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by Matt Slater
08 October 2013
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Hi there, I'm Matt, the Founder & CEO of China Checkup. Originally from the UK, I am now based in Brisbane, Australia.
Frustrated by the scarcity of concise, high-quality and timely information about Chinese companies, I setup China Checkup whilst living in Shanghai in 2013.
My team are proud that China Checkup's company verification reports have now helped thousands of clients from all corners of the world to do business in China more safely.
by Matt Slater
11 December 2020
View this comprehensive list of cities in China from Ankang to Zunyi!
We have included all cities in China that are either at, or above, prefecture-level and they are listed both alphabetically and grouped by province.
by Matt Slater
16 November 2020
This list of Chinese AMR websites includes links to the AMR branch website for each province/administrative region in China.
In case you're wondering, the acronym "AMR" stands for "Administration for Market Regulation", which is a newly-launched Chinese government agency created by the merger of many previous agencies, including the AIC and AQSIQ.
This super regulator is now responsible for a wide range of regulatory matters in Mainland China, so if you need to get in touch with them you should find this list of Chinese AMR websites useful.
by Matt Slater
10 November 2020
The China AEO Certificate is a document held by companies in China engaged in import and export activities.
Issued by China Customs, the certificate specifies the company's enterprise classification, which determines their level of inspections and more.
Requesting and verifying a supplier's China AEO certificate can be a sensible measure to understand if they are registered with China Customs as an "Authorized Economic Operator" and to check their AEO type.
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