How to Identify the Legal and Effective Official Seals of Chinese Companies?
Among all the seals of the Chinese company, the official seal has the greatest legal effect. All contracts, official documents and certificates signed in the name of the company shall be affixed with the official seal of the company.
As a foreign entity, when doing business with a Chinese company, how to identify the legal and valid official seal of the Chinese company?
Here we will briefly introduce several important elements for you to correctly identify legal and effective official seals of Chinese companies:
The engraving of the official seal of a Chinese company must be approved by the Chinese public security organ, and after examination by the public security organ, it shall be produced by the engraving agency designated by the public security organ. There are also standard requirements for the font of the official seal: the official seal must be printed with the full Chinese name of the company.
If you find in a transaction that the "seal" of a Chinese company only has its English name on it (see Fig. 1 below), then the seal they use is not an official seal, it is privately engraved.
The color of a legal and effective official seal of a Chinese company appears generally dark red on the computer after scanning. If you find that the seal of the Chinese company is blue, green, or other color (see Fig. 2 below) in the transaction, the seal they used is not their official seal.
Legal and valid official seals of Chinese companies are usually round or oval. If you find that the seal affixed by the Chinese company is square, rectangular (see Fig. 3 below) or other shapes in the transaction, the seal they used is not their official seal.
The diameter of most legal and valid official seals of Chinese companies is 4.0 cm. Except for the central state institutions in China, the diameter of official seals is generally less than 5.0 cm. If you find that the seal affixed by the Chinese company is too large or too small in the transaction, it is very likely that the seal they used is not their official seal.
The above methods are quick and simple ways to identify whether it is a legal and valid Chinese company seal. However, there are a few companies that do not hesitate to illegally engrave a seal that resembles the official seal, and if it is still impossible to confirm whether the seal is true and valid through the above methods, we recommend that you take measures, such as authenticating the signatory, inquiring the signatory's company authorization documents, social insurance records, taking photos and videos of the signing process, and adding the signature of the legal representative.
If you have a significant or long-term transaction with a Chinese company and need a Chinese lawyer to review the contract or other documents, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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