A notary in Netherlands is an independent official who records agreements and statements and makes them legally valid by recording them in a notarial act. The notary is the one to ensure that the affairs of the individual, and that of the legal person, as applicable, are duly regulated.
Every Dutch notary is a member of The Royal Dutch Association of Civil-Law Notaries (KNB) and their duties are different from those of other legal practitioners, such as Dutch lawyers, attorneys, or tax advisers. Most importantly, notaries are independent and are required to act impartially.
Notaries in the Netherlands have a law degree and may specialize in certain areas such as family law, real-estate or company law in the Netherlands. Whenever necessary, Dutch notaries may employ the services of more specialized legal practitioners, such as a Dutch law firm. Notaries cannot exercise duties attributable to lawyers, thus they cannot represent clients in court. Also, Dutch notaries cannot act as attorneys in the Netherlands.
The role of a notary public in Netherlands is essential in many types of cases. You can read below to find out more about the situations in which you will be asked to work with a notary, depending on your personal or business activities in the country.
Table of Contents
The tasks of a notary in the Netherlands
Dutch notaries must act in the best interest of all parties when concluding agreements or performing transactions. Much like Dutch attorneys and doctors, notaries cannot betray the client confidentiality clause.
Dutch notaries draw up and execute notarial acts. Apart from issuing such documents to the interested parties, notaries must also keep a copy of the act. After drawing up a notarial agreement, notaries must update the appropriate registers (for example, in case of marriage contracts, registers for public and private companies, etc.)
Dutch notaries have extensive knowledge and are experts in certain fields, thus they can also qualify as legal advisers. On a regular basis, they deal with matters concerning real estate law, family law, and company law. Although they cannot substitute the service of a Dutch lawyer or attorney, they may offer advice to clients regarding the signing of a notarial act.
It is advisable to seek legal advice whenever you are signing contracts in the Netherlands. You can reach out to our law firm in the Netherlands for more information about Dutch legislation and additional legal counseling, even before you work with a notary in Amsterdam.
Notaries and junior notaries in the Netherlands
Any notary or deputy notary, be it a notary in Rotterdam or a notary in another Dutch city, has a degree in notarial law issued by a university, usually a Dutch university.
Dutch notaries are entitled to sign notarial acts, unlike junior notaries who do not have this authority. Notaries are also allowed to have their own notary office in the Netherlands. Although they have their own offices, notaries in the Netherlands are not considered entrepreneurs.
Junior notaries are usually notaries who are in training to become a notary. A period of serving under a fully accredited Dutch notary is required. Although they also have a law degree, junior notaries can choose to remain under a notary and continue their work in this capacity, rather than opening their own notary office.
All those appointed as civil-law notaries in the Netherlands are required to take the oath (which is in Dutch), in their district court region. This means that a notary in Rotterdam would have taken this oath in the Court of Rotterdam, with the same being applicable to other large cities in the country.
To become an appointed civil-law notary in the Netherlands, the individual needs to:
- be an EEA/Swiss national
- meet the training requirements;
- work as a junior civil law notary for at least 6 years;
- have adequate knowledge of the Dutch language;
- have an approved business plan (showing enough funds to start a business plan and be able to turn a profit within 3 years).
Upon registration with the Royal Dutch Association of Civil-Law Notaries (KNB), information such as the business location, secondary work, or the date of registration will become public. Any disciplinary action taken against a notary public in Netherlands is visible on record.
How our team can assist you
If you are in need of the services provided by a notary in Netherlands, our team can assist you through our partners. Notarial acts are needed in many cases, as briefly summarized therein, and we assist both natural and legal persons who need to conclude this type of legal instrument.
If you need to draw up any of the following documents, our team will assist you, as well as enlist the services of a notary in Netherlands once the documents are ready to be registered:
- make a will;
- conclude a prenuptial agreement;
- distribute an inheritance;
- buy or sell a house;
- change the Articles of Association of the company, make other changes in the ownership of the company or its shareholding structure, etc.
Our team can also help you with VAT registration in Netherlands. If you are interested in doing business here and learning more about tax and other legal matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If you need assistance with legally valid and binding agreements, our lawyers will provide the legal advice required, in collaboration with a civil-law notary.
Please contact our law firm in the Netherlands for more information about Dutch legislation and additional legal counseling.