Notary Public Hong Kong
Notary Public Hong KongUpdated on Tuesday 29th September 2020
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A notary public in Hong Kong is an individual who the relevant experience and has been appointed to act in this capacity according to the laws in force, among which we can mention the Legal Practitioners Ordinance, the Notaries Public Rules and others.
Notarization is needed for a number of documents and as part of more complex procedure that demand the existence of documents that have been drawn up by a notary public in Hong Kong.
The experts at our law firm in Hong Kong present the main situations in which the services of a notary may be needed. As needed, we are able to provide more details to our clients and assist as needed during the legal procedures that demand this additional step.
Who can become a notary public in Hong Kong?
A notary public is an individual who has undergone a special examination, is registered with the relevant authorities, and serves as an official and a third-party witness to a number of documents. He is the one who has the capacity and the authority to certify that a certain document is genuine as well as authenticate a signature.
An individual is required to apply for certification as a notary public in Hong Kong and undergo the examination defined in the Notaries Public (Examination) Rules (Cap. 159). The person is required to hold a letter of no objection before the examination and a written notice. Moreover, the individual needs to have applied for membership with the Society of Notaries. In order to become a notary, the individuals is required to pass all the subjects in a single examination.
What are the services provided by a Hong Kong notary?
The notary public in Hong Kong can a both prepare and notarize (certify) certain declarations, documents and official acts. The documents are certified when the notary applies the seal or stamp.
The notary can also notarize foreign documents once a sworn translation is provided (the document’s translation is the one notarized and then used in Hong Kong as needed).
Some of the situations in which a notarized document is required are many of the ones in which our team of lawyers in Hong Kong can also assist interested individuals. The original document, as well as proof if identification for the individual requesting the notarization are required.
The purpose of the procedure is to ensure that the document is authentic. It is a manner of avoiding fraud and it is commonly requested by many institutions, either in Hong Kong or overseas.
The fees associated with the notarization of different documents, as well as other procedures undertaken by the notary himself are determined by the Hong Kong notary office and vary.
What types of documents can a notary public in Hong Kong issue?
Several types of documents are issued by a notary public. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Real estate documents: real estate purchase and sale agreements, private purchase sale agreements, and others;
- Business transfers: it is common for notarized documents to be required when a business is purchased by another individual;
- Estate planning: a will is drawn up in front of a notary public in Hong Kong; in fact, this is an essential step of estate planning;
- Power of attorney: this is a legal instrument that can be used in many situations and can be particularly useful for business purposes; it is drawn up in front of a notary public;
- Legalization or apostille: this is a certification of the fact that a document is valid and it is performed by the notary public; common documents include birth and death certificates, divorce decisions, passport copies, diplomas and other certificates issued by competent authorities; an important distinction is that the apostille certifies the use of the document in all countries that have signed the Hague Apostille Convention.
Our team of lawyers in Hong Kong can provide more details on the difference between an apostille, a legalization and a notarization.
The number of notaries in Hong Kong continues to grow, as reflected in the higher number of individuals who applies for the examination in 2019 compared to 2015. The data issued by the Hong Kong Society of Notaries shows the following:
- there were 293 individuals who applied for the examination in 2019;
- out of the total, 50 individuals passed both papers included in the examination;
- in 2015 the number of applicants was 240;
Investors, employees and other individuals will find that they will need the services of a notary public in Hong Kong on several occasions.
If you need legal assistance for drawing up documents, our team of lawyers in Hong Kong is here to help. Contact us if you have any questions about the services we provide or if you are in need of specialized assistance for a particular issue.