To Apostille or Not to Apostille?

If you’re wondering whether or not it is necessary to have your corporate documents Apostilled as

well as notarized, this may help eliminate your doubt…


You’re in the process of setting up an offshore company and you’re asked whether or not you would

like your corporate documents notarized and Apostilled. Is this necessary, you wonder, and what

precisely is the difference between these two kinds of certification?

First, to answer these questions, you have to understand the purpose behind such certifications.

By having your company’s corporate documents notarized, you are having the documents’

authenticity attested by a notary, i.e., a person lawfully authorized to perform such legal formalities

in the country in which your company has been incorporated. The apostille is an international

certification process that goes one step further. Recognized by the Hague Convention Abolishing

the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (also known as the Apostille

Convention), the apostille is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries

that are party to the Convention. An Apostille on a set of documents issued in one of the signatory

countries thus allows the papers to be recognized and used for legal purposes in all the other

signatory states, of which there are currently 105.

Second, you have to determine what it is you intend to do once your company has been set up.

Will you be opening a bank account for your new corporation? Will you be sharing your corporate

documents with other parties with the intent to sign contracts? And if so, in which countries will

such transactions be taking place? If the corporate documents are to be used across multiple

jurisdictions, then it is probable that they will need to be notarized as well as Apostilled.

Say, for instance, you have set up an international business company in the Seychelles; however,

the company’s corporate bank account will be opened with a bank in Saint Vincent and the

Grenadines. In all likelihood, the bank in Saint Vincent will request to see the company’s notarized

and Apostilled corporate documents in order to verify the company’s legitimacy because the IBC

has been established in another jurisdiction. As both the Seychelles and Saint Vincent and the

Grenadines are party to the Apostille Convention, the Apostille certification on the IBC’s corporate

documents provides evidence for the legality of the company’s registration. If, on the other hand,

the corporate bank account was being set up in the Seychelles, then the notarization and Apostille is

not technically necessary as the bank is operating in the same jurisdiction that issued the corporate

documents, hence it should recognize the authenticity of papers issued by the company registry

within the same jurisdiction.

To be safe though, it is usually advised to have your company’s corporate documents both notarized

and Apostilled in case such certifications are needed for whatever reason in the future. Moreover,

the low cost as well as short timeframe required to have these processes done, far outweigh

the trouble of not having your corporate documents notarized or Apostilled yet requiring such

certifications down the line.

SFM Offshore Reviews

SFM Offshore reviews

Wondering if you should put your trust in SFM’s company formation services? Trust our regulated reviews…


Leaders in the industry of onshore and offshore company formation and management services worldwide, multinationals, small and medium enterprises, and individuals consistently turn to SFM for their corporate requirements. We offer a range of professional services to facilitate the incorporation process in over 15 jurisdictions. From assisting in the formation of companies to registering and managing the corporate entities to accounting, auditing, and even virtual office solutions, our staff who are located in Geneva, Dubai, Hong Kong, and the Seychelles, provide clarity to clients who are looking for comprehensive support. Guaranteeing confidentiality, a competitive pricing policy, support from a knowledgeable staff, and best business practice standards, clients can rest assured when they choose to partner with SFM.


But if such reasons are not enough to persuade you to put your faith in SFM, then simply look to the hundreds of testimonials and reviews put forward by our clients. SFM proudly boasts a 96% client satisfaction rate, proof of which can be found on These are real endorsements left by our actual clients and each comment and rating is verified by the third party company,, assuring that SFM delivers on its promises. is completely independent of SFM so once our clients have gone through our services, they each have the opportunity to give honest and public feedback on their experience. These reviews are available for all to read on our Website, providing reassurance to prospective clients who are on the fence about choosing SFM for their company formation needs, as well as letting us at SFM know that we are continuing to meet the requirements of our customers.


“SFM has been efficient, supportive, and professional. Very patient and re-assuring!” reads one client’s feedback, while another says, “The offshore registration transaction was pretty straight forward. What should have been a similarly simple follow-up bank account setup became a convoluted process bogged down by compliance red tape. SFM persevered through months of paper work to get the job done. Really quite impressed.” Comments can be as short or as long as the client desires and reviews are also anonymous, once again guaranteeing that our client’s views can remain honest and authentic without fear of repercussions.


So put aside your reservations and contact us today to find out more about how we can be of assistance to you should you be thinking of setting up an onshore or offshore company. We welcome the opportunity to advise you and you can be sure that to maintain our exceptional client satisfaction rating, we will work hard to deliver on our promises and meet your requests.