Opinions, knowledge and resources from China Checkup's expert contributors

What is the Role of a China Company Legal Representative?

by Matt Slater September 30, 2013

China Company Legal Representative

Understanding the role of a China company legal representative and finding out who holds the position in the business you are working with can be very important when dealing with Chinese companies.

This article will tell you how to find out the name of a Chinese company's legal representative, but before we get to that it is important to be clear on what exactly a China company legal representative does and is responsible for.

What is a China Company Legal Representative?

Upon seeing a name listed under ‘legal representative’ on a Chinese business license (or China Checkup verification report), many people assume that this is the most important person at the company, for example the CEO.

This is often not the case, however. The China company legal representative can feasibly be anyone from the company. They have been chosen to have their name put on the business license and have agreed to this arrangement.

The reasons for this selection may include:

  • It is someone who is obedient and loyal to the company who will not cause any problems by being legal representative.
  • It is someone who seems stable for the long term and unlikely to leave.
  • It is someone who can be trusted to be given the responsibility of legal representative without causing problems.
  • It is a lawyer from the company.

…and so on.

In any case, there’s a good chance that this person won’t be someone with much real authority in the management of the company.

Whilst the legal representative does in theory have a lot of legal power, it boils down to this summary from China Law Blog (our emphasis):

The only meaning is that this person has the power to bind the company in contracts and this person also represents the company in submitting reports to regulators. It has no meaning regarding management of the company.

Because of this, it could be a mistake to demand contact with the legal representative or to require their participation in your communications with the company.

In many cases this person’s role as legal representative is not immediately relevant to the management of the company and it’s perfectly legitimate that they do not participate directly in your business relationship.

How to Find the Name of the China Company Legal Representative

With that important explanation out of the way, we’ll describe how to find out the name of the legal representative of a Chinese company.

The simplest and most direct way is to request a copy of the business license of the company. They should be totally willing to provide this if they are a legitimate company with nothing to hide.

The China company legal representative is listed beside the text “法定代表人" on the business license, which is the third row down on the right hand side of the certificate below:

Chinese Business License

If you don’t have access to a Chinese company’s business license or want to confirm the information you’ve been shown (i.e. hasn't been faked) , you can look up the company’s public registration record online.

To do this, you need to identify which province the company was registered in and visit the AIC (Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau) website for that province.

Via the AIC website, you can search for a company’s public registration record using their registered Chinese name.

 

Verify a China Company?

Order online & get peace of mind

Mainland China Company Verification Reports
Cost: from $129 USD
Turnaround: from 1 working day



 

China Checkup can simplify and expand on this process for you. Our company verification reports include retrieval, translation and explanation of a company’s public registration record, plus other information that you will find useful in assessing them. We have different report options to cover your needs and budget.

See Also




Matt Slater
Matt Slater

Author

Hi there, I'm Matt, the founder 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.

  

 


Related Articles

Chinese Company Registration Status Terms Glossary
Chinese Company Registration Status Terms Glossary
This glossary identifies the different Chinese company registration status terms that appear on official Mainland China company records. If you are trying to find out if a Chinese company's registration has been revoked, cancelled or rescinded we hop
Read More
Make These 4 Checks Before Sending a China T/T Payment
Make These 4 Checks Before Sending a China T/T Payment
One of the most common ways to pay a Chinese supplier is to make a China T/T Payment, but it is not a method that comes without risk. We regularly see cases where Chinese suppliers request payments to individual accounts, third parties, offshore acco
Read More
List of Countries with Freight Trains from China
List of Countries with Freight Trains from China
In recent years freight trains from China have been capturing newspaper headlines by arriving in more and more countries. Perhaps there is no more striking example of this then when the first China to Spain cargo train returned to Yiwu having covered
Read More


Also in Safer, Better Business in China

Chinese Company Registration Status Terms Glossary
Chinese Company Registration Status Terms Glossary

by Matt Slater March 27, 2019

This glossary identifies the different Chinese company registration status terms that appear on official Mainland China company records.

If you are trying to find out if a Chinese company's registration has been revoked, cancelled or rescinded we hope the terms in this glossary will be useful to you.

Keep reading to find out about the various Chinese terms used to describe a company's registration status and get our English translations.

Continue Reading

Make These 4 Checks Before Sending a China T/T Payment
Make These 4 Checks Before Sending a China T/T Payment

by Matt Slater March 20, 2019

One of the most common ways to pay a Chinese supplier is to make a China T/T Payment, but it is not a method that comes without risk.

We regularly see cases where Chinese suppliers request payments to individual accounts, third parties, offshore accounts and offshore entities, rather than to their own Mainland Chinese corporate bank accounts.

Before sending a China T/T payment, pause and take a moment to make these 4 simple checks - they will help you ensure your payment is really going to the correct Mainland China entity.

Continue Reading

List of Countries with Freight Trains from China
List of Countries with Freight Trains from China

by Matt Slater February 25, 2019

In recent years freight trains from China have been capturing newspaper headlines by arriving in more and more countries.

Perhaps there is no more striking example of this then when the first China to Spain cargo train returned to Yiwu having covered a world record 16,156-mile round trip in 2015.

Read this article to learn about China's push for international rail cargo and find our which countries have already received freight trains from China.

Continue Reading