Before doing business in China it is important to make sure you are dealing with a legitimately registered business, but how exactly can you do that?
Travelling across the world to visit Chinese factories is a hugely time consuming and expensive process, so asking suppliers to provide, and then checking documentation is a better option.
This method to verify China company credentials is both quick and affordable, and allows you to get a clearer idea of the company’s operations.
With this in mind we have prepared a list of 9 documents you can use to verify a China company.
Verify China Company Documents
1. Business License
2. Bank Account Certificate
When you make payments to Chinese suppliers, make sure that as a minimum precaution you only pay into business accounts. You might also want to request a bank account certificate, but be careful. In any case, you can also get this verified.
3. Tax Registration
No matter the turnover, all business in China must be VAT registered if they make taxable transactions. Because of this, all Chinese suppliers should be able to show you a valid tax registration certificate. This is by no-means bulletproof, but may catch some of the lazier scammers out there. Verify it here!
4. Organization / Enterprise Code
5. Foreign Trade Registration
Foreign trade registration and import / export licenses can be somewhat confusing in China. A company wishing to engage in foreign trade must be have foreign trade registration as an organisation, and must also obtain an import / export license for each transaction.
If you’re sourcing from a Chinese supplier or trading company, make sure that all of this documentation is correct. You can verify foreign trade status at low cost online.
6. ISO Certificates
Where relevant, request to see an ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 certificate from your Chinese supplier. Again, you should get this document verified if it’s shown to you by a Chinese company. You can even verify this certificate online by yourself.
7. Product Test Report
It’s essential to have tests carried out on the products a supplier is manufacturing for you, ideally at several stages of the process to identify issues wherever they may arise. A supplier should be able to show you previous product testing reports and you can verify these, but a crucial step might be to have your own tests carried out independently.
8. Audit Reports
It’s essential to get a Chinese supplier audited before making an order with them. Verification of documents should be seen as an initial screening before more extensive checks are made via an audit.
9. Previous Client References
As with everything else, references can be faked, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for them. Any legitimate supplier in China should be able to provide some references from previous clients. Always verify these with the client in question though, otherwise they’re worthless.
Do you agree that these documents are useful for screening Chinese suppliers? What else would you add?
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