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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
18 May 2020
This article takes a look at the 6 different China city types and the various levels of autonomy and power each type holds.
China has over 700 official cities, from the metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong down to the smaller cities of Beihai, Shangrao and Qufu, but they are not all governed equally.
Read this guide if you want to understand the difference between China city types, including municipalities, prefecture-level cities, county-level cities and more.
by Matt Slater
30 January 2020
Launched by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, the decades long process of Chinese economic reform has transformed China beyond recognition.
This article highlights some of the most significant events during this period in the form of a year by year timeline.
by Matt Slater
09 January 2020
Listening to China business podcasts can be a great way to get insights on the Chinese market, pick up new knowledge and get fresh perspectives.
The great news is that there is actually a lot of great podcasts out there on this topic - and in this article I have chosen my current top ten.
These podcasts cover business in China from a range of angles - including tech startups, importing/sourcing, economics and more - so if you are interested in learning more about China business you are sure to find quality material here.
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