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by Matt Slater
30 September 2013
If you check the business license of a Chinese company, you will see there is a field called “Incorporation Form”. Note that we’re talking about a Chinese term here (公司类型 – Gōngsī Lèixíng) – you could translate it into English in various ways, including “company category” or “business type”. The incorporation form of a Chinese business tells you what kind of legal entity it is officially registered as. This may include terms such as “limited liability” and whether the company is a domestic or foreign one.
A Chinese company’s business license will list their incorporation form. We always recommend requesting a copy of the business license of a Chinese company you’re doing business with, if possible. This is a good way to view some basic information about the company.
The incorporation form will look like this on a Chinese business license:
Chinese business licenses are of course written entirely in Chinese, as that is the only official language of mainland China.
Also take a look at China Checkup’s glossary of business types which lists the common forms of incorporation in China.
If you’d prefer not to let a company know that you’re researching them and therefore can’t ask for a copy of their business license, you can look up their public registration record online. If you have already viewed a copy of a company’s business license, we still recommend checking the public record to confirm the information you’ve been given.
To check a Chinese company’s public registration record, you need to find out which province they were registered in and visit the website for the AIC (Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau, 工商行政管理局, Gōngshāng Xíngzhèng Guǎnlǐjú) for that province. On the website, you can search for the company’s registration record using its registered Chinese name. You may then be able to find the record, in Chinese, which will include the corporation form.
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It’s important to note that the public records made available to the general public by each AIC may not be 100% up-to-date and reliable in all cases. In the majority of cases the public records are accurate and without any problems, but the AICs can be quite slow to update them. The only way to guarantee that you’re seeing the most up-to-date and accurate information is to dispatch a Chinese lawyer to go to the AIC office in person and retrieve the record in hardcopy. Only Chinese lawyers are permitted to make this request, so their services are required to do this.
China Checkup’s company verification reports can provide all of the above services for you, including retrieval, translation and explanation of a Chinese company’s public record.
All our reports can be conveniently ordered online and come with no hidden costs.
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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