Translation for setting up a company or branch in Cuba

Cuba has strict foreign direct investment controls. Before a foreign company can commence operations in Cuba, it is necessary to obtain a permit [autorización] from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade [Ministerio de Comercio Exterior]. Full details about sector-specific requirements, please refer to the official Directory of Foreign Investment Opportunities for 2018-19.

How do I proceed with the translation of my documents?

For UK companies that are looking to do business in Cuba, it might be desirable to establish a branch in Cuba to facilitate trading relationships. Alternatively, a UK-based investor may choose to set up a Cuban limited company.

In both cases, it will be necessary to obtain official translations into Spanish for doing business in Cuba. Regardless of how many documents you need to have officially translated into Spanish for Cuba, the process is the same. For company documents issued in the UK that are required for official purposes in Cuba, the Cuban authorities will expect the document to have undergone the following process before leaving the UK:

  1. Translation into Spanish
  2. Notarial certification of the Spanish translation
  3. Legalisation at the Foreign Office of both the original document and the notarised translation (the legalisation of the Foreign Office is called an ‘apostille’)
  4. Legalisation at the Cuban Consulate in London of both the original document and the notarised translation

Additionally, if the original document is not a document issued by a UK public official (or other person whose signature can be legalised by the Foreign Office with an apostille), then the original document will also need to be certified by a notary public before it is submitted to the Foreign Office for legalisation with the apostille.

It is important to bear in mind that, for these purposes, the original document and the translation count as separate documents and therefore need an apostille and a Cuban Consulate legalisation stamp on each.