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What is a legal representative of a Chinese company?

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What: A Chinese company’s legal representative is the individual who is the legal embodiment of the company's interest for purposes of its relationship with the Chinese government.

Why: The legal representative is a critical role in any Chinese company. That individual has the power to bind the company in contracts, represent the company in regulatory submissions, and initiate and sign off on other binding obligations on behalf of the company.


A Chinese company’s legal representative is the individual who is the legal embodiment of the company's interest for purposes of its relationship with the Chinese government. All businesses in China, regardless of ownership, must have a legal representative. This person holds a principal role in the company’s organizational structure and holds the authority to represent the company in the context of the laws or articles of association. This person has the power to bind the company in contracts, represent the company in regulatory submissions, and initiate and sign off on other binding obligations on behalf of the company.

The role has its origins in Chinese company law. It is important to note that the legal representative may not have any role in managing the company. Those duties are left to the board of directors, general managers, and senior management. The legal representative is listed on the Chinese business license and other important documents.

Like the director of a Chinese company, a legal representative can face a range of civil, administrative, or criminal liabilities if the individual in this capacity conducts breaches to her/his duties. A legal representative’s relationships with other entities and businesses are important, as if those relationships involve an entity with abnormal business practices and finds itself on the country’s dishonest practices database, the company – and its legal representative – could face a series of administrative penalties.

Additional Resources

Questions? We can help. At Nuna Network we offer a variety of valuable guides, tips, and other practical information to help you navigate the sometimes complex landscape with Chinese businesses. We remain the partner of choice for small- and medium-sized businesses seeking guidance in researching, developing, and launching relationships with companies in China. We are your go-to resource for valuable information in navigating the sometimes complex landscape of business operations in China.

In addition, Nuna Network offers a range of validation, verification, and due diligence products and services that can help you determine the authenticity of a range of the many aspects and considerations that are a part of establishing a business relationship with a Chinese company.

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