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Consular authentication of corporate documents

The standard international format for legalisation of most documents is through Apostille den Haag being legalisation of documents in accordance with the procedures of the 1961 Hague Convention for Apostille. Information on this is included later in our website.

However, in some instances this generally accepted method is not suitable. Not all countries have signed the Hague Convention. These include, for example, Egypt, Thailand and Vietnam; so in the view of these countries, the legalisation of documents by Apostille has no legal effect. An entrepreneur who plans to open a representative office of a foreign company or to take other legal actions with any state bodies in the above such countries will have to carry out the process of consular legalisation of the company’s corporate documents. This will typically involve the following steps:

  • notarisation of corporate documents or their certification by another official in the country where the company is incorporated;
  • certification of the signature of the above official by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or similar organisation in the country where the company is incorporated;
  • certification of the signature of the above mentioned official by the consulate of the relevant country in the country where the company is incorporated.

China has also not signed the Hague Convention so an entrepreneur who plans to open a representative office or a subsidiary in China should proceed in a similar manner of consular authentication.

The same situation occurs where the company is registered in a country that has not acceded to the Hague Convention, including, amongst others, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Canada.

In order to open a bank account, even in banks of countries that themselves are members of the Hague Convention, companies of such countries will have to get their corporate documents legalised in accordance with the above consular procedures.

INTERNATIONAL OVERSEAS SERVICES will ensure appropriate legalisation of documents in any of the above cases.