Notarising and Legalising Documents in Singapore

Notarising and Legalising Documents in Singapore

Singapore’s reputation as a excellent place to do business is well deserved, and in many ways owing to its laws and regulations that ensure that documents and transactions are beyond reproach. The procedure is different depending on whether the documents are to be used inside or outside of Singapore.  It is very important to know when legalising documents is required, so that a business deal or legal proceeding is not slowed down or compromised.


This process is to certify that a document is an authentic copy and/or has been validly executed.  In Singapore, this must be done by a highly experienced lawyer who has been appointed to serve as a Notary Public under the Notaries Public Act.  This ensures the utmost integrity for documents notarised in Singapore.

There are two basic type of documents that require notarisation.  Documents that must be proved genuine and documents that provide authority, such as a power of attorney.  The notary will advise you about the document and will issue a notarial certificate which must contain the notary’s full name, his status as a notary, his certification and attestation for legal execution or a true copy.  The date and place where the notarisation occurred must be included.


Legalising documents in Singapore is a much more rigorous process which will enable the use of the documents for official purposes domestically and abroad.  Some countries such as the United Kingdom do not require legalisation of Singapore documents, so before investing in this process, you should make certain it is needed.   Singapore government issued documents such as passports must be presented at the Consular Service Counter at the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for legalisation.  For computer generated documents, they must first be endorsed by the department that issued the document before the MFA will legalise it.

It is more complicated to legalise documents that are issued outside of Singapore.  These documents must first be notarised, then the signature of the notary must be authenticated.  A commercial document, such as a bill of sale, must then be certified by either the “Four Chambers of Commerce” or the “Singapore Manufacturing Federation.”  Once this is accomplished, the document is ready for legislation by the MFA and presentation to the foreign country.

These procedures are indeed complicated, and that’s why you need to hire an experienced Singapore Notary Public when you are involved in a business venture, or legal matters, where legalising documents in Singapore can be anticipated.  A notary public can advise and guide you through these processes, so that all your business and legal matters go smoothly and profitably.