Sealing documents – When must?

 Date: 19 December 2021

Writer: Quang Nguyen

To authenticate or mark a document created by themselves or related to them, organizations and individuals often must sign on that document. In addition, Vietnamese law now stipulates that some documents are required to have a seal next to the signature for the content of that document to be legally recognized. Through this article, BLawyers Vietnam will raise some cases that need a seal on the document.

sealing document

1. What is a seal?

By law, a seal is a special means which is registered, managed, and used by the competent State authorities to be affixed on documents and papers of bodies and organizations or titles of the State.

For enterprises, a seal is a special sign to distinguish between enterprises. When stamping an enterprise’s seal on a document, that enterprise must be responsible for the content of such document. Currently, the seal represents the confirmation of the legal rights and obligations of the enterprise.

2. Types of seals?

Vietnam has not had a regulation that a person must have a personal seal.

Nowadays, there are many types of seals and are used for many different purposes. Having an overview of types of seals, we can divide them into two main types as follows:

  • Legally-accepted seal:
    • A type of seal issued and managed by the State authorities and used to confirm the legal responsibility of the issuer of the document.
    • The sample, usage, and management of the seal are regulated by law.
    • Seals of this type include: seals of State authorities; seal of the enterprise that the enterprise must register upon its establishment.
  • Non-legal seal:
    • Other seals that are not issued, managed, and recognized by the State authorities and are often used for convenience purposes for work or other personal purposes.
    • There is no specific seal pattern, and there are many different shapes are depending on the needs of users.
    • Some examples: the “collected” seal; the “title” seal; the “name” seal; the “date” seal, etc.

3. When and when not to seal documents?

We will simply raise some cases needing a seal on the documents and some cases not needing a seal as follows:

3.1. Cases that the documents need to be sealed
  • Documents issued by the authorities to other individuals and organizations.
  • Important legal documents establishing the rights and interests of the enterprise and issued by the enterprise and sent to other individuals and organizations. Some examples are as follows:
    • Contracts;
    • Report on the operation of the enterprise as required by law;
    • Documents related to the organization and management of the enterprise (for example, decisions of the Board of Directors, decisions of the Members’ Council, etc.);
    • Documents that are components of an application dossier for a license required by the licensing authorities; and
    • Other types of documents are regulated by law.
3.2. Cases that the documents are not required to be sealed
  • Documents created by individuals;
  • Documents for providing information or guidance which will be usable in internal of organizations and enterprises according to their needs, operation rules, internal production.

Should you have any questions about the above contents, please revert to BLawyers Vietnam at consult@blawyersvn.com. We are more than happy to hear from you!

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