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Certified Translation for Businesses

Certified Translation Services

Last updated on May 23rd, 2024 at 05:53 pm

Certified Document Translation Services

When Does a Business Need Certified Translation Services?

In older posts, we’ve spoken about certified translation for individuals.  Individuals typically use certified translations for items like personal legal papers, academic documents, and identification documents. It is also important for businesses to request certified translation when required.  We’ll show some examples because we want to put a spotlight on this specialized type of translation, why it’s necessary, and what can be accomplished.  

Importance of Certifying a Translation

What does it mean for a translation to be certified, and what is the significance? 

A certified translation is a translation supported by an affidavit indicating the accuracy of the document or file translated, the competency of the executor of the translation, and it is signed by a responsible party, either by the translator themself or by the translation company responsible for the translation. The certification or affidavit states that the translation is true and accurate in language, terminology, and meaning.

Certification makes a translated document acceptable to legal authorities, clients, and any other parties involved.  Certified translation promotes confidence and provides assurance that the document is translated clearly with no loss of meaning.

By providing certified translation services, a translation company certifies the translation and only uses professional translators that have knowledge of the languages involved and content translated.   International legal systems differ significantly depending on government structure, history, culture, economy, relations to other nations, etc.  That’s why it’s important to use a professional certified document translation service.

Do I Need Certified Legal Translation for Business?

Certified translations are used in situations where there is no margin for error, such as applying for a business license in another country or jurisdiction. Certification will ensure the translation is correct and authorities will treat its content as valid and truthful to the original document.

Without the certification, a translation may not be accepted by the government, institutions, or banks in another country due to having a different language from the original document.

For legal processes, delays can be expensive and can even derail a situation completely if a deadline is missed.  Using certified document translation services makes sure it is done right the first time.  A certified translation shows that you have the original document in the first language and the translation in the second and the two say the same things with the same legitimacy. A translated document that bears a certification benefits the user in multiple ways. 

The United States does trade worldwide and all languages are needed for certified translations. An important segment of our trade increased when the US signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which significantly increased trade with Mexico, a Spanish-speaking country. The US also does much trade with Colombia which is the third-largest economy in South America. Because of this, many official documents are exchanged and must be officially translated and certified so there is no doubt of the content. A large number of certified business documents we produce for businesses are done after Spanish Translation due to the amount of trade the US does with Spanish speaking countries.

The levels of certification required for the business translation is determined by the organization that is going to receive the document. It is important that the person requesting the translation from your business understands what is required. A multilingual translation company can advise on the certification that they offer but cannot recommend or advise on what level is needed. Different countries require different levels of certifications. Even different institutions within a country have different requirements.

Levels of Certifications Added to Certified Translation

In addition to the certified translation, a translated document might require notarization and perhaps also an Apostille.

  • Notarization: The certification of the certified translation will be signed in front of a notary public and the certificate will come with the notary seal and signature of the notary that validated the identity of the person signing the certificate.
  • Apostille: This authenticates the seals and signatures of officials on documents issued by a public authority so they can be recognized by countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty. The treaty set up the methods by which a document can be received and accepted by countries who have signed the treaty. The Apostille is given by the Department of State of the issuing country; in the US, it is done by the Department of State of the state where the notarization was done. It is important to understand that the notarization of the certified translation of one state cannot be validated and go thru all the process of Apostille in another State.  The Apostille is a certificate that gives authentication to foreign documents. In our case give validity to the translation executed and to the certified translation.
  • If the country receiving the foreign document does not accept Apostilles because they are not part of the Hague Convention, they usually indicate the process to follow to authenticate documents from other countries.

It is important to work with a translation company that has years of experience working with certified translations to receive support and guidance while navigating the world of translating foreign documents.

Business Documents That Require Certified Translation

There are some documents that will consistently require certified translation if the business wants to operate multilingually and/or internationally.

  • Commercial contracts of any kind
  • Tax record
  • Bank deposit and withdrawal statements
  • Patents and patent filings
  • Articles of formation
  • Terms of service
  • Non-disclosures and confidentiality agreements
  • Disclaimers
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Financial documents, reports, and statements
  • Insurance documents
  • Product specs
  • Building permits
  • Property leases
  • Paperwork for buyouts
  • Paperwork for mergers
  • Court orders

Situations Where Businesses Use Certified Translation

When considering how often a business uses these documents in their native language during the course of their operations, one can see how essential certified business document translation is.  Businesses that want to operate in other countries in other languages and/or across national borders and legal jurisdictions are making the decision to engage with authorities to the same degree that they have in their native language.  

Certified Translation to work onsite

  • A Canadian ocean shipping operation might want to open an administrative office near an international port they use often.  In that situation, they likely would have to present certified translations of their legal documents for multilingual authorities. 
  • We have issued certified translation to financial and insurance companies that require certifications for simple documents like business cards. In legal and financial settings, the use of certified translation for foreign documents is common practice.

Certified Translation for Remote Work

  • A company sending executes abroad will need to sign lease agreements in other countries; those documents will require certified translations.
  • We have created certified translations of contracts to hire talent from other countries that do not speak English.
  • Contracts for artists coming to the USA, ballet companies or curators of artist’s collections need to understand the agreements that they are signing and will require the translated version certified.
  • Companies going to Canada will require French Canadian versions of agreements and other documents to work in Quebec. Those will need to come with a certification.

Certified Translation for Non-Citizens

In some situations, a business will want to hire some professionals that are local to the worksite and some who are not.  For instance, a wind energy harvesting operation from Texas looking to build a site in India might send some of their professionals to meet with local authorities as well as work with local energy and construction professionals.  Or a company from the US has an office in Japan and wants to hire someone from Holland who is in Japan on a student visa for a contract job developing an app. 

Certified Translation for Career Candidates

Businesses may require certified translations of specific documents from their applicants, such as:

  • Medical records
  • Passports
  • Visas
  • Financial documents
  • Resumes and credentials

The business must also provide all employees with human resources documents, insurance policies, company policies, employment information, safety manuals, and much more.

How to Get Certified Business Translation

When looking for a translation agency near you, we have some tips on how to get the best experience.

  • Always ask for credentials.
  • Shop around for the best service first, then look at the prices.
  • Describe your needs in detail to the translation agency. 
  • Be open about any and all deadlines. 
  • Have all of your materials collected.
  • Follow the translation agency’s directions on what to provide, such as file types or an industry style guide. 

As you can see, certification of documents used across borders is important and necessary. Mutual understanding between businesses is essential for ongoing commerce. Day-to-day functions, planning future production and costs, banking and more all rely on mutual understanding. Be sure to work with a translation agency like JR Language that understands these needs and can ensure the necessary documents are accurate and accepted by authorities.

Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela and has a BS in computer engineering. As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs. 20 Years of experience in marketing Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.