What is an Apostille?
The word Apostille is French for the word Certification. The purpose of an Apostille is to certify documents from one country for use in another country.
Here is an example: Say you have a Florida Corporation and that Corporation decides to open a branch office in Germany. The Florida Corporation would need to present a Certified Copy of its Articles of Incorporation and a Certificate of Status with an Apostille. These documents would be obtained from the Florida Department of State.
The documents with Apostilles would then be presented to the Company Registration Authority in Germany in order to open a branch office in Germany.
On October 5th, 1961, the “Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents”, was signed in the Netherlands. The first two countries to have the Apostille Treaty come into effect were France and the United Kingdom.
Currently, there are 108 parties to the Hague Convention.
- The list of countries that are party to the Hague Convention are listed here.
What if I need to qualify my company in a country that is not party to the Hauge Convention?
If you need to qualify a company in a country like China, who is not a party to the Hauge Convention, you would need to take the Certified Copy of the Articles of Incorporation and have it legalized by the Chinese embassy for use in China. The Apostille avoids having to go to the embassy.
- The list of countries that are not party to the Hague Convention are listed here.
The following are a few examples of Apostille forms. The form of the Apostille is the same regardless from where it is issued.
Superbiz can obtain Apostilles for Corporate and LLC documents. Our fee is $95 plus state fees.
You can read more about Apostilles in this wikipedia article