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China Contracts: Is That A Real Seal/Chop?

Posted in China Business, Legal News

Was cc’ed on an email between one of our China lawyers and a client that sets out what our client can do to help ensure that the seal (a/k/a chop) on its China contract corresponds with the actual seal held by the Chinese company with whom our client is conducting its China business.

Thinking the email might be helpful to our readers, I reproduce a sanitized version of it below.

The only way to be virtually certain about a Chinese company seal is to do a great deal of in-person due diligence. For example, you could visit the factory in person, inspect the seal there, and then compare it to review previous contracts executed by the company and provided to you. Or, better yet, you send a Chinese attorney to confirm with the government that the seal that will be used on your contract is actually the company’s real seal.  But since the dollar value of this particular transaction probably does not warrant your doing either of these things, we suggest you ask the Chinese party to provide you with the following:

  1. _________’s [the signatory] title, in Chinese and English;
  2. _________ name in Chinese characters;
  3. a scanned copy of __________ business card, in Chinese and English [unless you already have a copy];
  4. a copy of the company’s business license, and;
  5. an explanation as to why the “seal” on this document appears nonstandard (i.e., oval instead of circular) and does not have the company’s registration number.

Got that?

  • AMac

    Our company is relatively new to selling into China. When it came time to sign a contract in China, we realized we needed a company seal. So we ordered one from a stationary store for about $15. When our President showed up in China carrying the seal, the people we were doing business with were absolutely shocked that the company seal would be allowed to leave our headquarters! These seals are very important to the Chinese.

  • Clarence

    A valuable post would be “What does a real seal look like? What are its characteristics? What features does the law require? What are some examples of fake stamps and what’s wrong with them?”

    All I know is to be real it has to have a tax number on it. Circle or oval, what’s the difference?

  • Cuatro

    Any body knows the steps to issue an official company stamp in China?
    Which are the steps to follow, also, which are the paperwork you need to have on file regarding the chops issued for a company.
    any information will be much appreciated.
    thanks all