What is a “Notario” in Spain?

Written by Juan Madridejos Velasco and Luis Alberto Álvarez Moreno, Notaries in Barcelona and partners at J&LA Notarios Asociados.

In Spain, a notary is a public officer and a private professional responsible for signing and authenticating signed, sealed or written documents for individual clients. Notaries also certify original documents for government agencies or private companies. However, the question, what is a Notario in Spain? begs more answers than just the above.

notary in Spain can assume the role of an arbiter to resolve disputes between two parties, companies or individuals. Notaries are recognized as legal experts in the Spanish legal system by the Spanish law.

notario in spain also certifies documentslegalizes and authenticates agreements and contracts through signatures and stamps. Unlike a lawyer who officiates private agreements, notaries make private documents public.

Functions of a Notary

Spanish law captures several responsibilities and functions of a notary. They include:

  • Authenticate acts and contracts.
  • Authenticate documents related to civil law, like testaments, wills and marital agreements. Notary authentication involves the signatures on these signed documents.
  • Authenticate public documents or private-matter documents.
  • Authenticate judicial proceedings, public documents or appointed acts like administrative and third-party acts and contracts.

Why Do I Need A Spanish Notary?

Notaries are very important to the government. They help settle legal transactions and disputes and legalize agreements. Notaries are neutral parties contacted to act independently as third parties in transactions.

In case you wonder, what is a notario in spain doing? Here are examples of documents that can be notarized:

  • Deed for property transfer
  • An heir declaration for instances where there is no will
  • Marital disputes settlements
  • Power of attorney forms
  • Discharge of responsibilities and acquittals
  • Marital status-related documents
  • Wills and testaments
  • Agreements and contracts
  • Claims from heirs and inheritance declaration
  • Mortgages, loans, and other debt obligations
  • Official statements documents.
  • Legal requirements governing the modification, split, and creation of partnerships and businesses.

How Are Notaries Trained?

You have probably spotted a notary in Barcelona or anywhere in Spain and wondered what it takes to be a one? Notaries are individuals who have passed through a five-year degree program in law in the University and then they have to pass some exams that people study for an extra period of 3 to 8 years. The best in the exams have the right to work as a Notary in Spain.

After the notary training period, one can now get posted by authorities to work as a notary in a random station. There are stationary and mobile notaries. The advantage of mobile notaries is that they have the freedom to take their services in the remotest of areas and to people with mobility concerns, like the elderly.

The Cost of a Notary In Spain

Notaries are essential personnel in society. Many think that they are quite expensive for the services offered. However, the notary charges are decided by the government. Just like their posting criteria, the notaries have no part in deciding on the charges on their clients. So, cost should not be a criteria to select which notary to visit. Quality of the service should be the most important reason to choose a notario in Spain.

The cost of the notary services depends on the number of pages signed and worked on and on the contract that is signed. The higher the number of pages, the higher the price. The costs are stipulated for notary services by the government so you have to search the best notaries in Barcelona because the price should be the same.

Notary Fees For Property Purchase

Buying a property in Spain requires the services of a notary. Unlike the UK and other countries, Spain’s property purchase relies greatly on a notary to help seal the deal. Spanish law dictates notary fees as part of the legal costs to be paid when purchasing a property.

Find more information on this topic in our last articles:


The property-notary charges vary depending on the number of pages in the title deed, including its attachments and the property value. Notaries like JLA Notarios in Barcelona charges are relatively cheaper because we charge just the official expenses fixed by the law.

In any case, do not hesitate to consult professionals like JLA Notarios that understand the Spanish laws and regulations to avoid any legal problem. JLA Notarios has a team with highly trained professionals who can advise you whenever you need it. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

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