The Three Ways We Categorize Documents
Government documents are any documents or certificates issued by Federal agencies such as the FDA, USPTO, EPA, FBI, US Dept. of Homeland Security, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, etc.
The following are common Government-type documents:
- Certificate of Foreign Government (CFG)
- Certificate of Pharmaceutical Products (CPP)
- FBI Background Check
- Certified Birth Certificate
- Certified Marriage Certificate
- Certified Death Certificate
- Certified documents from the Secretary of State (SOS)
General documents are any document or certificate issues by a state or local government entity (non-federal).
The following are common General-type documents:
- Corporate Documents
- Formation Documents
- Good standing certificates
- Powers of Attorney
- Letter of Authorization
- Accreditation letters
- ISO Certifications
- Letter of Declaration
- Certificate of Free Sale
- Education Documents (Degrees/Diplomas/Official Transcripts)
Shipping/Commercial documents are documents used for shipping products out internationally.
Commercial documents are written records of commercial transactions describing various aspects of those transactions. They may include orders, invoices, shipping documents, transport papers, and certificates of origin.
The legalization/authentication process for Commercial/Shipping Documents is highly variable based on the destination country. Some countries, including even some Hague Convention countries, require that any company shipping products overseas have to obtain a Certificate of Origin, a Chamber of Commerce stamp, and product-specific documentation (i.e., Commercial Invoices, Packing lists, etc.).
The following are common Shipping-type documents:
- Commercial Invoices (CI)
- Certificates of Origin (CO)
- Bill of Lading
- Packing Lists
- Health Certificate