The legal basis for the notary’s office and public certification can be found in the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB) and the Swiss Code of Obligations (OR). The Swiss federal law mandates public notarization for certain legal acts, which requires the use of a notary. The corresponding tariffs are set by the cantons. In general, the notary is obliged to comply with these (binding) tariffs.
Be sure to have your notarial paperwork handled by a reliable and trustworthy attorney who you can be sure will handle your personal and professional documents with the care they deserve.
Typically, public certification is required for certain legal transactions, such as the establishment of foundations, marriage and inheritance contracts, real estate transactions, declarations in lieu of an oath, amendments to articles of association, the formation of commercial companies and cooperatives, or the certification of signatures. Notaries are responsible for this certification. Their exercise of office is regulated by the cantons. Notarial duties can be performed on a freelance basis (as an independent lawyer), as a civil servant or state employee (in the so-called official notary’s office) or in a mixed form of both.
For example, notaries provide advice on real estate, inheritance and matrimonial property law, estate and succession planning, and corporate law, and draw up the corresponding public deeds. They ensure the authenticity and safekeeping of these documents. They are required by law to be impartial and objective. Notaries provide legal certainty: they clarify the contents of a deed to all contracting parties in a structured procedure so that they are aware of the consequences of their signature.
Requirements for the notary license
The following are some of the requirements that the acquirer must meet in order to obtain the notarial license: Swiss citizenship, impeccable reputation, capacity to act.
Depending on the canton, a law degree or basic professional training, professional experience and further training or equivalent training is required.