The notary

Society is composed of people with varying and sometimes competing interests. Agreements are needed in order to ensure that business between them can be conducted smoothly. What is also needed is an independent official to record such agreements. This is the notary (or junior notary).

Task of the notary

A notary or junior notary makes agreements and declarations legally valid by recording them in a notarial act. By virtue of the notary’s involvement clients are assured that all their affairs, including additional matters, are properly regulated.

Notarial acts

Notarial acts are authentic instruments in which agreements and declarations are legally recorded. It is compulsory for some types of agreement to be executed by a notary in a notarial act. Only then they are valid.

Areas of law

Notaries and junior notaries deal with real estate law, the law of persons, family law and company law. All of these areas come under private law. Private law involves legal relations between natural persons (individuals) and/or legal persons.

Appointment as notary

Anyone wishing to be appointed as a notary must fulfil the requirements laid down by law. For example, he must have completed the professional training requirements and have gained at least six years’ practical experience in a notary’s office.

Notaries, junior notaries and assigned notaries

All notaries and junior notaries have obtained a degree in notarial law from a Dutch university. However, notaries have been appointed to their office and thus have the power to sign notarial acts and to own their own office. An assigned notary is entitled to sign notarial acts, but he is not an entrepreneur.

About the term notary

It must be underlined that Dutch notaries are civil law notaries, meaning that they are fully qualified legal professionals and thus entirely distinct from the profession of notary public in the United States and other common law countries. For ease of reading and in keeping with the practice in EU legislation, however, this translation of the website simply uses the term notary.