A company stamp or seal is used in the administration tasks of the company. Traditionally, seals were made of wax with an embossing imprint and they were used on official legal papers or other important documents. The modern company stamp or seal has a lower die and an upper die. When pressed, the seal brings the die together and produces an embossed raised imprint.
Company stamps or seals are a legal requirement in many jurisdictions worldwide and for this reason any company that is involved in international transactions is recommended to use a company stamp on its official documents. There are countries where an attorney may not recognize a legal contract that has not been sealed with a company stamp. A company stamp may replace the need of having two authorized signatures on a legal document such case in the United Kingdom. For this reason, many UK companies make use of the company stamps rather than seek authorized signatories, which can be more time consuming. However, the United Kingdom is one of the countries where the use of company stamps is not mandatory.
There are a few countries and banks that do not require a company stamp for opening a business bank account, but in most of cases that is one of the requirements solicited.
In Australia, for example, since 1988 a company stamp is not mandatory. However, many companies still use them and may include the Australian Company Registered Number on the stamp. In Canada company, stamps are not legal requirements, same as Australia.
In Bahamas, a company stamp use is mandatory and it is requested for opening business bank accounts and at the filling of the annual business income statement. Similar to Barbados, it is also mandatory that all companies have their company stamps with the name of the company engraved on them. Other examples of countries where company stamps are mandatory are China, Hong Kong, India, Greece, Maldives and Mauritius.
In the United States, the situation is different from state to state. Most of the American states still recognize the legal power of company stamps; however their use is not mandatory. Most United States banks still require the use of a company stamp in connection to a business bank account. In U.S., a company stamp will include usually the company’s exact legal name with the year of incorporation and the state of incorporation.