Knowledge
20
January 2016

China Bank Account Certificate - An Introduction

A China bank account certificate is a permit which allows a Mainland China-registered company do open a corporate bank account and conduct financial business in China.

When doing business with a Chinese company, asking them to provide you with a copy of this certificate allows you to ensure they have a bank account in China and you can even insist on making payments to this account.

This article provides some background on the China bank account certificate and gives an explanation of how it is used.

What is a China Bank Account Certificate?

The official name of the China bank account certificate is "开户许可证", which roughly translates directly into English as “Open Bank Account Permit”.

The certificate is issued to newly registered Mainland China companies when they first register for a corporate bank account with a Chinese bank.  In most cases this account is the company’s basic Renminbi (Chinese yuan) account.

This is what the certificate looks like if you have received a scan or photo of the original document:

What Information is Contained in a China Bank Account Certificate?

From top to bottom the fields on the China bank account certificate are as follows:

  • Permit Number (核准号)
  • This is a 14 digit number which starts with a letter and is followed by 13 numbers
  • Certificate Number (编号)
  • Usually 12 digits in the form 0123-12345678
  • Official Company Name
  • Specified in a standard sentence which states that permission to open a bank account has been granted
  • Legal Representative / Responsible Person (法定代表人/单位负责人)
  • Opening Bank Name (开户银行)
  • Bank Account Number (账号)
  • Issuing Authority (发证机关)
  • Here you will find a red stamp from the People’s Bank of China
  • Date, comprising of:
  • Year (年)
  • Month (月)
  • Day (日)

Who Issues a China Bank Account Certificate?

The only organization which can issue a China bank account certificate is the People’s Bank of China, although other banks can apply for it on behalf of a newly-registered Chinese company when they first apply for a corporate bank account. In any case, the certificate still needs to be stamped approved by the People’s Bank of China.

The People’s Bank of China is the central bank of the People’s Republic of China.

Who Uses the China Bank Account Certificate?

Every Mainland China-registered company is required to obtain this certificate when they first sign-up for a basic account at a Chinese bank.

Possession of this certificate is then subsequently a precondition for the opening of other bank accounts, such as foreign currency accounts, either at the same or at another bank.

One method for foreign companies to protect themselves when doing business in China is to request that payments are only made to the bank account number specified on the China bank account certificate.

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