Document Execution & Notarization

Although it is customary local practice in Cambodia, there is no legal requirement to have an agreement witnessed or signed/stamped by an attorney or notary in order to make an agreement legally binding on the parties.

Local execution customs are to sign in handwriting in blue ink and then to thumbprint (right thumb in blue ink) over the signature.

Local courts generally give greater weight to witnessing by a local attorney (a member of the Bar Association of Cambodia) as evidenced by the attorney’s signature and stamp on the same execution page.  If the witness is not an attorney, then there is little weight given to the witness signature.

The effect of notarization of a document in a civil law legal system is stronger than witnessing and essentially removes the ability of the judge to question the identity of the parties who have signed the document, the fact of their execution, as well as the legal validity of the substance of the executed document.

In the case of a sale/transfer of shares in a limited company, the standard practice of the Ministry of Commerce is to require the Seller to sign and stamp the necessary share transfer forms at the Ministry of Commerce or in the presence of a MOC official.

In the case of a transfer of land title, the Vente Definitive (transfer document) must be authenticated – meaning that it is executed in the presence of officials of the Ministry of Land/Cadastral department.

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