Spain Explained

The Spanish Notary: What it is, role and fees

Not all countries have a notary to verify documents as they do in Spain. Here the Spanish notary is a very much respected individual whose office carries a clearly recognised ‘Notary’ sign and who trains for several additional years to qualify for the title. Most people associate the notary with Spanish power of attorney but their activities go much further than that.

What is a Notary in Spain?

The notary is a professional within the Spanish law system and his/ her main function is to certify Spanish documents ensuring that private agreements fulfil certain legal criteria. The Spanish notary is involved in legalising agreements and contracts and uses a stamp and signature to endorse them.

New Call-to-action

The main difference between a Lawyer and a Notary in Spain is that the Lawyer deals with private documents such as contracts and might represent a client, for example in a law-suit. A notary, on the other hand, brings a document into the public domain.

The notary has a strict code to abide by and the Law for Notaries defines his function and the extent of his or her authority. The notary is qualified to a very high level and must pass some very strict exams to achieve this status. They study for four years to achieve the ‘Grado de Derecho’ which is the general law qualification that you need in Spain. They then study for a further period of time of between four to eight years  in order to pass the public examination  for Notaries and obtain the authorisation to take placement as a Notary.

The role of a Spanish notary

The role of the notary includes:

  • Advising parties of the formalities and procedures involved
  • Drafting the required documents
  • Certifying publicly the facts, acts and agreements that take place in front of him/ her

In the majority of cases individuals can choose their notary, although the notary can only act within his/her own district. The number of Notary offices within each town depends upon the population and the actual placing of the office itself.

Why do you need a notary?

Notaries are an important regulator who can guarantee that the documentation in Spain is correct and would be considered authentic and proven in court. Any document that needs to be entered in a registry, such as the land registry has to be signed in front of the Notary.

Documents that can be signed before a notary include:

  • Marital status documents
  • Last wills and testaments
  • Marriage settlements
  • General contracts and agreements
  • Inheritance declarations and requests from heirs
  • The foundation, modification and separation of companies and partnerships
  • Loans, mortgages and other debts
  • Acquittals and the discharge of obligations
  • Any kind of power of attorney
  • Declaration of heirs where there is no will
  • Any kind of declaration or statement

The notary isn’t always stuck in the office. They will sometimes be called out to complete a particular service such as being called to hospital to enable a seriously ill person to make a will. They are often present at some very important times in people’s lives. For example, when there is a transfer of property or a company is being formed and needs a constitution.

It might not be a role that we are familiar with in other European countries but the notary carries a great  deal of respect in Spain.

What notary fees must I pay when buying property in Spain?

If you are buying a property in Spain then you will have to pay notary fees. The notary fees when you are buying property in Spain are one of the legal costs that you must pay. There are other such as land registry fees and solicitor’s fees, for which you should obtain a quote before you begin the purchasing process.

The amount the notary charges is prescribed by law and depends on numerous factors such as value of the property, number of pages of Title Deed as well as attachments incorporated in the deed, and generally could be between 600 € and 900 €. The Title Deed is inscribed at the Spanish Land Registry and the fee for this is usually around € 400, depending the exact amount on numerous factors.

New Call-to-action

Conclusion

Many people have found that taking out a power of attorney has been a useful action to take when buying their property in Spain. It can be difficult to combine ensuring that you are in the country as a non-resident with the date when all the documents are ready to sign. Taking out a power of attorney removes any uncertainty around this and can save some flight costs too.

Ábaco clients are taken to the notary office by their contact person at Ábaco. However, people acting independently can locate a notary by the notary emblem that they must display.

The notary fees when buying property in Spain through Ábaco are clearly indicated on the final fee sheet. This ensures transparency and clients can be clear exactly how the final bill has been reached.

If you have any queries regarding the Spanish notary or property purchase and management in Spain, you can fill out this form and we will contact you as soon as possible, with no obligation.

See all

It might be of your interest...

Leave a comment

12 comments

Astrit Jahaj

8 January, 2019 3:42 am

My name is Astrit Jahaj. I
My name is Astrit Jahaj. I was married to a Spanish citizen in Paris on 14/08/1999 to Raquel Sanchez Camara.
We were divorced on 07/09/2007 in Majadahonda # 616/01 number 2. I now live in New York, USA and need a copy of my divorce certificate. Are you able to retrieve this document for me and send to me in New York?
Can you please let me know if it is possible and what is the timeframe?
Thank You!

Suzanne O'Connell

14 January, 2019 2:11 pm

Hi Astrit

Hi Astrit

We do not deal with these issues but the documentation can be obtained from the solicitors who dealt with the divorce proceedings or directly at the Family Court where it was issued. 

Elizabeth

25 February, 2019 3:33 pm

Hola
Hola
Me gustaría hacer un loan agreement con una amiga que le he prestado un dinero y ella me quiere pagar por mes durante dos años

Suzanne O'Connell

4 March, 2019 12:29 pm

Signing a loan agreement

Signing a loan agreement before a Notary is quite a simple process. This is a contract that the parties negotiate so that terms can be freely agreed between them. You just need to provide information relating to the parties involved and also to the loan itself. The provisions that need to be included in the Deed are the amount lent, the interest if applicable, the regularity of the payments (monthly, weekly) and the repayment term. It should also be clearly stated who is going to bear the costs arising from the signing of this Deed. 

Other provisions that could be included in the agreement are the payment deferral, interest on arrears, the early repayment or the consequences in case of a breach of contract. 

Beatrice Soto-Martinez

24 April, 2019 2:28 pm

How can I make a complaint
How can I make a complaint against a Notary, who is their governing body so to speak? Thanks, Beatrice

Suzanne O'Connell

28 April, 2019 7:46 pm

Hi Beatrice

Hi Beatrice

Thank you for your query. You can go to the consumer office or the Notary College of the region where the notary is located. 

John

25 June, 2019 10:13 am

My ex wife and I signed
My ex wife and I signed divorce papers in front of a Spanish notary on April 4th 2019.We were married in the UK and have both been resident in Spain for over 2 years.I believe that the notary should then have registered the divorce.As 2 and a half months have passed and I have heard nothing I emailed him 2 days ago and have had no reply.My lawyer says she “assumes” the divorce has been registered and does not appear to be interested in following up.What is a reasonable amount of time that should pass between signing and registering?Thanks.

Suzanne O'Connell

1 July, 2019 7:32 pm

Hi John

Hi John

The divorce should be registered in the Civil Registry immediately after the signing of the deed. However, its registration in the land registry when there are real properties involved could take some more time, even a few months, depending on the Land registry and its workload. The easiest way to confirm whether it has already been achieved or not would be to contact the Land Registry directly or to request a nota simple from it. 

John Dixon

26 July, 2019 9:23 am

I have lost a notarised
I have lost a notarised document re a property purchase in Spain but I do have the name of the notary who notarised the document approximately 30 years ago. As I no longer live in Spain is it possible for me to authorise a Spanish friend to visit the Notary’s office to search for the missing document. If not how can I get a copy of this document?

Oscar Paoli

24 June, 2020 11:15 pm

Hi John,
There is a possibility but most likely you will have to give them power of attorney to collect this document for you.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Ein

8 November, 2020 10:01 am

Hi,

I am Irish and my ex wife is American. She currently lives in Spain for 1.5 years now. It is a mutual agreement. Are we able to divorce in front of a Notary with a power of attorney as I do not live in Spain anymore.

Oscar Paoli

9 November, 2020 10:06 am

Thank you for your message. Someone from our legal department will email you as soon as possible with information regarding your possibilities.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers