Legalisation of Documents

Document legalisation is a way by which a signature, seal or stamp on a document that is any document, executed in the UK is confirmed as authentic. Documents are generally legalised so that those documents may be used in other countries for official purposes without the need of providing further evidence. For an example, if a person wanted to register a trade mark in Kuwait, they would need to execute a power of attorney which would then be signed and legalised at the Foreign and Common Wealth Office, authorising the lawyer in the UK his behalf in filing their trade mark in another country.

The process

In the UK, a document is legalised at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They legalise various company documents and it can take as little as 24 – 48 hours for them to carry out the legalisation if the:

1. Documents are signed and witnessed by a solicitor.

2. Payment is made online (at present cost per signature is £30.00).

3. The application form is filled in correctly.

4. A self addressed A4 envelope is included.

It is very important to ensure everything is filled out correctly to avoid delay as this process can take as little as 24 hours to be completed. Once the documents are legalised they are sent back to you.

Referring back to the example of the trade mark registration in Kuwait, once you receive the Power of Attorney back it is important to visit the Kuwait embassy to have the document notarised in order to allow the document to be used in Kuwait as proof. This is a simple process and can be done in the following way:

By Post

1. Post the document that has been legalised to the relevant embassy (in the case of the example referred to above, you would post it to the Kuwait embassy).

2. Along with the document a postal order would need to be sent for the amount the embassy charges for the notarisation per document.

3. You would need to include a self addressed A4 envelope so that they documents can be sent back to you.


You may take the legalised documents directly to the embassy and have them notarised the same day. The costs stay the same per document. Generally embassies will take documents in between 9 – 12pm and then you would pick them up at an allocated time and your transaction is complete. However every embassy varies in time so it is best to check before visiting.

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