What Does a Notary Public in Hong Kong Do?
For a moment, imagine these scenarios:
- You just got married and both of you are planning to live abroad.
- You just had a child and would like to live back in your home country.
- As a student, you’re looking into studying and living abroad for good.
In all these cases, you would need documents that are important for you to live your dream. Then, these documents require a stamp of approval from a notary public. Is there anyone who can help you with those? Fortunately, in Hong Kong, there are agencies offering notary services.
So, what does a Notary Public in Hong Kong really do?
What is a Notary Public?
In layman’s terms, a Notary Public is “someone legally empowered to witness signatures and certify a document’s validity and to take depositions.” Another definition would be “an officer of the law whose duty is to draw up, attest or certify certain documents under their signature and official seal.” They should be professionals practising their profession for at least seven years.
In Hong Kong, they are experienced solicitors which are registered in the Register of Notaries Public under the High Court of Hong Kong.
They are professionals who have the power to verify the authenticity of documents, contracts, business proceedings, transactions, and other important documents. Hence, with their help, they make a document legally binding.
What Do They Do?
A Notary Public in Hong Kong does the following:
- Certifies that a certain legal document is an original and not the kind which has a forged signature or done by a mentally incapacitated person by force.
- Authenticates a signature or witnesses a person’s identity in a notarized document.
- Issues a notarial/notarized certificate as proof of authenticity with multiple copies.
- Makes a certified true copy of an original document by stamping or embossing a seal.
- Witnesses the signing of a document to make sure that the integrity of the document is accurate.
The Notary Public in Hong Kong verifies that the signatures on a document were signed by the signatories with their own free will. Further, they ensure that the signatures were not falsified, nor achieved through intimidation, violence, and fraud.
The documents are accepted internationally for as long as the Notary Public who has done the witnessing is within the jurisdiction where the document was notarized.
The Notary Public will also verify the identities of each of the signatories. If they are really the signatories, the Notary Public will witness the signing. They will then mark the document with a seal or with a stamp. The seal should be registered in the High Court of Hong Kong and in many foreign consulates in Hong Kong.
If you have lost an original document, you may have to file for an affidavit of loss before you can have a copy of the original from the file to be certified for you.
This is because document certification requires the original document to be present before certification can be carried out. Such certification is evidence that the document is genuine and complete, and well-updated.
Since certification is valid only for a limited time, it is often requested around the time of use and not in advance.
Also, a Notary Public might do investigative research. For instance, if the director of a company wishes to sign a document on behalf of the company, they must convince the Notary Public that they have the authority to do so.
If a person is a director representing a foreign company, the Notary Public might seek some legal opinion from the jurisdiction in which that company operates. This lets the Notary Public know if the director may sign documents on behalf of the company.
The above are just some of the many services a Notary Public can offer to clients.
At 3E Accounting, we offer the best Notary Services in Hong Kong. You will be sure that your documents will be notarized, legalized, or certified – whatever authentication you might need. You can rely on our Notary Services in Hong Kong.
Contact us for more information.