The Role of the Notary in Spain: Guarantee of Legal Security

In the complex web of the Spanish legal system, the notary emerges as a key but often underestimated figure. His role transcends the simple certification of documents; he is the guardian of legal certainty, an impartial interpreter and a guarantor of citizens’ rights and obligations.

In this article, we will explain in depth the essential role played by the notary in Spain and how his work influences the daily lives of citizens and the stability of the legal system.

Who is the Notary in Spain?

The notary is a public official with specialized legal training and official appointment by the State. His main function is to give public faith in the acts and contracts he witnesses, as well as to ensure their legality and validity. This impartial and independent professional is in charge of drafting and authorizing legal documents, ensuring that they comply with the law and protecting the rights of the parties involved.

It is in fact a legal professional exercising a public function. In fact, the notary is obliged, for every Spanish citizen who requests it, to provide impartial and free legal advice.

However, the Spanish notary also offers paid services such as:

  • Personal and family relationships (matrimonial regimes, inheritance and wills).
  • Housing and real estate (purchase/sale of real estate, new construction)
  • Mortgages and loans
  • Business and companies (Creation of companies)
  • Powers of attorney
  • Notarial acts
  • Mediations
  • Formalities (TIN application, etc.)

Importance of the Notary in the Purchase of a Property

  • Legal Security: The notary verifies the legality of the real estate transaction, ensuring that all parties involved comply with the legal requirements and that the purchase contract is drafted in accordance with Spanish law.
  • Neutral Advice: Acting as an impartial mediator, the notary provides legal advice and clarifies any doubts the parties may have about the terms of the contract, its legal implications and the rights and obligations involved.
  • Fraud Prevention: The notary performs a thorough background check on the property to verify ownership, the existence of liens or encumbrances, and any other relevant circumstances that may affect the purchase. This helps prevent fraud and guarantees the security of the buyer.
  • Formalization of the Contract: Once all parties are in agreement and all legal requirements are met, the notary formalizes the purchase contract by means of a public deed. This deed has full legal validity and is registered in the Land Registry, giving legal security to both the buyer and the seller.
  • Protection of the Parties’ Interests: The notary looks after the interests of all parties involved in the transaction, ensuring that their rights and obligations are respected in accordance with the law.

The notary and the creation of companies in Spain

Setting up a company in Spain can be a lengthy process. Once the NIE has been applied for and the company name has been validated at the Mercantile Registry, the next step is to go to a Spanish notary.

The notary’s role is to approve or reject the company’s articles of association, which you will have previously prepared with the help of a law firm. The various statutes establish

  • The corporate purpose (type of activity).
  • The legal status (SA, SL, Autónomo, etc.).
  • The appointment of shareholder(s) (distribution of shares).
  • The appointment of administrator(s) (manager(s)).
  • The distribution of shares (redistribution of profits).
  • Tax and corporate domicile (administrative address, registered office).
  • Amount and nature of the capital.

Guarantee of Legal Security

The presence of the notary in legal transactions provides a crucial element: legal certainty. His certification confers on the documents a presumption of veracity and validity, which protects the parties against possible legal disputes in the future. In addition, the notary has a duty to ensure that all parties involved fully understand the terms and legal implications of the agreement.

Fraud and Conflict Prevention

Another fundamental aspect of the notary’s role is fraud prevention and conflict resolution. His or her intervention significantly reduces the risk of forgery or manipulation of documents, as he or she verifies the identity of the parties and the authenticity of signatures. In case of disputes, the notary’s testimony and certified documentation serve as solid legal evidence in court.

In short…

The notary plays an irreplaceable role in the Spanish legal system. His work goes beyond the mere certification of documents; he is the guardian of legal certainty, integrity and transparency in legal transactions. Trust, impartiality and expert knowledge are the pillars on which the figure of the notary is built, guaranteeing the protection of rights and the stability of the legal system in Spain.

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