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Notarise and Attest Australian Company Documents and Records

Prove that your company exists in Australia

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 – sometimes called a certificate of good standing.

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. The process that you must follow will depend on the intended destination country and the recipient.

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 the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. 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.

Quote - Company Documents

Registering your Australian company in other countries

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).

Quote - Company Documents

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).

Issuing a company certificate of good standing

There is no one specific certificate of good standing. It can mean different things and require different statements, facts or documents depending on the state or country where the certificate will be used.

At a very minimum, a certificate of good standing for Australian companies will verify that the company is registered in Australia, and generally attach copies of the certificate of incorporation and a company search. If required, a certificate of good standing can also include:

  • Information and documents relating to the individual directors or members/shareholders
  • Copies of the constitution (or articles of association, memorandum of association etc)
  • Extracts from the corporate register, such as copies of minutes or resolutions
  • Bank statements, financial statements and annual reports.

If you’ve been asked to provide a certificate of good standing relating to an Australian company, it’s best to find out what must be included in or attached to that certificate to ensure that you satisfy the requirements in the intended destination country.

Quote - Company Documents

How long does the notary process take?

The turnaround time to attest and notarise documents for your Australian company 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.

Quote - Company Documents

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 destination 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.

Document Legalisation Process in Australia (including apostille)

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Do you have any questions regarding this article?

Whether you’re notarising a document for the first time or the hundreth time, the requirements, processes, and terms can be confusing and daunting – or just a pain and a hassle (especially if you need an apostille, or to authenticate or legalise as well). Don’t worry! We’re here to simplify it, explain it, and help you with what you need to achieve it.

Contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about our notary public services. We’ve also created a flowchart to help explain notarisation, apostille, authentication and legalisation.

So, what’s next?

Visit our Notary Fees page for a free quote for our notary public services or just call us on +61 2 9687 8885 to speak with our friendly team about your requirements.

Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?

We’re a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney known for our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries, our low-cost fixed fees and service offering, and our availability to help on short notice. With our offices conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area, we help clients from across Sydney and beyond with personal, professional and timely notary public services.

Ern Phang, Notary Public
Ern Phang
Notary Public

This website is maintained by Phang Legal, a boutique law firm in Parramatta and a leading provider of quality notary public services to satisfied clients across Sydney.

Ern Phang is a director of Phang Legal and a notary public (since 2005). Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the issues faced by his clients in sending documents to other countries.

All information contained in this article is for general purposes only and correct at the time of publication. Only rely on information and advice specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.
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