What is a sworn translation with apostille?

In the context of a property purchase or settling an estate in Spain, you may need a sworn translation with apostille. For example, consider the purchase of a property in Spain by a company, where you may need the deed of incorporation translated, among other things. Or in case you have inherited in Spain, the deed of succession in Belgium. Therefore, you will find more information on how to obtain a sworn translation with an apostille.

Why a sworn translator and an apostille?

A sworn translator is a translator who is officially recognised by the government. In Belgium, for example, a sworn translator takes an oath in court. A sworn translator is needed so the reader knows that the Dutch-language document has been translated correctly by a professional.

An apostille allows you to prove in Spain that a certain official document is genuine. For example, you need an apostille in case of a transaction at a notary. The Spanish police and the Spanish government also require an apostille for Belgian and Dutch official documents.

A sworn translation with apostille therefore allows a Spanish (government) official to verify that the Dutch-language document is genuine and has been correctly translated into Spanish.

What documents does a sworn translation with apostille consist of?

A sworn translation with apostille consists of four documents:

  • the source document, which is the document in Dutch you wish to translate;
  • the apostille of the source document, acknowledging that the source document is genuine;
  • the sworn translation of the source document;
  • the apostille of the sworn translation, confirming that the translation was effectively carried out by a sworn translator.

Who can translate?

The source document must be translated by a sworn translator. This can be a translator in Belgium, the Netherlands or Spain.

The cost of a translation depends on the number of words. A translator in Spain is usually cheaper, but does not always meet the client's needs. Not because translators in Spain are less competent, but because, for example, Belgian or Dutch translators also help you apply for the apostille of the source document as an extra service.

For example, if you opt for a Spanish sworn translator, you will need an apostille of the source document. You will need to apply for this apostille yourself. However, you will not need an apostille for the translation itself because the translator is recognised in Spain. On the other hand, if you work with a Belgian or Dutch sworn translator, they will often request the apostille of the source document for you, as well as the apostille of the translation.

Here you will find the database with sworn translators in Belgium, Netherlands and Spain (click on "Lista actualizada a...“).

Who can apply for the apostille?

At Belgium in principle, the issuer of the source document is the only one who can apply for an apostille via the programme eLegalization. An apostille in Belgium is always a digital document. You will find a QR code on this document to verify its authenticity. Find more information on the FPS Foreign Affairs website here.

At Netherlands you can apply for an apostille through the court itself. The court applies the apostille with a sticker.

An example. The Belgian notary office that drew up the deed of succession is the only one able to request the apostille for the deed of succession. If it is a Dutch notary, you can request the apostille from the court.

Specific to proxies

Our Belgian clients do not require a sworn translation of a power of attorney. Notaries in Belgium have the option of drawing up multilingual powers of attorney. Specifically, we then draw up a power of attorney in Dutch and Spanish. This way, the power of attorney does not need to be translated and only an apostille is required for the power of attorney itself. The notary in Belgium requests the apostille.

Our Dutch clients do need a sworn translation if they sign a power of attorney in the Netherlands. First, the Dutch notary will legalise the signature on the power of attorney. Then you can take the power of attorney to the court for the apostille. The court will then affix an apostille sticker to the power of attorney. The original document will then be translated by a sworn translator in Spain, so no apostille is needed for the translation.

Learn more about the usefulness of a notarised power of attorney here.

Share this post?


Legal notice: Blog posts enjoy copyright protection and may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.

English (UK)