Checking a Chinese business license is important to understand the company's profile, activities, capital, shareholders. How to verify a China business license for free?

How to verify a Chinese supplier business license for free and why it is important

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Common forgeries with a business license in China

We already discussed in the previous video that there are still scam companies in China, but apart from that some are operating despite their licenses being revoked. I have also heard about some other forgeries:

  • Using a company name that is not registered in China

  • Changing date of establishment (to hide that the company was recently established)

  • Increasing the amount of registered capital (to suggest a stronger financial position)

  • Increasing the expiry date (to hide that the business license is not valid anymore)

  • Adding business categories to the business scope (for example ‘manufacturing’)

One should always check that he/she is working with a registered Chinese company and can take legal action should they not keep their end of the contract.

Importance of business license checkup, free business number verification

Good news is that at I can verify their Chinese business license for free! That’s helpful as doing a basic check on your supplier’s business is important. Let’s dive in to see how we can conduct a Chinese company check and what this company registry search can give us.

Verify China business license for free

First, it is important to mention that every company is required by law to have the China business registration certificate (China business license) that has a unique registration number. The lack of this document is an indication that the company is operating illegally.

Registered business license in China

China company registration service (AIC)

The license number gets listed as government records under China company registration authority (AIC -Administration for Industry and Commerce) in a given province. These records are made public online via the official website. It’s easy to see if a Chinese company has a business license and do your factory lookup according to this number.

The rapid growth of China led to the situation that there were a lot more new businesses registering. The previous 15-digit registration number was no longer valid. The new 18-digit Chinese business registration number was designed and implemented in 2015 to meet the increasing demand. It was also modernized to include elements of the tax registration number and the organization code.

China business license 15-digit registration number

18-digit Chinese business registration number

What Chinese business license contains: Unified Social Credit Code (USCI), Tax ID and corporate registration number

Ok, I have requested my potential factory to scan and send me their business registration license, however, to keep their details private we will look into this license sample.

What China business license shows

In the upper left corner, you can find out the Unified Social Credit Code (18-Digit Registration Number), this code contains numbers and letters. This Unified Social Credit Code is also known as Tax Register Number (Tax ID) and corporate registration number. What is USCI number in Chinese? The USCI (Unified Social Credit Identifier, usci number) is called “统一社会信用代码” (which translated literally as “Unified Social Credit Code”).

China company registry search, the official source for China business license lookup

Here you can utilize the official system of National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System: (known as: Chinese business license number
verification system). Sourcefaster also deploys it when giving you free information on the business license checkup.

Here you can input the Unified Social Credit Code (the upper left corner of the above sample picture) and click the search button, as below screenshot.

Official China business license checkup system

Let’s review which details the business license can tell us about:

National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System modules

Module 1: Company name, company registration number check, legal representative, supervising authority, date of establishment.

Module 2: Basic Information, Administrative License Information, Administrative Penalty Information, Listed in the List of Business Abnormalities. Here you may click each button to check out the related information.

Module 3: Included registration number, company type, registered capital, register date, supervising authority, registered address, details business activities, corporate name, legal representative, approved date, operating period.

Module 4: List of shareholder(s), and nationality, shareholder’s effective ID.

Additional details: CR number (Customs Registration Number), patents and trademark, intellectual property verification. How to conduct a complete China factory check-up

That’s lots of useful information on my Chinese supplier data! China corporation register information will not however tell you about CR number (Customs Registration Number), patents and trademark. This search can be conducted with Sourcefaster business investigation service where I can conduct a complete China factory lookup, get their financial background details, receive a credit rating, get insights about litigation and shareholders

Good that if I want to verify a Thailand supplier or a factory from Vietnam or any other country, I can also do it with this business investigation!

Verify Thailand business, Verify Vietnam business license

If you work with a certain supplier long-term, it’s also useful to consider the Chinese enterprises monitoring with periodic notifications of changes on registered information, irregular operation, judgment documents, court announcements, promise-breaking behaviors, enforcement information, trademarks and patents. Sourcefaster offers this service as well.

That was all for today. Hope I have covered common questions about what USCI number in China is, what CR number means, how to do the company registration number check and do the business number verification for free!