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Areas requiring notarial services

The law requires certain legal transactions to be recorded by a notary (notarial recording). This involves the notary recording the parties' declarations of intent in a written instrument. Notarial recordings are mainly required in the following areas:

  • Real estate (including property purchase agreements, the liability of property developers, inheritable building rights (Erbbaurecht), the creation of charges on land)
  • Corporate law (e.g. the formation or reorganisation of a company, certain shareholder resolutions, the minutes of the general meeting of a German stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft), capital increases)
  • The interface between corporate and real estate law (e.g. the formation of companies to acquire and hold real estate)
  • Inheritance law (wills, testamentary contracts or family arrangements, certificates of inheritance, the distribution of an estate)
  • Matrimonial and family matters (prenuptial agreements, separation or divorce agreements, pre-civil and civil partnership agreements, adoption)

In the case of agreements for the purchase of real estate the notary is also often instructed to process the agreement as well as notarially record it.

Apart from notarial recordings, notaries also have the duty of certifying signatures and copies. In many areas the legislator has stipulated that signatures have to be certified in order to increase legal certainty. These include for example:

  • Applications for registration in the Commercial Register
  • Declarations made to the Land Registry

There are also other remits for which a notary is responsible, such as notarial conciliation and mediation proceedings or conducting auctions; however, in practice these play a lesser role.


Tel. +49 30 203907-0

Dr. Lorenz Claussen

Dr. Christian R. Schmidt

Stefan Aldag


Tel. +49 69 710003-0

Dr. Volker Rebmann

Sascha Zentis