When a document executed by a company in England or Wales needs to be presented to a foreign authority, it is often the case that the document needs to be notarised. The role of the notary is to provide reliable information concerning the document and the company itself so that the foreign authority, notary, or any third party, can rely on the document and the intended transaction or procedure can take place. The notary should be able to certify the name and personal details of the individual who signs on behalf of the company; how that person is linked to the company (e.g. whether the signatory is a director or an attorney-in-fact of the company); the fact that, at the time of the signing, the signatory is of sound mind and understands the contents and effect of the document; the current existence and main details of the company (e.g. company name, registered address, registration number, etc.); and the fact that the document has been correctly executed by the company in accordance with English law.
There are rules about who can sign documents on behalf of a company, and the notary will have to make sure that these provisions have been correctly followed before the notarisation can take place. When it comes to companies registered in the UK, the main provisions can be found in the Companies Act 2006, but there are other statutes that may be relevant, such as the legislation relating to powers of attorney and other legal provisions dealing with different types of entities (limited liability partnerships, companies registered abroad, etc.).