Checking a China company address is a basic but important part of your due diligence process.
Finding out where the company is official registered can help identify any red flags, such as the company being located in a totally different location to the one they told you.
You should note, though, that it’s very common for a Chinese company’s registered address to be different to its actual operational address. The two should be relatively nearby, but companies may register a separate address for legal or operational reasons.
Finding a China Company Address from Their Business License
We talk about Chinese business licenses a lot here at China Checkup, because the business license is always such an important document for making basic checks on a Chinese company. That’s partly why it exists, after all: to allow other companies to assess the holder.
You should always ask the Chinese company you’re doing business with for a copy of their business license. Be suspicious if they give you any hassle or excuses not to do this – it‘s a normal check that they should be expecting you to make.
On the business license, the China company address will appear as shown here:
This is the official, registered address of the company as given during the application process for the business license.
However, the company may actually operate from a different location nearby. For example, the registered address may be an office, whilst production actually takes place in a factory nearby. For this reason, you shouldn’t be alarmed if you see a different address on the business license to the one stated by the company in their communications or on their website.
Note that the official China company address is only displayed in Chinese characters and some knowledge of Chinese will be required to understand the location although our glossary of address terms may help.
Verifying a Company’s Address Against Their Public Record
You may have received a copy of the company’s business license, but how to make sure it is legitimate and hasn’t been faked?
The next thing to do is look up the company’s public registration record online. This will be provided by the Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau (AIC, 工商行政管理局 – Gōngshāng Xíngzhèng Guǎnlǐjú) for the province they are registered in.
Once you’ve identified which province and AIC you need to check with, you’ll need to visit their website and find the company registration records checking section. There you can search for the company’s record using the company’s Chinese name (the search function on these websites often requires the full and exact registered name). The registration record will display the same information as the business license, and you can use it to confirm that the registered address you’ve been given is correct.
China Checkup can streamline this process for you by applying our expertise and knowledge to quickly retrieve, translate and explain a company’s registration record.
Our China company verification report can be conveniently ordered online allowing you to verify a Chinese company’s business license in turnaround time.
Other Information from a China Company Address
Once you’ve identified and verified a China company address, you might like to consider what information it can tell you.
For example, if a company is claiming to operate a 10000m2 state of art factory, but is registered on the 5th floor of a residential building you’d need to question that!
With some patience and Chinese language skills, online map services such as those provided by Google and Baidu may be able to help you identify the location(s) the company is registered at and operates from.