A loyal reader sent me an article this morning regarding a Chinese citizen who had fabricated his ownership in a US bank and used that fabrication to gain power in his hometown. This happened about a year ago so not sure why it was sent to me today, but the reader sent it with a request that we highlight “the fake service businesses that are all over China.”

I am not even sure what the reader means by fake service businesses all over China and I have an email out to him to clarify.  In the meantime though, I will write about the two fake service companies we see most often in our China law practice: the fake entity registration company and the fake trademark registration company.

Every few months or so we are retained by a foreign company (almost always a US-based company) to have us figure out what they have in in terms of a China company and about half the time, we have to go back to them and tell them that they don’t have a thing.  The big problem with most of the fake company registration services we have encountered is that they not only fail to register the company, as promised, they also run off with the registered capital. We also are sometimes asked to check on China trademarks and we are finding that about half the time the registration that was paid for was never done.  Our numbers are no doubt high because those who come to us already have suspicions, but if you have any doubts about what was done for you, it would certainly behoove you to find out.

Do you-all have any good stories to add?

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Dan Harris

I am a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

I mostly represent companies doing business in emerging market countries. It has taken me many years to build my network and it takes constant communication and travel to maintain it. My work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

I was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, I am AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), I am rated 10.0 by AVVO.com (its highest rating), and I am a SuperLawyer.

I am a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and I constantly travel between the United States and Asia. I most commonly speak on China law issues and I am the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog (www.chinalawblog.com). Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed me regarding various aspects of my international law practice.

I am licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at my firm, I focus on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.