Dutch notaries are members of the KNB (The Royal Association of Latin Notaries). They provide specific services different from the ones offered by other law practitioners, including attorneys, lawyers and tax advisors. Their most important features are their independence and impartiality.
Dutch notaries have university degrees in law and some of them specialize in particular areas, e.g. real estate, family or company law. If necessary the notaries can request services of other, more specialized law practitioners, including law firms. Notaries are not able to perform the duties of lawyers; hence they are not allowed to represent people in court. Furthermore, they cannot substitute Dutch attorneys.
Dutch notaries / Junior notaries
Notaries can sign deeds, while junior notaries are not entitled to this authority. Dutch notaries can also have personal offices, but the local law does not recognize them as entrepreneurs, regardless of this fact.
Junior notaries, in principle, are training to become notaries. They are required to complete a certain period of service at a duly accredited notary office. Junior notaries have a university degree in law but may prefer to remain working in accredited offices instead of opening personal offices.
Tasks of the Dutch notary
Notaries act in the interests of parties concluding transactions or agreements. Similar to Dutch medical doctors or attorneys, they are bound by confidentiality clauses that do not allow them to betray their clients.
Notaries draft and execute deeds. They issue the respective papers to the involved parties, while also keeping copies of them in their office. After the preparation of notarial agreements, notaries have to update the respective registers (e.g. for private and public companies, marriage contracts, etc.)
Notaries have expert knowledge in particular fields and therefore may perform the functions of legal advisors. Even though they are unable to perform the services offered by attorneys or lawyers, they can provide advice with respect to signing deeds.
If you plan on signing contracts in the country it is appropriate to first seek professional advice. If you need more information regarding the local legislation or additional counselling, please, call our Dutch law company.