Requiring a Notary

When do I need a Notary?

Within the German system of “preventive justice” the civil law Notaries’ function is complementary to the role of a judge. The intervention of a Notary is required by law in cases of important transactions with long-term effects and a particular economic or personal significance for the parties concerned. Such cases are, among others, the sale of land, the establishment of a mortgage, the incorporation of a limited liability company (GmbH, UG) or a stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft), certain corporate share deals or asset deals, matrimonial property agreements and succession agreements.

Apart from the legal certainty and correctness, a transaction in the form of an authentic instrument offers additional advantages to the parties. By law, authentic instruments are vested with an increased value of evidence and with so-called immediate enforceability. This means that an authentic instrument establishes full proof of the fact that the persons mentioned in the heading of the document have accepted the commitments undertaken therein with the content stated therein. Furthermore, the debtor of a claim for money can declare in an authentic instrument a so-called “submission to immediate enforcement into his assets”. In this case, the creditor can seize and exploit the assets of the debtor without filing a lawsuit. In fact, the authentic instrument established by a Notary is comparable to an enforceable court judgment. Notarized contracts/deeds thus also serve to significantly save time and money in the event it comes to a legal dispute between parties to a contract.