What are Certified True Copies?

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In jurisdictions around the world, including Hong Kong, the term “certified true copies” is often mentioned when conducting business. While this term is often used, what does it actually mean? Given that these words are used in many important business processes and formalities, a more thorough understanding of what this term means will help provide clarity to businesses and will help minimize the risk that a company undergoes non-compliance, even if it’s just by accident. In this article, we look to explain what “certified true copies” are and why they are so important

What are Certified True Copies?

Certified true copies are a set of documents which have been verified and certified by a qualified party (either by stamp or signature) as a true original document.

Entrepreneurs and SMEs will most commonly find that certified true copies are required for their business processes such as during the Hong Kong company registration process or when they are opening a company bank account.

What are Certified Copies?

Unlike certified true copies, which are the original documents, certified copies are a set of documents which have been verified and certified to be true copies of the original document.

Why do you Need to Certify Documents?

The purpose of these documents is to allow a third-party to verify the copies of an official document, in order to confirm that there were no amendments or alterations made that could result in someone misinterpreting the information listed.

Certifying documents is required for many reasons as it is used for any sale or purchase of land, immigration, marriage, adoption, trade or when a company conducts business.

The most common use of Hong Kong Certified True Copies is during the opening of a corporate account in any Hong Kong bank. All copies of documents must be certified and witnessed by a qualified professional. Besides bank account applications, many business owners may need Certified True Copies when applying for licenses or registering companies in other jurisdictions.

Usually, the banks or authorities require documents, and their notarized copies such as Certificate of Incorporation, Business Registration Certificate (BRC),  director & member’s identity documents – i.e. passport, ID card, residential address proof, or Power Of Attorney. It is possible to notarize the proof of business documents like sales contracts, bank statements if required.

Who can certify my documents for me?

In Hong Kong, official documents used by a company for local or international use can be certified by a Hong Kong Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Hong Kong Solicitor or a notary public.

What will my certified documents look like?

The most important aspect of having a certified copy of your documents will be that they bear the date and signature of the certifying party.

In addition, they will also come with a statement saying that this set of documents is a certified true copy. Normally, these documents will be valid for a period of 3-6 months after the specified date of certification.

As such, these documents are often requested to be certified around the time of use, and not in advance.

How Can FastLane Help?

Given the significance of having certified true copies for business use, failing to have documents that meet the required standard for business purposes can inhibit a businesses ability to operate and grow.

As a licensed Hong Kong CPA firm and Trust Corporate Services Provider (TCSP License No. TC000758), the FastLane Group can not only help you certify your company documents for your various business needs, but we can also utilize these documents to ensure a smoother Hong Kong company formation process. Our certified documents can even be used to open a company bank account!

Whether you have enquiries about this process or are seeking assistance, please contact the FastLane Group for assistance!