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Official documents are valid only in their own country. Therefore, to be recognized for use abroad, they have to be authenticated, legalized, or depending on the country, furnished with an “Apostille of the Hague.” The apostille is an international certification comparable to a notarization and is only valid in countries that are part of the Hague Convention. For all other countries not in the Hague Convention, consulate legalizations would be required in order to legalize your documents. Legalizations from the consulate involve dealing with 3 different State agencies.
The process of the legalization is broken into two steps.
The first step is to obtain the correct legalization from the State of formation or the State of Delaware. There are several different ways to go about consulate legalizations based on the type of document you are having legalized. Below is an outline of the different types of documents:
Documents Issued from the State of Formation
Documents such as good standings or certified copies will not require certification from a notary or additional certification from the State of formation as they are already considered certified. We will obtain the good standing or certified copy from the State of formation for you.
Documents Provided to Us by Your Company
Internal documents, such as operating agreements, resolutions or by-laws, will require a notary certification. We can provide a "confirmation of receipt," which states the type of document, when it was provided to us, and if the document was original or not. This document is signed by Harvard Business Services, Inc. and then that signature is notarized by a notary public. We will then obtain a notary certification from the State of Delaware which confirms the notary's appointment.
Documents Created by Us for Your Company
Other internal documents, such as powers of attorney or certificates of incumbency, can be obtained from us and then sent to the consulate for legalization. The documents created by us will contain a notary signature eliminating the need for a confirmation of receipt. However, a notary certification will still be required. Please contact our office to find out the requirements for obtaining a custom document from us.
The second part of the process is the legalization before the U.S. Department of State and the consulate of your choice. The documents must be legalized first by the Department of State and then by the requested consulate. This process can take anywhere from about 2 weeks to 1 ½ months depending on the consulate. The consulate will send the documents back to us by express courier. We will then email the documents to you for your files and courier the originals to you for an additional fee. The cost of the actual legalization from the Department of State and the consulate varies depending on the country that is required.
Please contact our office to inquire about pricing, 1-800-345-2677. Harvard Business Services can take care of the entire process for you and eliminate the hassle!
*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.