Find a notaire

The role of the Notaire

A French notaire is a legal specialist with a public authority mission who draws up authenticated contracts on behalf of his clients. He carries out his activity as a self employed professional.­

  • French notaire - a public officer

    • A French notaire is a public officer who operates in every area of law including family, property inheritance , asset, company law, countryside law, local authorities, etc.

    • He acts on behalf of the State and is appointed by the Minister of Justice, and the fact that an deed is drawn up by a French notaire is a guarantee of its legality and authenticity. All this means that the French notaire are vested with prerogatives of official authority which they receive from the State.

    • Under the terms of Article 1 of the Order dated 2 November 1945 regarding the status of French notaire :
      "Notaires are public officers authorised to record any instrument or contract the parties to which are obliged, or may wish, to invest with the type of authenticity associated with public authority instruments".

  • French notaire - a professionnal for authenticating deeds

    • The French notaire is empowered to authenticate deeds by affixing his  seal  and signature.

    • By so doing he officially witnesses the wishes expressed by the signatories and gives hispersonal guarantee regarding the content and date of the deed.

    • Such deeds then have the legal status of a final judgment.

    • As such, the French notaire is an amicable judge and dispensers of out-of-court justice.

  • French notaire - a self-employed professionnal

    • Although he has a public authority, the French notaire operates on a self-employed basis and is responsible for his own office, thereby providing a modern type of public service that costs nothing to the State.

    • He is a self-employed professional who is paid by his clients (and not the taxpayers) on the basis of a rate fixed by the State for the services he provides.

    • See the page dedicated to the notaire's fees.

  • French notaire - a professionnal present thoughout the country

    • The location of Notariat offices is reviewed on an ongoing basis under the supervision of the Central Administration of the Ministry of Justice, known as the  Chancellery .

    • This location review has three objectives:
      - to maintain a locally-accessible public service focused on legal matters,
      - to take account of geographical and population change,
      - to oversee the financial conditions under which the profession is carried out with a view to ensuring quality of service.

    • Consult the last figures of the profession.