The deed is verbally requested to the notary who accepts the request if it is licit and the parties have the capacity for the desired act. It is then prepared and accurately and clearly written by the notary.

To Salvatore Satta, in Poesia e verdade da vida do notário, “the will, to be so, to be the ordinance’s will, needs the man to make it his and needs him to make himself (…) a judgement”. That man is the notary and the public act is that judgement.

When the deed is scheduled, the parties come to the notary’s office to hear its reading aloud. The deed:

  • Begins by an introduction and mentions the date, the author and the notary;
  • Then follows the identification of the concerned parties, the verification of their identity and the verification of their quality and power;
  • Another part where the notary describes the act he/she is executing, its content, clauses, object and onus if any;
  • A final part, for the description of the documents to be recorded and the ones which have been exhibited under the exercise of a public act:
    • Check the accomplishment of the fiscal duties (IMT and IS payment);
    • Oversight the presentation of fiscal declarations (see the case of the declaration when there was or not a real estate agency intervention, Form 11, which the notary usually sends to the finance department (AT) including to mention all the acts done the previous month);
    • Prevent the money laundering (clearly mention in the deed how the payment was done) and
    • Protect the consumer and judicial business security (verify if the building belongs to the person who is alienating it, the corresponding onus, check the data base, during the celebration, to find that the documents to extinguish the onus such as mortgages have been correctly issued, exhibit the use license and the allotment infrastructures conclusion evidence and certify the delivery to the buyer of the housing technical sheet and the energetic certificate).

After that final part, there is the deed conclusion where we say that it was read aloud to the parties and its contents explained.

At the end, the deed is signed by the parties and at last, by the notary.


Advantages of the public deed

Deeds are authentic documents which are an evidence of the facts foreseen by the notary and that evidence can only be considered invalid based on its falsity, but never when it is based on the witness’s declarations.

There are some cases the law demands a special form for a contract foreseeing the security of the judicial business and the corresponding will ponderation of the parties to hire, but any contract can be formalized by a public deed even if not requested by the law.

Besides its probationary strength the public deed is relevant as it:

  • Guaranties that it respects the parties ‘will whom the contents have been explained to;
  • Guaranties its legacy;
  • Guaranties that the parties had legitimacy to practice the act;
  • Guaranties the prevention of conflicts;
  • Guaranties the document’s inalterability, preservation and easy access, whose original is compulsorily kept in the notary’s office.

Any person who wants to grant a deed must identify himself/ herself with one of the following valid documents: identity card, citizen card or driving license issued by one of the EU countries (or similar, military or diplomatic), passport, residence permit, Brazilian identification document mentioning the holder’s nationality and referring to the Friendship Agreement Portugal Brazil, Angolan, Cape Verdean, Guinean or São Tome identity card.

Whenever a person does not hold one of these documents, he/she can be identified by two witnesses who have one of the above mentioned valid documents.

If one person is not mentally fit, does not understand the Portuguese language, does not know or cannot sign, the not emancipated minors, the death, dumbs and blinds, those working in the notary’s office, the spouse, the great-great-parents, the great parents, the parents, the children, the grand-children, the grand-grand-children, the brothers, the sisters, the brothers and sisters in law of the notary issuing the act, of the applicants, their representatives or represented, both husband and wife and anyone who, due to the act has acquired a patrimonial advantage, cannot be a witness.



Kinds of deeds

The public deed form is done for contracts related to property, credit, inheritance, prenuptial conventions, associations, foundations and societies.

Among the contracts, we can make a public deed related to real estate, a promise agreement having real effect, purchase and sale, exchanging, dation in payment, donation, with or without usufruct right, constitution of the usufruct right, housing, servitude, surface, usufruct renounce, divorce share, common good division, constitution and change of horizontal property, all the estate and touristic sets and the real right to a periodic housing, the justification, rights recognition and friendly expropriation.

For inheritances, entitlement of heirs, share by death, assignment of a hereditary share and inheritance repudiation are made by public deed.

It is common to turn into public deed the promise contract having a merely compulsory effect, the lease, the exploitation cession and the transmission agreement.

It is also executed as a public deed the mutual (between privates or credit financial institutions), opening credit, mortgage, pledge, bail, mortgage credit cession and mortgage degree, revenue and income consignation, debt assumption, among others.

For legal people, a public deed is made for the constitution, the associations and foundations change and the societies’ constitution, change, liquidation and dissolution contracts, cessions, division, unification and the quotas and asset’s share.

Here you can find some useful information for citizens and enterprises about those contracts.

  • Promise contract

  • Purchase and sale

  • Permutation

  • Dation in payment

  • Donation

  • Justification of rights

  • Mutual

  • Credit assignment

  • Mortgage

  • Bail

  • Horizontal property

  • Prenuptial agreement

  • Share by divorce or judicial separation of people and property

  • Division of a common thing between co-owners married under the separation regime and non-matrimonially united

  • Entitlement of heirs

  • Share by death

  • Cession of hereditary fair share

  • Waiver of succession

  • Associations

  • Foundations

  • Societies




The registration intends to give publicity to the juridical situation of buildings, societies, social participations, cars, ships and aircrafts mainly to guarantee security for the juridical business and to promote the trust in the markets.

Registration in Portugal is merely declarative (just a mere demand of enforceability to thirds and not about the validity of the contract between the parts), but it is compulsory.

However, the registration of a society or a mortgage constitution is constitutive.

Registration states that the right belongs to the holder and exactly under those conditions.

The notary attends the real estate, the commercial and the car requests for registration related to the contracts she executes.

The delay to request for a real estate and a commercial registration is 2 months from the deed or registration taxes may be the double.

To know more see Registrations, under this page Services.




Due to the usual amounts to be paid, the payment is not done in cash, except if not higher than €3.000,00.

The deed for the onerous transmission of immovable property must identify the number of the check issued for the payment (or similar) and its entity, or, in case it is a bank transfer, the accounts number of the person doing the transfer and the beneficiary, as well as the respective bank.

If the payment has been done before the contract (for example, the sign for the promise contract), that must also be mentioned.

In Portugal, the payment is done directly from the seller to the buyer.

The seller decides if he /she wants a certified check or not, so he / she must previously be contacted by the buyer to clarify this.

Whenever there is a mortgage over the credit institution, a certified or not certified check is need and it will be issued in the name of the creditor bank for the debt on that day.




To make it easier for the citizens and the enterprises, the notary requests and issues the documents needed for the execution of the notarial acts in her office, using special portals such as:

  • Civil, real estate and commercial acts;
  • Certificates of notarial acts made in other offices or already kept in Torre do Tombo;
  • Property registration documents (fiscal identification document of the building);
  • Payment receipts of the Municipality Tax over the Property Onerous Transmissions and the Duty Stamp;
  • Publishing the elements of the projected transmission contract to the public entities to execute the preference right;
  • Admission of a name certificate to become a legal person, to change the name, to change the headquarters to another council or to change the object;
  • Inscription of entities not subjected to commercial registration in the Ficheiro Central de Pessoas Coletivas, such as associations, foundations and foreign societies practicing an isolated act;
  • Publishing acts related to legal people’ s life not subjected to commercial registration.

We point out the following documents needed to make a public deed:









  • Georeferencing

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