Difference between Notarized and Registered Agreements, which is Better in 2021?

In this blog we discuss what is the difference between notarized and registered agreements and which is better for your contract.

When two parties decide to build a contract they can agree to the terms in the following ways, they agree to it verbally, they can sign the terms of the contract listed in a document, they can sign the document in presence of a witness (Notary) or, lastly, they can get the contract registered with the Government. In this blog we discuss what is the difference between notarized and registered agreements and which is better for your contract.

A Notarized Agreement

What is a notary?

A notary, also knows as notary public, is a public commissioned official who serves as an unbiased witness to the signing of the agreement. Documents that can require the services of a notary public include real estate deeds, affidavits, wills, trusts, non-disclosure agreements and powers of attorney. In India Notary Public are majorly lawyers and advocates.

Functions of a Notary Public

A notary public makes is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Verifies the the type of agreement
  • Verifies the identities of all the parties (All the parties must be present before the notary at the time of signing)
  • Makes sure that the parties getting into the agreement are of sane mind (Note that a notary public does not vet the agreement/document)
  • Endorses the agreement by signing it

Advantages of a Notarized Agreement

  • A notarized agreement is more simpler to execute than a Registered Agreement as to get an agreement notarized you just have to visit the lawyer’s office.
  • You don’t have to pay any stamp duty or registration fees, only the lawyer’s notary fees is applicable. (Note that notary fees depends on your locality but, in general it is somewhere between INR 200-500)
  • The notary acts as a witness to the agreement and this helps in minimising identity theft related document frauds.
  • A notary stamp signifies that the parties involved in signing the agreement are real and genuine.

Disadvantage of a Notarized Agreement

One major disadvantage of having a notarized agreement is that a notarized agreement in not admissible in the court of law in case of any disputes between the two parties. Also there is no legal mandate to notarize an agreement in India.

A Registered Agreement

An agreement printed on a stamp pamper and registered with the regional Registrar or Sub-Registrar is known as a registered agreement. A copy of the registered agreement is maintained in the government database and a Unique Identification Number is associated with each registered agreement so that it can be identified easily. Registration of an agreement can be done either online or by visiting the office of the Registrar/Sub-Registrar. The process of registering an agreement varies with state to state, so kindly check the exact process in your state. Although registering every document is not mandated by the law but, there are certain documents that should be registered for eg, all agreements related to property like sale of land deed.

Advantages of a Registered Agreement

  • Unlike a Notarized Agreement, the contents of a Registered Agreement are thoroughly verified by the Registrar/Sub-Registrar
  • A Registered Agreement is admissible in the court of law according to the Registration Act, 1908.
  • A Registered Agreement gives a sense of security to the owners of the agreement

Disadvantage of a Registered Agreement

To get an agreement registered you have to depend on the government bodies, which means sometimes it gets tiresome. Moreover, you have to pay the registration and stamp duty fees , which varies from state to state and depends on the value of the deed/agreement. Stamp duty and registration fees on an agreement are in general represented by a percentage of the total value of the agreement.

Which agreements should be notarized?

The following documents should be notarized:

  • General Will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Partnership Deed

Which agreements should be registered?

The following documents should be registered:

  • Rent Agreement
  • Sale Deed for Land or Building
  • Other such Real Estate Agreements