Notary Services in Belgium
Notary Services in BelgiumUpdated on Saturday 20th April 2019
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A civil law notary is mainly concerned with drawing up authentic deeds which may be enforceable and are mandatory for some types of transactions.
Notary services in Belgium are commonly employed by investors as well as individuals who need to conclude private agreements or handle succession matters.
Our team of lawyers in Belgium can give you more information on when it is required to schedule an appointment with a local notary public.
The work of notaries in Belgium
Notaries offer various services in non-contentious matters for business or personal use. A notary in Belgium has the authority to issue special documents like a power of attorney or draw up statutory declarations, affidavits, apostils and draft other official acts as needed for legal purposes.
The services of a notary in Belgium are required in a number of cases, from drawing up the documents needed to company formation to solving more personal issues like arranging a will, authenticate personal documents or handle other types of documents.
When drawing up authentic deeds, the notary and the parties involved will need to follow a few steps. In some cases, the process can be more complex, especially in those situations when several documents need to be prepared. In summary, an authentic deed is drawn up in the following manner:
- The consultancy phase: the notary public will first discuss with the parties and present the different solutions; one of our attorneys in Belgium can also consult during this phase.
- Gathering information: once the parties have agreed on the documents that need to be drawn up, they will provide the notary with essential private and administrative information.
- Preparing the documents: the notary will first prepare a draft version of the documents, which, after approval, will be formally prepared and certified.
- Subsequent steps: the notary will also oversee that the following formalities are observed, such as submissions and transfers to the public registers.
The notary public always keeps an original of the deed in the archive. In some situations, the signature of the notary is not necessary. In these cases, the agreement drawn up in front of the notary is not subject to the same types of formalities and it remains a private document, that lacks the enforceability of authentic deeds. Individuals who prefer to draw up private agreements in front of a notary public can do so. An alternative is to rely on the services provided by our team of lawyers.
The experts at our law firm in Belgium can provide integrated notary services, as per your specific business needs.
Services offered by Belgian notaries
Belgian notaries offer a wide range of services and most of them are used to working with foreign investors in Belgium. Local notaries can be found in all of the three regions in Belgium, and depending on the region they may speak French or Flemish. In most cases you will need to make an appointment with the notary for services that require personal attendance, like the drawing up of a power of attorney.
Belgian notaries can help with the following services:
- • Certified copies: these are needed in many cases, for different types of submissions.
- • Legalized documents: this is the process of authenticating a document so that the Belgian courts will recognize it.
- • Apostille: an apostille is an authentication of a seal and signature of an official institution so that they may be recognized in other countries.
- • Will preparation: individuals who wish to draw up a will must sign it in front of a notary public and witnesses in Belgium.
- • Power of attorney: this is a document concluded by a notary public that empowers one individual to handle matters on behalf of another person.
Company formation in Belgium is also performed with the help of a notary public. The notary’s role is central for the incorporation of the new business as the available types of companies (the limited liability company, the public limited liability company, the single person company and the cooperative limited company) are incorporated by means of a notarial deed. For the purpose of creating a company in Belgium, the founders must present themselves in front of the notary and provide a set of information and documents. The notary will verify the payment of the share capital as well as review the financial plan for the legal entity. Once the deed of incorporation is drafted, the notary registers it with the Commercial Court and then it is published in the Belgian Monitor.
Notaries in Belgium can also handle matters concerning real estate. The parties can conclude the sale/purchase agreements in front of the notary public. A notary’s office will also provide pre-sale consultations and will offer information and drafts for the real estate agreements.
In most cases, the liquidation of succession is performed in front of a civil law notary. He is the one who can contact the heirs after the death of their relative and who will provide information on the inheritance process, the acceptance or the renunciation of the assets. Individuals who have a personal lawyer can have him handle this step instead of a notary public. However, when individuals wish to do so, they can even entrust the notary with additional procedures such as following through the entire division of inheritance.
Foreign investors and expats who want to live and work in Belgium will have to request the services of a notary in order to be able to prepare all the needed documents that must be submitted with the Belgian authorities for company incorporation or for obtaining a resident permit in the country. Likewise, individuals who have been living in Belgium and are interested in estate planning will also have to request the services of a notary to be able to draw up a will.
Other legal services in Belgium
Notaries in Belgium will have different fees for the services they provide. Our attorneys in Belgium can help guide you to a local Belgian notary depending on your place of residence and your needs. We can also help you if you are a foreign investor and language has been a barrier for you when trying to request the correct notarial service.
A civil law notary can provide advisory services for concluding legal documents and it is also the one allowed to established authentic deeds, a service that is separate from those offered by law firms. By working together with our lawyers and a civil law notary you will be able to conclude the necessary written documents and handle matters related to company formation, estate planning, selling or buying real estate and many others. Choosing the civil law notary is entirely an personal choice for the investor or individual. In most cases, the notary will be one based in the city where the individual will use the authenticated documents.
Our Belgian law firm offers a wide range of legal services, suited for both companies and individuals. You can contact our Belgian attorneys to find out more about our prices.