An Apostille certificate is an official government document that authenticates the signature of a public official or a notary public. Businesses expanding overseas typically prepare contracts, letterers of incorporation, powers of attorney in order to conduct their business and comply with international bureaucracy.
Essentially an Apostille certificate will verify the role of a State registrar, Secretary of State or notary public with any company and provide them with a variety of business rights that will speed the process of signing contracts and making decisions with overseas suppliers as well as opening bank accounts and even competing for government projects.
There are currently 156 countries in the world members of the Hague convention require the use of Apostille certificates in order for international businesses to register their companies and conduct business, please see list at the bottom.
This means that if you plan on doing business Europe, Asia or Latin America you should enquire with your legal counsel in the destination county as to which documents you will need to Apostille, you will need to sort out the Apostille requirements and get the required certificates organized before you can legally accept a contract or do any business with these international suppliers. With an Apostille certificate it's possible for a notary public or company employee to sign corporate documents under powers of attorney, change of name documents, affidavits and more, Apostille certificates can ensure that all business practices take place under full legal guarantee.
The process of getting Apostille certificates is fairly complicated. Using the services of a competent and experienced Apostille service company will ensure that your documents will be processed promptly and most importantly, correctly. You can always process your own Apostilles but consider that it's possible that you could be waiting weeks to receive the documents back form the Secretary of State. Make sure that your international business ventures run as efficiently as possible.
If the county where you intend to conduct business is in this list your will need an Apostille Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, China, People's Republic of, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Republic of, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela.
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