When entrepreneurs embark on the journey of setting up a company in India, they encounter various legal requirements and procedures. Among these, two critical authentication processes stand out – notarization and apostille. These authentication methods are crucial for validating the authenticity of documents in international transactions.

In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between notary and apostille, their significance in the context of company setup in India, and how they streamline global business operations.


Notarization is a process where a Notary Public, an appointed official, authenticates and verifies documents by affixing their seal and signature. The primary purpose of notarization is to confirm the identity of the document signatory and ensure that the document’s contents are accurate and true. Notaries play a crucial role in domestic transactions and legal proceedings, providing an extra layer of credibility to the documents involved.

In the context of setting up a company in India, certain documents, such as affidavits, powers of attorney, and other legal declarations, often require notarization. For instance, a company’s memorandum of association, articles of association, and other foundational documents may need to be notarized to ensure their validity and enforceability.


Apostille is an international authentication process that validates the legitimacy of documents for use in foreign countries. The Apostille convention, established in The Hague in 1961, simplifies the legalization of documents across member countries. When a document receives an apostille, it means it has been verified by the designated authorities, and no further authentication is required within member countries.

For company setup in India with a global outlook, certain documents may require apostille to be recognized and accepted in foreign jurisdictions. Some common examples of such documents include company registration certificates, powers of attorney for foreign transactions, and legal agreements meant for international use.

Key Differences:

  • Purpose: The primary purpose of notarization is to verify the authenticity of documents and confirm the identity of the signatory within the country of origin. On the other hand, apostille serves the specific purpose of validating documents for use in foreign countries that are parties to the Apostille convention.
  • Jurisdiction: Notarization is conducted by a Notary Public within the country where the document is executed. It is primarily limited to the national jurisdiction and holds no direct relevance abroad. In contrast, apostille is an international form of authentication that is accepted by member countries of the Apostille convention.
  • Recognition: While notarized documents may be recognized and accepted within the country of origin and sometimes in other countries as well, their acceptance abroad can be subject to further legalizations and verifications. However, documents with an apostille are recognized and accepted without further ado in all member countries.
  • Legalization process: Notarization involves the signature and seal of a Notary Public. In contrast, the apostille process is performed by a competent authority designated by the government, such as the Ministry of External Affairs in India.


Aspect Notary Apostille
Purpose Verify authenticity and identity within the country of origin Validate documents for use in foreign countries
Jurisdiction Limited to the country where the document is executed Accepted in member countries of Apostille Convention
Recognition Accepted within the country of origin and sometimes in other countries Universally recognized and accepted in member countries
Legalization Process Signature and seal of a Notary Public Authentication performed by a designated competent authority (e.g., Ministry of External Affairs in India)


Both notarization and apostille play significant roles in the process of setting up a company in India with international aspirations. Notarization adds an extra layer of credibility to domestic documents, while apostille ensures the hassle-free acceptance of crucial documents in foreign jurisdictions. Understanding the difference between these authentication processes helps business owners streamline their global operations and facilitates smoother cross-border transactions, ultimately fostering a more seamless and efficient business environment in India.

InsourceIndia helps companies Build, Setup operations and expand in India. All our clients are foreign entities who wish to capitalise on the tech talent or offer their product or service to the 1.3 billion Indian consumer market.

We are trusted by our global clients to address their challenges and help them find solutions. InsourceIndia is currently working with clients from different geographies with different engagement levels as one solution doesn’t fit all needs of a company. Clients can choose services needed depending on their strategy i.e. To build their development team, setup a captive via registration of the business or if they are already present in India and are looking to scale operations.