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Chinese Business Licenses Explained

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All companies in Mainland China conducting business are required to have a valid Chinese business license.

Many components need to be validated to ensure that the company with which you are contemplating doing business is legitimate. A valid Chinese business license is one of the most important foundational documents for a Chinese business and for those doing business with that business.

As you’ve probably surmised by now, doing business in China with a Chinese company involves numerous forms, processes, and procedures to establish the relationship and ensure that it is a legitimate, sustainable concern. One of the more important documents that you need to verify is the Chinese business license. All companies in Mainland China conducting business are required to have a valid Chinese business license. Like all documents and certificates that are a part of the process, ensuring that the license is legitimate and not a forgery is very important. In this article we explain the different aspects of this license.  

Chinese Business Registration

Companies typically apply for a Chinese business license through their local Administration for Industry or Commerce, or AIC. (It’s important to note, though, that within the next 12 to 24 months, this body will change to the State Administration for Market Regulation, or SAMR.) The government requires every business to register and hold a valid Chinese business license.

Chinese Business Licenses Decoded

All certificates will include 营业执照 (business license) on the document. Companies may produce two versions, one in A3 size (the official certificate) or an A4 size (the official copy).

Example of a Chinese business license.

Example of a Chinese business license.


Chinese business licenses contain basic information about the company and its registration details:  

  • Registration Number

  • Official Company Name

  • Company Type

  • Registered Address

  • Legal Representative

  • Registered Capital

  • Date of Establishment

  • License Expiry Date

  • Business Scope

  • Registration Bureau

If you need help requesting, reading/translating, or verifying the authenticity and veracity of a Chinese business license, Nuna Network can help you navigate those procedures. We offer a variety of products and services to help you navigate the sometimes complex landscape of Chinese license and business certificate verifications.

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