A Common Seal, also known as a company or corporate seal, is essentially a rubber stamp with the company’s name and Australian Company Number (ACN) embossed on the stamp.
A company may have a Common Seal and use it to execute documents under its constitution.
It is not compulsory for a company to have a Common Seal (section 123(1) of the Corporations Act 2001). A company may make contracts and execute documents without using a seal.
Most company incorporators will not provide a Common Seal, or will only provide one on request. However, a company may have a seal if it wants one - section 123(1) of the Corporations Act 2001. Company Seals can generally be obtained from rubber stamp makers at minimal cost and at short notice.
Currently, some companies still elect to use a Common Seal. For instance, a seal may give additional legitimacy to documents for individuals unaccustomed with the Australian method of document execution. Utilising a Common Seal can be a means of showing the legality and validity of company documents, particularly if a company has a large number of overseas clients.
* Note that ASIC do not issue common seals.