Apostille service overview:
  1. Certificate of incumbency must be certified
  2. You could email your incumbency certificate
  • 10-12 day service costs £122
  • 3-4 day service costs £135.
  • 1 day (next business day) costs £152

The price includes admin, solicitor, FCDO apostille fees, and VAT.

A certificate of incumbency is used as an alternative to the certificate of good standing from the HMRC.

The incumbency certificate is not an official UK government-issued document, so it must be certified by a UK FCDO-registered solicitor or notary.

How to order:  

Step one:

Organise your certificate of incumbency (we do not create them).

Ensure that your certificate is clear of any marks, stables etc. and that it is not missing any vital information. Otherwise, it may be rejected by the FCDO.

Step two: 

Certify the document with the UK FCDO-registered solicitor or notary public.

Or use our solicitors and notaries registered with the FCDO and certify thousands of documents each year. 

Step three:

Contact our office. When emailing, please provide the following information:

  • If your certificate requires certification
  • In which country will your certificate be used?
  • Does the certificate need to be translated?
  • How soon do you need the apostille?
  • Will you be sending (email) or dropping off the documents?
  • Any other information that we need to know about

When we have all the information, the team will assess your enquiry and give you are personalised and detailed quotation.

If you accept the quotation, we will send an invoice to be paid, and the process of getting an apostille for your certificate of incumbency starts.

Step four:

Once your incumbency certificate has been apostilled, we will send you a scanned copy via email to inform you that the process has been completed successfully and your certificate is on its way or ready to be collected.

If you are not collecting your apostilled certificate from our London office – we will provide you with the tracking number given by the courier.

Note that we return documents with DHL or Royal Mail. 

How much does it cost?

For business documents, prices are as follows:

  • 10-12 day service cost £122
  • 3-4-day service costs £135.
  • 1 day (next business day) costs £152

The price includes admin, solicitor, FCDO fees, and VAT.

There could be additional costs, depending on another service you choose and how many documents you wish to apostille. Additional cost examples are:

  • Translations start from £65
  • Notarisation by notary public (+ £96)
  • Return delivery costs (+ £12)
  • Embassy legalisation (from + £75)

How long does it take to get an apostille?

There are 4 options for getting an apostille.

Option one: 10-12 days:

Your documents are “posted” to the FCDO in Milton Keynes and then posted back to our office – or your address. This process usually takes about 10 business days.

Option two: 3 to 4 days:

  • If documents arrive by 10:30 am, it will take 2 days
  • If documents arrive after 10:30 am, then it will take 3 days
  • Documents are submitted and collected in person

Option three: 1 day (next business day)

  • Documents must arrive before 10:30 am for the next-day service.
  • Documents can be collected around 3:30 pm the next day.
  • Documents are submitted and collected in person

Option four: e-Apostille 1 to 2 days 

Electronic apostilles are usually completed within 24 hours but can take two working days, depending on the FCDO’s workload.

Is there an alternative to a certificate of incumbency?

Yes. A good alternative is a certificate of good standing issued by the Companies House in the UK. [1]

A certificate of good standing is an official document confirming the company’s details held by the registrar.

As the Companies House issues the document, it can be used internationally, mainly when opening bank accounts abroad.

However, the document does not confirm who is authorised to sign documents for the company.

What information is displayed on the certificate of incumbency?

The information displayed on the certificate of incumbency can include the following:

  • The company name
  • How the company was formed
  • The company’s registration and company number
  • The company’s official address
  • Information about the directors’ service addresses
  • Details of where the company registers are held
  • Information regarding any mortgages or charges
  • Details of the bank account signatories
  • Names of company officers that can agree on behalf of the company
  • Confirmation that the company is in good standing and not in liquidation
  • Information to provide evidence that no action has been taken to close the company and no proceedings are pending or threatened against the company.
  • All the principal officers of the company’s names and titles.

In addition to the officers’ names and titles, the certificate of incumbency includes whether or not they were elected or appointed and how long their term is.

Often, the document will consist of each officer’s signature to provide a sample for verification.

However, since there is no legal format to the document, you may include any message to suit your needs.

Once completed, the certificate of incumbency can be signed by an authorised signatory or by the registered agent who formed the company for you.

Example of an Certificate of Incumbency
Example of a certificate of incumbency (© apostillelondon.com)

What is the use of a certificate of incumbency?

One of the most common uses of the incumbency certificate is to confirm the signatories of the business. Banks frequently request these from international companies that need an overseas bank account.

Who issues the certificate of incumbency?

A company’s secretary issues the certificate, usually drafting the document and including the corporate seal.

Since this is considered an official act of the company with the secretary as the officer in charge of records, the certificate is an official corporate document, and third parties will accept its validity.

What language should the certificate of incumbency have?

The language should not be too complex and easily readable by anyone. This is important, especially since foreign authorities will use it.

Where is the certificate stored?

The certificate of incumbency should be stored in the company’s minute book. A minute book is an important document that contains copies of all key company documents and records.

This article has been written by experts and fact-checked by experts. We only link to high-quality sources like government information & data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. Reputable publishers are also sourced and cited where appropriate to support the facts within our articles.

[1] Order certified copies and certificates from Companies House