Are you a manager or director of an Australian company looking to operate overseas? Before you can operate overseas, some countries require you to prove that your company exists in Australia and that you are a director or an authorised officer of that company. Generally, all Australian company documents and records must be attested/verified, notarised (and potentially stamped with an apostille or authenticated and legalised) before you can use them in other countries.
In most cases, proof of your Australian company and your company directorship will come in the form of a current and historical company search from ASIC. The current and historical company search contains public record information about your company such as:
- relevant dates (like the date of registration and dates of changes)
- current and previous business address and registered office addresses
- current and previous director and member/shareholder details.
Occasionally, you may also need to provide other documents such as bank statements or financial reports, but this depends on the intended destination country and their specific requirements.
Registering your Australian company overseas
As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we attest and notarise a range of different documents issued in Australia for use overseas, including:
- Certificates of incorporation
- Certificates of change of name
- Company resolutions
- Company minutes
- Company registers
- Company share certificates
- Company searches
- Certificates of ‘good standing’
- Financial statements
- Audited reports
- Annual reports
This notary public service only applies to Australian companies registered with ASIC. If your company is from another country, you must seek assistance from within that country (not Australia).
What’s involved in attestation and notarisation?
We verify Australian company documents and records with ASIC or with whoever issued the documents before we attest or notarise them. All documents lodged with ASIC are available online, including the current and historical company search. Other documents must be verified with the relevant issuing body (ie, bank statements with the bank, financial accounts and audit reports with the accountants or auditors).
Once we’ve verified the documents, we’re able to attest and notarise them by:
- Certifying a copy of the documents stating that they’re a true and correct copy of the original documents; and
- Confirming that we’ve also verified the information contained in the documents with ASIC or the relevant issuing body.
We’ll attach a notary certificate containing those statements to either the original or a certified copy of your documents (depending on your preference and the requirements of your intended destination country). Also, if required by your intended destination country, we can arrange for your documents to be stamped with an apostille or to be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
How long does it take?
The turnaround time to attest and notarise documents depends on the issuing body. Documents obtained from ASIC generally will be completed on the same day because we can do that online, while documents issued by issuing bodies will be subject to their respective verification times.
If you also need us to help you with obtaining the apostille or authentication from DFAT, you should allow for another 5-10 business days on average. We’ll be able to confirm the timeline and turnaround time once we’ve been able to verify your documents.
Why do I need an apostille or authentication from DFAT?
Different countries around the world have different requirements when it comes to notarised documents. Some countries may require notarised documents to be stamped with an apostille while others require notarised documents to be authenticated. This is part of a larger legal process called ‘legalisation’. You must check the specific requirements of the intended destination country as well as the intended recipient to avoid any unnecessary delay or costs incurred by following the wrong process or not following the right process.
You can make your own arrangements with DFAT to have your documents stamped with an apostille or authenticated after we’ve attested and notarised your documents. Alternatively, we can handle this part of the process on your behalf because we frequently help many clients with the same requirements.
Other country-specific processes
In addition to attestation, notarisation, apostille or authentication and legalisation, some countries (and recipients) have their own specific requirements. You should always check with the intended recipient country or your intended recipients so that you follow their specific requirements. We help clients send their documents all over the world and we can help you with country-specific requirements too.