How to prepare and use official and private documents issued in a foreign country


Entrepreneur “W”


In the course of preparing for the establishment of a business in Korea,

Entrepreneur “W” learned that there are some official and

private documents that he must prepare in his country.

Those documents require

the apostille certification to be used in Korea.

Official and private documents


Official documents refer to documents prepared and communicated

internally or externally by the central government, municipal governments,

administrative agencies, and public agencies for business purposes with legal effect.

On the other hand, private documents are prepared by individuals,

as opposed to central or local governments. They do not necessarily carry legal effect,

but are notarized in some cases to ensure the reliability of their content.

Preparation of official documents

Official documents issued in a foreign country require the apostille

certification in order to be used in Korea, and documents from

non-Apostille Convention signatories must be notarized and

certified by the Korean Consulate in the foreign country concerned.

Apostille-certified documents carry the same effect as

official documents in Korea.

Preparation of private documents


Private documents issued in other countries for official use to

establish a business in Korea also require the apostille certification.

Documents for use should be notarized by a quality notary in the foreign country

and attested with the Apostille.

If the country is a non-Apostille Convention signatory,

the documents must be certified by the Korean Consulate

in the foreign country concerned.