Document Authentication

The Importance of Document Authentication for Business

In all matters, care should be taken to establish trust. This is especially true in business. Many parties will be invested in the success of an enterprise, from managers, executives and stockholders, to employees and their families. The consequences of a missed opportunity can be expensive and disheartening. Whether you are representing a business as an attorney, or you are representing your own organization, there can be no doubts about the validity or authenticity of any transaction.

Document Authentication and Legalization

Document authentication is a key step in a shared legitimacy process called Authentication and Legalization. If the document was not issued by the local government, preparation will often involve having a notary witness an official signature. Once the document is eligible, the relevant office of the issuing nation will authenticate it. In Canada, this can be accomplished at the office of Global Affairs Canada.

Once authenticated, your document will move to the next step, called document legalization. Document legalization requires that a representative from the foreign mission attest to the authenticity of the domestic signatures. Because this process is such an involved one, many nations have moved to a simplified process called an apostille. For anyone doing business in Canada, the full authentication and legalization process must still be followed for every public document.

Document Authentication and Legalization For Corporate Documents 

Much of running a business involves working with lenders and banks. These days, those partnerships are global ones. Having director’s certificates and certificates of good standing authorized is critical for international lending and for making sure your good reputation follows your business.

For employees acting in official capacity overseas, you’ll need authenticated credentials for many situations. If you have lawyers representing your global interests, you may need Powers of Attorney attestation.

Incorporation and formation documents can require authorization, as well as merger documents. If your business is expanding its operations, you’ll see real estate and leasing paperwork being tested internationally. Patent applications and trademark paperwork must work across borders.

Documents for tax and probate purposes, regulatory paperwork for agency requirement certifications, the list goes on.

Even just making copies for use internationally can require regular document authentication services. Often, duplicated documents need original signatures, and each time those documents are signed, the authenticity of that new document will need to be verified.

To avoid costly delays, every document must be correctly prepared and promptly processed. Many corporations place their trust in a reliable third party to guarantee success. Having a dedicated professional service oversee the authentication of your corporate documents can be a priceless asset. 

Do I Need My Document Legalized?

Document legalization services are a core consideration of any international affair. Inside and outside of the corporate world, the chain of trust that document Authentication and Legalization creates is used extensively. If you’re unsure that your particular situation will call for legalization services, or need assistance in any area of the process, contact the Legalization Service Centre and we’ll help you through it.

Document Legalization

5 Common Reasons For Document Legalization

Every year, thousands of Canadians find themselves in situations where it becomes a necessity to verify the authenticity of their public documents. From students transferring institutions, to corporate officials expanding or invoicing internationally, legalization plays an important role.

Document legalization is one aspect of the Authentication and Legalization process. When having a Canadian document legalized, your public document must first be correctly prepared. This can involve having the document notarized or translated, depending on the purpose.

Once the documents are prepared, they must be authenticated by the local government, usually at the office of Global Affairs Canada, where it will gain a signature or other form of certification. Afterward, the embassy or consulate representative of the country in which your document will be recognized must affix their own mark of verification.

Degrees, Diplomas and Transcripts

Students transferring from a degree program in their home country, to another institution abroad will require verified transcripts. In addition, work undertaken in a foreign nation may require proof of a high school diploma or university degree. The standards of accreditation can vary greatly across the globe, and the Authentication and document legalization chain can help make sure no hard work goes to waste.

Visas and Vital Certificates

Some of the most common documents required internationally, passports and visas, provide more than simple verification of identity. Visas are often used for work and school purposes, and passports grant access to domestic embassy services in foreign countries that can be very useful to travelers. In an event where a domestic embassy needs to replace or make a copy of your passport, having a legalized birth certificate can expedite the process.

Marriage, Divorce and Adoption Certificates

Different nations provide different protections, but almost every country recognizes the institution of marriage. In order to guarantee the rights of a spouse under the marriage contract, that document must be recognized as legal and undergo document legalization process. Conversely, former couples may need to prove the validity of their divorce before marrying in another jurisdiction. Adopting a child from another country will require paperwork that must be authenticated.

Powers of Attorney, Background Checks

It should come as no surprise that, as a matter of practical international law, document legalization services are utilized commonly in legal matters. Both private and corporate lawyers use document legalization services for a variety of applications. Lawyers acting on behalf of their clients abroad will need to show powers of attorney to represent their clients. Criminal records and fingerprint checks used in employment or in litigation will require verification. Affidavits sworn in foreign courts must meet the standards of any judiciary in which they are applicable.

The Unexpected

The truth is there are too many situations to cover in this short article. If you’re travelling or doing business internationally, there’s a good chance you’ll be looking for legalized documents. Every nation has different regulations, and some regulations are revised regularly. For all the varied circumstances, Legalization Service Centre is here to help you avoid frustrating complications and delays. Contact us about your plans, our professionals will make sure you and your documents are prepared for whatever the circumstance requires.

Document Legalization

Why Document Legalization is Different in Canada

Many things set Canada apart from our world neighbors, and one of them is the process of document legalization. If you have ever sought attestation for your documents before, you may have heard the Apostille process mentioned. This is a distinct set of procedures that, in many other countries, serves the same purpose as Canada’s authentication and legalization process. The difference in procedure can add to the confusion surrounding issues of international document certification.

What is Canada’s Document Legalization Process?

In Canada, your public document passes through many trusted hands to make sure it is authentic, and that all relevant information including dates, signatures and seals are valid. This is the process of authentication and legalization, also known as attestation. Attestation will include the steps of authentication by Canadian authorities and legalization by foreign consular officials. In some cases, the signature of a notary is also required.

What is the Apostille Process?

In 1961, a conference was held at the Hague to discuss conventions of international law. It was here that the signing nations agreed upon a standard procedure they would all use for certifying public documents. It is formally called the Convention Abolishing The Requirement of Legalisation For Foreign Public Documents, though it is also known as the Legalization Convention or, more commonly, the Apostille Convention.

Apostille resembles the simple process of a notary, only specifically intended for international purposes. A single official recognized by both nations is all it takes to apply an Apostille and certify the validity of a shared document.

Why Has Canada Not Signed the Apostille Convention?

Initially, Canada was not satisfied with the Apostille Convention. This was mainly due to the lack of a Federal State clause which would have allowed individual provinces to implement the convention’s stipulations locally at their own pace.

Since 1961, a majority of countries have signed the treaty. Chile signed on to the convention in August of 2016. In that country, there was a call from international stakeholders in Chilean businesses to streamline what they considered troublesome and time-consuming regulations.

Currently, there are barriers to implementing the Apostille process in Canada. Setting up the new system requires resources, and existing professionals stand to lose revenue or even their jobs. Additionally, officials in the attestation chain might not fully trust being streamlined out of the process. Canada’s current authentication and legalization process might be a little complicated, but the strength of a certifying institution may lie in its thoroughness.

Will Apostille Ever Be Adopted In Canada?

It’s hard to tell if Canada will eventually become a member of the Apostille Convention. While the treaty continues to slowly draw in more signatures, no recent moves have been made by our government, and it does not appear to be a priority issue at this time.

Over the decades we’ve been helping customers through the document legalization process and we have developed a keen eye for detail. The Legalization Service Centre has always taken care to verify that all documents meet every requirement in both Apostille and non-Apostille countries. We’re certain to offer experienced service assisting our customers, no matter what tomorrow’s circumstance may bring.