Upon formation, many businesses find managing the compliance and administration of their Chinese subsidiaries to be cumbersome and confusing.
Without a proper understanding of the administrative and compliance requirements for these subsidiaries renewals and lodgments could be overlooked, resulting in financial penalties and in serious cases, license suspensions and revocations. We can play a role in.
- Custodial and management services towards all corporate certifications and licenses
- Providing regular updates on upcoming lodgment dates, policies or regulatory changes
- Custodial and management services for company chops and seals
Schedule a Consultation to discuss your China company secretarial services.
Company Secretarial Services
When incorporating an entity in China, numerous licenses, permits and approvals are applied for at various government departments. These then constitute a record of the entity’s operating history, chronicling changes throughout the lifetime of the company.
In addition to this, various seals (chops) are required to be carved and registered with the State Public Security Bureau and kept on file as key objects that have a great deal of power, influence and recognition by the regular management and administration of the entity in question.
Many foreign investors are confused about exactly how the company’s file of licenses and permits should be maintained, how such seals are used correctly, and how they are applied in the conduct of commercial operations in China.
Every company needs to keep its licenses, permits, records and company files in order, comply with mandatory administrative guidelines governing PRC entities, carry out updates on a regular basis to keep up with a constantly changing regulatory environment, and participate in an annual inspection (filing) as required by law.
In China, seals hold greater authority than the signature of a natural person. Common business uses include executing contracts, passing of resolutions, making payments, issuing cheques, tax filing, reporting to the local authorities, etc. Therefore it is important for managers and executives to understand the significance of these items and how they should be used. In certain specific situations, only seals of the company are acceptable to confirm Chinese legal documents.
The common types of licenses, permits and seals employed by PRC entities in their daily operations are:
Licenses, Permits & Approvals
- Company Name Search Approval.
- Articles of Association.
- Feasibility Study Report (‘FSR’).
- Business License.
- Capital Verification Report.
- RMB Basic Account Opening Certificate.
- Foreign Exchange Registration IC Card.
- Taxation Registration Certificate.
- Customs Registration Certificate.
- Over 10 other different licenses and permits depending on the industry.
- Main Company Seal.
- Legal Representative Seal.
- Finance Seal.
- Invoice Seal.
- Contract Seal
Company Secretarial Services
To assist our clients in understanding how the files, permits, licenses, approvals and records of the local entity are managed on a regular basis and in compliance with PRC regulations, Acadia provides a fully-fledged company secretarial service package that covers the following:
- Keeping on file all corporate documents, company articles, relevant licenses, permits, and approval documents
- Updating all documents, licenses, permits, and approvals for the company at the correct filing deadlines throughout the course of the year
- Filing for changes to statutory records as required by the Administrations for Industry and Commerce (AIC).
- Keeping an updated copy of the company’s articles and administering changes throughout the life of the company in accordance with AIC requirements.
- Registering with the AIC and other relevant authorities as the main point of correspondence such that government notices, updates and policy changes are received, communicated to the company’s managers and implemented.
Company Secretarial Services
The main “company seal” is considered the most important item in the administration of an entity in China as it represents the utmost authority within the legal entity and has significantly greater power or authority than other seals. When the company seal is endorsed on a document it indicates consent or affirmation of the terms and conditions within the document by the entity and no actual signatures are required.
Acadia provides custodial and management services for the safekeeping, management and administration on the use and circulation of these key items to enhance internal control practices in each entity. If managed and administered well, companies have little to fear as sometimes simple internal control measures applied to such matters can prevent unnecessary risks and problems.
Risk of Misuse of the Company Seal
A company should formulate internal controls to prevent misuse of company chops as well as placing explicit limitations on the power of the legal representative. But when the counterparty to a contract acts in good faith in assuming the chop was used with proper authority and in fact it was not, a company can find itself in a difficult situation trying to cancel such contract and its legal obligations. There are numerous examples of foreign investors finding a disgruntled general manger or legal person refusing to relinquish possession of a company chop.
In such cases, company shareholders will have to take complex steps to regain control of the company seals. They can either file a lawsuit again the outgoing employee to claim return of the chop and the damages, or they can make an official filling to the public safety office for cancellation of the old company seal, and apply for a new one. Both options will take months to implement.