Apostille - How to authenticate documents for use abroad

What is an Apostille?

An apostille is a certification provided under the Hague Convention of 1961 for authenticating documents for use in foreign countries. The sole function is to certify the authenticity of the signature of the document.

Put simply, an apostille is a certificate that is attached to another document so that it will be accepted when used overseas.

Why would you need one?

You may be asked to provide a true copy of the original as held on the public file in the UK.

In most countries now documents can only be seen as true copies of the original if they have been legalised.

Having a UK public document ‘legalised’ - this means a signature, seal or stamp made by a UK public official on the document is confirmed as genuine by the UK government.

Where can it be used?

The apostille is widely accepted by many countries that have signed up to the Hague Convention.

Currently, there are 98 Hague Convention countries and the list continues to grow on a regular basis.

What documents can be given an Apostille?

The most popular documents requested are…

  • Certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation
  • Certified copy of the Articles of Association
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Appointments, Resignations and Changes to Officers Details
  • Current Appointment Reports
  • Incorporation Documents


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