Notary Glossary

Notary Glossary of Terms


Academic certificates and qualifications
Often certified as true qualifications by a Notary Public.

Formal sworn statement of fact sworn before a Notary Public.

Solemn declaration for those who conscientiously object to taking a religious Oath usually done in front of a Notary Public.

Certificate under the Hague Convention and issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office verifying the Public Notaries signature and seal to be true.

To affirm to be correct and true.

A declaration of one’s own act to give it legal validity in the USA often needs to be acknowledged before a Notary Public.

Process where documentary evidence and other physical evidence is proven to be genuine. The job of the Notary is to authenticate deeds and acts to those abroad.

The power to make decisions. The Notary must establish that the person appearing before him/her has the authority to act.

A person legally appointed by another to act as his/her agent in the transaction of business.


Basing your office overseas
Setting up a branch office outside of the UK.

Bills of Exchange
Written unconditional order signed by a drawer such as a buyer and addressed to the drawee (typically a bank) ordering the drawee to pay a stated sum of money to a payee (often a seller) on demand or at a fixed time in the future.


Canary Wharf
A major business centre in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Legal qualification or authority which the Notary must establish the appearer has to enter into transactions on behalf of themselves or a corporate body.

Always check and agree charges with your Notary Public.

By a Notary Public confirms copies of original documents, official documents or foreign documents to be true copies, events can also be certified to have happened

Certified copies
Reproduction of a document or record authenticated by the issuing authority or competent third party such as a Notary Public.

Certified translation
Translation of a document or record authenticated by the issuing authority or competent third party such as a Notary Public, that the translated document is an accurate representation of the original.

Certificate of Good Standing
Confirmation from Companies House that a company has been continuous and unbroken since it’s incorporation and no action is currently being taken to strike the company off the register.

Child adoption (international)
Process whereby a person assumes parenting for someone who is not kin.

Commissioner for Oaths
Person qualified and authorised to administer oaths or to take affidavits and statutory declarations – solicitors notaries and Licenced Conveyancers are Commissioners for Oaths for UK documents, for documents going abroad a Notary must commission the oath.

A form of body corporate generally registered under the Companies Acts.

Companies House
The registrar of companies in England and Wales. On verifying the existence of a company a Notary will conduct a company search with Companies House who hold information on the status of the company, the directors, accounts and shareholder information.

Always check and agree costs with your Notary before instructing him/her.

Court of Faculties
The regulatory arm of Notaries Public part of the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.


Person who makes a declaration.

Signed legal instrument which is used to grant a right. In England and Wales Deeds must be signed in the presence of a witness. A Power of Attorney is a Deed.

A person who oversees the activities of a corporate body. Notaries are often asked to verify the authority of a Director as a signatory of a company.

A physical or digital representation of a body of information.


Education Certificates
Certificate showing academic achievement often needed to be notarised before going overseas to work.

Execution of deeds
Deeds must be executed properly. Individuals must sign Deeds in the presence of a witness who should also sign the document. Special rules relate to corporate bodies in how they should sign Deeds. A Notary Public can guide you on the intricacies of executing deeds properly.

Execution of documents
Often the execution of documents such as contracts need to be signed before a Notary Public.

A document presented along with an affidavit setting out further facts in connection with the subject matter of the affidavit sworn before a Notary Public. The Notary usually has to sign all the exhibits.


Always check and agree fees with your Notary before instructing him/her.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Government department responsible for promoting the interests of the UK overseas. The FCO issues Apostilles to public documents in the UK and has two offices issuing Apostilles. The Milton Keynes Office is open to the public whilst the express section in London is open only to Notaries Public.


General Notary
A general Notary Public in the UK is distinct from Scrivener Notaries who practice only in the City of London.

Globally recognised
Recognised throughout the globe – the work of a UK Notary is officially recognised in almost all countries of the world.


Urban centre in London and a key transport hub.

Hague Convention of 1961
Abolished the requirement for legalisation of Foreign Public Documents. Consular legalisation was replaced with an Apostille issued by the state and Apostilles are recognised by signatories to the Convention.

Identity verification
Process of verification of true identity, this can be done by a Notary public.

Every Notary Public must maintain professional indemnity insurance at a minimum level of £750,000.


Clause at the foot of an affidavit showing where when and before whom the oath was sworn or the affidavit made before a Public Notary.


Knowledge of foreign law
Notaries have some knowledge of foreign procedures and can guide you through the necessary processes involved in private international law


System of rules usually enforced through a set of institutions.

Capital of England and the United Kingdom.

The official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on a UK public document is genuine. An Apostille is provided by the FCO in London. Some countries may also require their consulate to verify the FCO Apostille. A Notary Public can guide you on the process.


A security or interest in a property for the repayment of money.


Notary Public
Public officer constituted by law to serve the public in non-contentious matters such as powers of attorney, providing certified copies, notarisation and authenticating documents.

Notarial Act
Any written narration of facts drawn up by an Notary Public (also known as Notarisation).

Common term for Notarial Act (see above).

French term for Notary Public.

Italian term for Notary Public.

German term for Notary Public.

Spanish term for Notary Public.


Office of the public Guardian
Government office set up by the UK government to help people who lack mental capacity.

A statement of fact calling on something or someone that a person considers sacred, usually God as a witness to the binding nature of the truth. Oaths can be sworn before a UK Notary Public.

Official documents
Documents issued by an arm of the state. These can be verified by a Public Notary.

Overseas companies
Companies who are not based in the UK.


Powers of Attorney
Document in which one person or a body corporate authorises another to act on his/her behalf. Confirmation is provided that the person giving the power of attorney has been identified and has the legal capacity and will to be bound by it – this is why a Notary is needed. The Notary also needs to confirm that the Power of Attorney has been properly executed in line with English and Welsh law.

Practice of law
Giving legal advice to clients, drafting legal documents and representing clients in legal negotiations and court proceedings.


Are earned usually through academic or professional bodies. They are often required to be verified by a Public Notary as genuine.
An estimate of fees – always receive a fee quote before instructing a Notary Public.


To register in writing facts for reproduction. A Notary Public is bound to keep records of each Notarial Act or Notarisation in a ledger and copies of Public Powers of Attorney (usually for use in Spain) must be kept forever.

A declaration that something is renounced. Usually a power of attorney.


Scrivener Notary
A notary who speaks more than two languages and works in the City of London.

An impression of the Notary’s stamp.

An officer of a Company.

One’s name as written by one’s self.

Statement of truth
Verification of truth of statement of facts by the person making such statement.

Statutory Declaration
A declaration made under statutory authority often before a Notary Public

To make a solemn declaration invoking a sacred person or thing to witness the honesty of the declaration. Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations are sworn before Notaries Public.


A written communication in another language than the first language. Translations are often required to be declared true translations before a Notary.

Trade Mark
A sign or trade name applied to goods or services in the course of business. Trade Marks are usually registered and are registered throughout the world.


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign state located in North Eastern Europe.

United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states in North America.

US Acknowledgements
A declaration of one’s own act to give it legal validity. Often US Acknowledgements must be signed before a Notary Public.


Valid execution requirements
Requirements to ensure a document has been validly executed. E.g. a deed must be signed by the person granting the deed and a witness. Notaries can verify that documents have been validly executed.

Verification of documents to take effect abroad
Verification by a Notary of the proper signing of documents.


Witness Statement
Formal document containing an individuals account of facts.


Edward Young Notary Public is a limited company registered in England and Wales (UK). Offices in Mayfair, London. United Kingdom.