- Posted by consulia
What is the legalisation process and what does it involve?
Foreign citizens that have businesses or other interests in Italy are not required to travel to Italy to attend the handling of deeds or any of their interests personally, as most aspects can easily be dealt with by Power of Attorney (POA). A Power of Attorney can be, in accordance with Italian law, general, or specific for a single aspect.
The POA granting the attorney/s the powers to act on behalf of the principal will be drafted to meet Italian legal requirements and will then be signed in the principal’s home country before a notary public. So notarisation and legalisation are forms of legal certification that state that the document and the signature on the same are authentic.
For specific countries, formal documents may need both notarisation and legalisation; the notarisation certifies that the signature on the document has been verified, as the document has been signed before the professional. The notary will draft a statement after having witnessed the signature, stating that the document/s was signed in her/his presence and will also specify the date and notary’s name. The legalisation process is a second certification, certifying that the notary’s signature is also authentic. This step is required to ensure that the document meets the required standards and can be used in Italy, and proves that the document has been issued by the competent authorities.
To make things easier, as the legalisation process involves various foreign National authorities such as the Ministries of Grace and Justice and Foreign Affairs and, as a last step, also the Italian Embassy or Consulate, most countries entered the Hague Convention on Private International Law (HCCH) in 1961. This Convention abolished the legalisation process for foreign documents, providing the principal’s country is among those that signed the convention, and established that an apostille is attached to the document. The apostille stamp follows the notarisation and is sufficient to certify that the document is valid and can be used for its purposes in each contracting country. Italy entered the Convention, but not all countries have signed the Convention so it is essential to check that the principal’s foreign country is a contracting party to the same.
If you are seeking for more information on notarisation and legalisation or you are seeking assistance to draft or sign a Power Of Attorney contact one of our lawyers, by filling out the form below