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【Company Secretary】Signature Certificate Part 2, Notarization, Legalization, and Apostille

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ARK Outsourcing KK provides one-stop service mainly to Japanese branches or subsidiaries of foreign-based companies.
In this article, we will introduce the basic information about making English company documents such as articles of incorporation or meeting minutes in a dialogue style. The contents of this article are based on discussions in our internal study group.

Ken (male):      Ken is 22 years old. He has been with ARK for a year. 
                 (He has been studying English with Podcasts.)
Emma (female):  Emma is 34 years old. She is a mother of one child and a trainer at ARK.
George (male):   George is 46 years old. He has been working hard to become a paralegal.

Emma-san, we have completed ① creating articles of incorporation and ② performance of contribution. Now, we move on to the last procedure, application for registration. (Please refer to our News, Doing Business in Japan Part 2 Procedures for Establishment of Companies, dated April 28, 2022.) The problem is the director at the time of establishment is an American residing in the US. I’ve been asking a person in charge to send me the director’s signature certificate, but he keeps telling me about some unfamiliar words, and I haven’t received the original document yet. 

Well, when you communicate with your clients in English, confirmation is a must! You don’t need to hesitate, so let me explain the words you don’t know. The meanings might slightly differ depending on countries, but they are basically as follows:
・Notarization / Private documents are to be notarized at a notary office.
・Legalization / Public documents are to be legalized at government authorities other than the issuer.
・Apostille / Public documents are to be authenticated principally at government authorities.

Excellent! Praising is a key to motivating employees. That’s what Japanese culture is.! As you said, the signature certificate is a private document, so it meets the requirement as an attached document as long as it is notarized, but the signature certificate which is legalized or authenticated by apostille is also eligible.

In this article, we mentioned “Signature Certificate Part2, Notarization, Legalization, and Apostille.” 
Please note that this article only introduces general outlines and does not include professional advice. So please make sure not to make any decisions without taking professional advice individually. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

(Reference / English)
Ministry of Justice
Procedures of commercial and corporation registration for foreign nationals and expatriates
 (Accessed on May 18, 2023)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
What is an Authentication (of official seals) / Apostille?
(Accessed on May 18, 2023)