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Who or what is a Spanish Notary?

Notaries de-mystified!

A Spanish notary is one of the key figures in Spanish society, up there with other notables such as doctors and priests. They work on behalf of private individuals and companies and are essentially public officials who play a neutral role in drafting and witnessing all different types of contracts here in Spain.

They are there to ensure that both parties come to an agreement to understand the terms and conditions of the contract they are about to sign, that the terms of the contract do not contravene any Spanish laws, and to ensure that the appropriate taxes generated by the transaction are paid, for example a non resident or non fiscal resident would have 3% retention of the value of the sale stopped by the Notary. Fiscal residents do not have to pay this.