Signing a German contract in front of a notary?

Want professional help to make things go smoothly?

Your notary will read out the whole contract in German in your presence.
If your notary thinks your German is not up scratch, they'll ask you to bring an interpreter.
Your interpreter will read out the entire contract in English.
Only then can everyone sign on the dotted line.

You can trust our legal interpreters to show up on time, be familiar with the contract and interpret quickly and accurately.

You’ll feel confident and well-informed when you sign.

Get a quote

Fantastic service! The translator was punctual, professional and friendly but most importantly set us at ease by being calm and in control.

Shani Moffat

Signing a contract soon?

Here’s where we can help:

Real estate

  • Condominium purchase contract
  • Development purchase contract
  • Changes to the partition deed
  • Mortgage deed
  • Usufruct

Family matters

  • Pre-nuptual contracts
  • Last will and testament
  • Divorce
  • Succession

Starting a business

  • Articles of association
  • Commercial register application
  • UG, GmbH, e.Kffr. or e.Kfm.
  • Powers of attorney


  • Paternity declarations
  • Custody declarations
  • Adoption
  • Surrogacy
  • Sperm donorship contracts

Quality interpreting


Red Tape Translation has been around in Berlin since 2012. We’re known  for being friendly, competent and reliable. We are a women-led business and our small, close-knit team loves helping you navigate red tape.


We've been interpreting and translating legal content for 10 years.


Our interpreters are professionally trained and enjoy their work.


You can almost always find an interpreter, even with a few days' notice.


We've been in your shoes. We know it's stressful, and we'll do our best to make it easy.


We are quick to respond and excellent at solving problems.


You'll leave feeling understood, informed and relieved.

Professional, friendly, competent and efficient. That’s all you need to know.

MM A, Berlin

Working with Red Tape Translation

  • 1. Send us the contract

    Before we can give you a quote, we need to see the contracts and annexes being read out on the day. The notary must send you a draft contract at least 14 days before the signing. The email will probably also contain many other documents. If you’re not sure what to send us, forward us the email your notary sent you with all the documents attached and we’ll determine which ones will be read out on the day.

  • 2. You'll receive some options from us

    Some clients want a full written translation ahead of the signing so they can negotiate. Others do their due diligence with a lawyer and use an interpreter on the day to negotiate last-minute changes. You can use an experienced professional interpreter or request a court-sworn interpreter if your notary won’t budge and insists on one. Whatever the circumstances, Red Tape Translation will know who to send and how to prepare.

  • 3. You'll get a quote from us

    Once you’ve got a signing date lined up, we’ll give you a quote and tell you how long we’d need to prepare in advance. We usually ask for 50% payment up-front and the remaining amount once the signing has taken place.

  • 4. We'll get to work

    We can’t just show up and wing it on the day. We have to examine your contract and any annexes and make sure we understand everything. We bring notes with us. It’s important that we are well-prepared, because both you and the notary need it to go smoothly. Unprepared interpreters have been reduced to tears at contract signings and every notary has a horror story to share.

  • 5. We meet you 15 minutes before your signing

    This gives you the chance to ask us questions and mention things you’d like to to mention or negotiate.

  • 6. Watch us in action

    Good interpreting is unobtrusive and smooth. We interpret simultaneously, unless you or your notary want us to interpret consecutively. Simultaneous interpreting means we speak over the top of the notary, who will be mumbling the content of the German contract at the speed of light. Simultaneous interpreting saves time and is in everyone’s best interests. Notaries are always incredibly relieved to meet interpreters who are willing to work this way, because otherwise, the appointment can take upwards of 3 hours.

  • 7. We help you negotiate changes

    A good notary will welcome questions and be happy to explain things to you during the read-through. If there are discussions on or changes to the content of the contract (and there always are!), we will explain them clearly and accurately and keep you in the loop – you won’t miss a word. You will feel comfortable and informed with a Red Tape interpreter beside you.

  • 8. We all sign on the dotted line!

    Once everyone is satisfied, all of the parties present have to sign on the dotted line – including the interpreter. We are bound by law to interpret accurately and completely, and we take our job seriously. Once it’s all done, we’ll congratulate you warmly (if appropriate!) and you can celebrate.

Without a doubt the most impressive translator I’ve ever had the pleasure of collaborating with: meticulous, fast and easy to work with.

Melanie Fieseler, WorkSmart Germany

Our clients think we’re great