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For example, an intra group transfer of business and assets may have been intended to take place on 31 March but could not take place then because regulatory approvals were not yet in place.

Those approvals may be obtained in May, and the group may still want to be able to account for the transaction as if it happened as at 31 March.

Although in exceptional cases — where third party rights are not affected — the courts might be persuaded to treat the stated date as being the effective date, a situation we return to below. There are rare occasions when it may be permissible or even justified to do so.

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For example, one group company may have lent money to another group company without documenting the arrangements in a written loan agreement.

In this case the fact that the transaction did happen is a matter of record, and the relevant records may include accounting entries as well as entries on bank statements.

If a notary backdates, he is committing a fraudulent act and is at risk for losing his notary commission, being criminally prosecuted, and sued.

A reputable notary will never engage in this practice for any price.

Similar situations may arise in relation to intra-group supplies of goods of services, or transfers of a business (where the associated transfer of employees may also be a matter of record).