Legalization of documents


When doing business with a foreign country you may need to "legalize" documents during your process. This may be invoices, certificates of origin, power of attorneys and other business documents. This is a way to make the domestic document legal in the other country. It assures that all signatures are made by the given persons and that they have the right to sign it.

Note that the consulate only checks if the document concerns it's country, it doesn't normally have any other concerns regarding the content of the letter.

Here is an example:

The CEO, Mr Example, has signed a document, let's say a contract. He does so in the precence of a NotaryPublic. The Notary Public, stamps the document giving it guarantee that the signatory of Mr Example is real. Now Mr Example takes the document to his Foreign Ministry who stamps it with it's seal, giving guarantee that the Notary Public's signature and seal are genuine. Then he takes the document to the Consulate of the country in question who stamps the letter again with it's seal, guaranteeing that the stamp of the Foreign Ministry is genuine, and that the person signing on behalf of the Ministry has the right to do so. The document is now legal in the foreign country in question.

In some cases a consulate may legalize the stamp of the Chamber of Commerce, but often the consulates only have lists of the personnel working at the Foreigh Ministry.

Note that the legalization process only has little or nothing to do with the actual content of the letter, they confirm the seal. But if they do not see ANY connection between the content of the letter and his country, i.e that it has nothing to do with anything in his country he may not accept to legalize it.