Apostille service overview:

  • We can apostille both the original or a certified copy*
  • (*To certify a copy, we must receive the original!)
  • 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.

The original Certificate of Good Standing (COGS) with the original wet ink signature – does not need to be solicitor-certified.

However, if the wet ink signature is not registered with the FCDO, then an apostille can not be issued.

If the signature is not registered, our FCDO-registered solicitors can certify the COGS to obtain the apostille.

How the process works: 

Step one:

We need the original for the apostille process. 

Step two:

Contact us. When emailing, please provide the following information:

  • How many documents need an apostille?
  • In which country will the board resolution be used?
  • Does the board resolution need to be translated?
  • How soon do you need the apostille?

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

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

Step three:

As soon as your documents have been apostilled, we will send you a scanned copy via email to inform you that the legalisation process has been completed successfully and your apostilled documents(s) are on their 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.

Why do companies require a certificate of good standing?

Companies require a certificate of good standing to prove that they have been in operation since their inception. The good standing certificate also confirms all the company details held by the public registrar’s office.

If you wish to open a bank account in a country other than the UK or set up a new branch with the same company name, you must confirm the details of your business. This document will provide all of the details required.

Must I have a certificate of good standing in the UK?

Not really. Most businesses do not require one, but some prefer to keep their records up to date and can request one.

Even if your business is wholly based in the UK, the following institutions may ask for it:

  • Lenders
  • Banks
  • Investors
Certificate of Good Standing Example Document
Certificate of Good Standing Example Document

What is included in the certificate of good standing?

The standard format comprises the following information:

  • The company name
  • The company number
  • The registration date
  • The company’s registered office address
  • A declaration indicating the business has been in operation from its inception
  • A statement confirming that Companies House has not taken any action to strike the company off the register and declare it invalid
  • A statement showing that the business is not in liquidation or administration and that no manager or receiver of the company’s property has been appointed, as far as the registrar is aware

You can also request that additional information be added to the certificate, such as:

  • The names of the company directors
  • The names of the company secretary
  • Any previous name changes made by the company
  • The company’s goals

Do I need to legalise the certificate of good standing?

Yes, if you intend to use it outside the UK. A certificate of good standing is needed if you plan to do business in another country or work with foreign companies.

The official registrars usually ask for it. They also ask for an apostille certificate to confirm the official authentication of the Companies House document to confirm that your business is operating properly and in full compliance with its duties.

Some countries also require further legalisation at their Embassy in London.

How do I get a certificate of good standing?

You can request your certificate of good standing from Companies House. [1]

Suppose your company has already been incorporated and appears in the Companies House database. In that case, you can be issued a certificate of good standing even if the business has only been in operation for a few days.

When applying, there are two main speeds of receiving it:

  • 1. The basic service, which takes 5 to 7 days to complete, and,
  • 2. The expedited service takes 1 to 2 days to complete.

How long is the certificate of good standing valid?

The certificate of good standing is valid for three months from the date of issue. You need to order a new CGS once the three months have passed, which means the new CGS will again need to be apostilled.

Sometimes if the CGS is used in a non-English speaking country, a translation of the CGS may be needed. We can assist with obtaining translations of documents where required.

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
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/order-certified-copies-and-certificates-from-companies-house