official documents issued in one country are certified in a uniform way. By means of this certification, documents from one country become formally acceptable in any other country. This procedure was established by the 1961 Hague Convention. Almost all countries of the world are part to this Convention as of today – although there are a few exceptions.

At the apostille process, the signature of the officer, who has certified the document locally (usually, that the Notary or the Chief Registrar of the Companies Registry) is followed up by a second-level certification. A specific stamp or sticker, called “Apostille”, is attached to the document, besides the Notarial text. Contrary to a popular belief, the apostille does not confirm the actual contents of the document. apostille merely certifies that the first-level certifier – the Notary or the government officer – is real, and has the appropriate rights and powers to make the underlying certification in the first instance. In essence, Apostille is the official confirmation of the post and powers of the Notary or that of a government officer. Apostille is usually issued by a designated government institution – like, in Cyprus, by the Ministry of Justice and Public Order.

The full legalisation process of documents for international purposes is not always necessary. The receiving party (to whom You need to present the documents) should always be able to tell how they expect the documents to be certified. We can thereafter prepare the paperwork exactly as needed.