How to Verify When & Where a Chinese Company Registered

by Matt Slater September 30, 2013

How to Verify When & Where a Chinese Company Registered

Finding out when and where a Chinese company registered is a basic step in checking that they’re a legitimate company you want to do business with. This simple check can be a very easy way to raise red flags in situations such as the following:

  • The company is not registered in the city or province they claim to be
  • The company has not been registered for as long as they claim to have been operating
  • The company’s date of registration raises doubts about their level of development

One of the difficulties in confirming a company’s registration is that you need to know which province they are registered in before you can look up their records. This is significant if you don’t want to make the company aware that you are researching them and looking up their records. If you are happy for them to know (and usually you should be – these checks are very normal), then you can just ask for their business license and go from there. Otherwise you might have to do some extra research first to identify the location of registration.

Ask For the Company’s Business License

As with many basic checks on a Chinese company, the first step is to ask for a copy of their business license. As we mentioned above, don’t be concerned about asking for a copy of a company’s business license: it’s a perfectly normal and legitimate request. We emphasize this point frequently here, as asking for a copy of the business license is a very simple way to quickly establish basic facts about a company. At the very least, if a company gives you any hassle about providing a copy of their business license, it’s an immediate hint that something may be amiss.

The business license will tell you when and where the Chinese company registered with the authorities. There are two fields for this on the business license, highlighted on the example license below:

The location of the registration is actually described on the business license in Chinese as “Registering Authority” (登记机关 – Dēngjì Jīguān). Unlike the other fields, it’s given in the form of a stamp from the registering office.

The date of registration (different to the date of establishment) is the first date given on the right. This is described as the “Period of Operation” (营业期限 – Yíngyè Qīxiàn) on the business license. Whilst this may sound like it refers to the entire time the company has been in business, it’s actually just about the period of validity for this business license. The company may have had previous business licenses in the past, and hopefully will have more in the future. You can see if this is the company’s first business license by comparing the ‘Period of Operation’ date and the ‘Date of Establishment’.

Look At the Company’s Public Registration Record

The next step is to find the company’s public registration record. To do this, you need to visit the website of the AIC (Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau, 工商行政管理局, Gōngshāng Xíngzhèng Guǎnlǐjú) for the district the company was registered in. You can identify this district via the ‘Registering Authority’ section of the business license. Each province has its own separate AIC, and they all work slightly differently.

On the AIC’s website, you can search for a company using its Chinese name (shown on the business license). It is not possible to search in English, because the official, registered name of a Chinese company is always in Chinese. Also, the AIC websites can be quite picky about search terms – sometimes it must be entered in its entirety with zero deviations, otherwise no records will be returned. Once you’ve found the public registration record for the company, you can use it to corroborate the information on the business license you’ve been shown. Note that the public registration records can be out of date in some cases, as the AICs tend to update them gradually in their own time. Getting hold of the most up to date registration record requires retrieving a paper copy by sending a lawyer in person to the AIC.

Once you’ve found the public registration record for the company, you can use it to corroborate the information on the business license you’ve been shown. Note that the public registration records can be out of date in some cases, as the AICs tend to update them gradually in their own time. Getting hold of the most up to date registration record requires retrieving a paper copy by sending a lawyer in person to the AIC.

An Easier Way to Find Out When and Where a Chinese Company Registered

If this all seems a little too time consuming, you might consider ordering a China Company Verification report. Our Company Verification report includes identification of where and when a Chinese company registered and translates and explains in full the contents of their Chinese business license – all very useful information for assessing a Chinese company.

Our China Certified Verification report provides the dispatch of a Chinese lawyer to retrieve the guaranteed up-to-date paper registration record for the company you’re interested in.




Matt Slater
Matt Slater

Author

Hi there, I'm a British-Australian Engineer and Entrepreneur, recently moved back to Brisbane, Australia after nearly 9 years living in Shanghai. I founded China Checkup in 2013 because I was frustrated by the scarcity of concise, high-quality and timely information about Chinese companies.
My team are proud that China Checkup's verification reports now help clients worldwide do business in China safely. Have any questions? Email me at info@chinacheckup.com

 


Related Articles

The Lego China Supplier List

The Lego China Supplier List

If you have ever wondered where those plastic bricks are made, check out this article for a Lego China supplier list.  Many of Lego's Chinese suppliers are Hong Kong companies which presumably have manufacturing operations on the mainland. Does Le...

The Timberland China Supplier List

The Timberland China Supplier List

Did you know there are over 150 companies on the Timberland China Supplier list? The outdoor specialists, renowned for their high quality footwear, use manufacturers across China and Taiwan for their products, and you can find out which ones here....

The Puma China Supplier List

The Puma China Supplier List

If you've ever wondered which factory your sports shoes were made in, you may be surprised to hear that a list of Puma China suppliers is actually made publicly available on their website. Puma's Chinese suppliers seem to be largely based in the s...



Also in Safer, Better Business in China

China Laboratory Accreditation Certificate - An Introduction
China Laboratory Accreditation Certificate - An Introduction

by Matt Slater March 09, 2017

Although many factory's have their own laboratories, few of these are independently certified so requesting testing by external testing body is a wise move in many circumstances.

These testing bodies should be accredited and you can make sure of this by requesting a copy of their China laboratory accreditation certificate.

Continue Reading

China Industry Classification System - An Introduction
China Industry Classification System - An Introduction

by Matt Slater March 03, 2017

Most large economies have systems in place for categorizing their companies, and China is no different. 

The China Industry Classification system is widely used in the collection of official statistical data on companies and organizations throughout Mainland China.

Continue Reading

The 8 Busiest China Shipping Ports
The 8 Busiest China Shipping Ports

by Matt Slater December 22, 2016

With so many products being made in China it comes as no surprise that China shipping ports are among the busiest in the world.

We've looked up the figures, and in this article present the 8 China shipping ports which handle the most shipping containers.

Continue Reading