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What does a Dutch notary do?

A Dutch civil law notary is a university-educated legal expert appointed by the State. He or she has specific tasks and responsibilities, as there are numerous instances at which you will require the services of a notary.

Mandatory presence of notary

In these cases, it is mandatory to have the right legal deed (in Dutch: “akte”) prepared and executed by a civil law notary. This will be necessary not only to achieve the intended legal effect, but also to ensure legal certainty.

These cases include:

  • conclude a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement;
  • make a will;
  • incorporate a limited liability company;
  • acquire a real estate in ownership; and
  • take out a mortgage loan.

Though a Dutch notary would be of service to you, he or she will – principally – act as an impartial advisor, who takes all parties’ interests into consideration. Though, it is also possible to have a ‘party-appointed’ notary, who would have the authority to assist you as partial legal advisor.


A notary in the Netherlands is obligated to establish the identity of his or her clients. When visiting a Dutch notary, you should always have a valid proof of identity present.


You may occasionally be requested to sign a power of attorney or a statement in the presence of a civil law notary. This could be applicable to you when you buy your dream home, but you cannot be personally present during the signing of the notarial deed of transfer.

The notary would determine that you have personally signed the document, which would ensure that the signature you have placed is indeed yours. This is called a “legalisation” or “notarisation” of your signature.


On numerous occasions, companies and similar organisations often require an authentication of their representatives. Such an authentication usually occurs along with a statement affirming that these representatives are authorised to represent the organisation at the moment of signing.

The notary can also provide this service to you and give you a declaration on your authority. This is called an authorisation.