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Common Seal: a Few Things You Need to Know!

by Natasha Taggart

Are you familiar with the common seal or corporate seal? This item is utilized frequently by companies or organizations, but an individual can also use the seal in some cases. The seal is used to create embossed marks on the documents. But its application is limited to certain documents. That is the reason why you find it rare to see documents with the embossed mark created by the seal. If you still have lots of questions regarding common seals and the application, you can continue reading some of the points below. 

1. Why Are Common Seals Used?  

As mentioned earlier, common seals are used mostly by companies and organizations. Why do they use them? Common seals are usually affixed to a document as an official symbol of approval by the company or organization. So once the seal is affixed to a certain document, it means that the act and deed were under the company or organization. Because of that, the seal can only be affixed after obtaining prior approval from the board of directors or decision-makers. 

2. Relevancy and Benefits 

Common seals are no longer mandatory in some countries, but most companies and organizations keep using the seals. Why? There are some reasons and benefit by using the seal. Here are some of them! 

  • Security is one of the reasons why common seals still become must-have items in companies and organizations. Nowadays, signatures and company stamps are most likely easier to be imitated, so the seal is added to certain documents to minimize the risk of document forgery. 
  • International business is another reason why common seals are still used until now. In some countries, the seal is still mandatory. So, most companies must be ready for having the seal, once they have business with international companies.  
  • Common seals are applied to certain documents as a sign of authenticity. 

3. Application 

So, in previous points or paragraph, there are several times mentioned that only certain documents can be affixed using the seal. But, what kind of documents can be signed using the seal? Only on high-level and vital documents, the seal can be applied. Here are a few examples of them.  

  • High-level deeds and contracts 
  • Company resolution 
  • International documents 
  • Real estate transfers 
  • Etc. 

For the application, several rules must be followed to make the seal legally valid. First, two officers must be witnesses when applying the seal. Also, they have to put their signature on the documents as well.  

Tips: When it comes to applying the seal, an understanding of state law regarding the application of the common seal is required. 

4. Are the Common Seal and Company Stamp the Same? 

Both of them are used to authorize documents before they are issued. But in their application, they are different. As noted earlier, common seals are only used on high-level or vital documents. So, its application is quite limited. But the company stamp is more familiar and popular with people since its application is more flexible than the common seal.

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