Okay, so you’ve been told that you need to legalise a document. The chances are that you are doing business abroad and, because the documents relate to a different judicial system, you must have them officially legalised. This effectively means that you are required to run the documents past an officially approved third party to validate their authenticity such as a UK Notary.
Matthew Pryke is a fully qualified UK Notary Public who provides a complete range of legalisation solutions and UK Notary services from his offices in London’s West End. He has produced this brief guide to enable people who require a document to be legalised in the United Kingdom to fully understand their UK Notary legalisation options.
Five Legalisation tips everyone should know
1. Always obtain a legalisation fee quote in advance. Any UK Notary should be able to give you a clear idea of how much the procedure will cost you in advance of retaining their services.
2. Shop around. As with any consumer choice it pays to compare the legalisation marketplace. Prices vary considerably. Some UK Notaries charge VAT on their prices. Others do not. This will save you 17.5% of the fee before you even begin to compare services.
3. The legalisation process can be lengthy. It may be necessary to queue for hours on end at certain Embassies and Consulates. This may be acceptable if you can spare the time and manpower, otherwise your UK Notary may be able to recommend cost effective solutions to obtain this on your behalf.
4. Make sure that you give your UK Notary clear instructions as to the deadline for receiving the legalised documents. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (who administer apostilles) offer differing levels of service and cost depending on how quickly the documents must be legalised. If your documents are not urgent, take care that you are not paying a premium for a service that you don’t require.
5. Ask questions. Experienced UK Notaries Public will be aware that this may all be new to you and will be able to reassure you over any complexity that arises and to explain the issues in clear, plain English.
If you have any queries about the UK Legalisation process, please contact M D Pryke Notary Public LLP and they will be delighted to address your concerns.