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What You Need to Know About Reserving a Company Name in China

4 minute read


Reserving the company’s name is required by the law in China. It protects the name of your company and gives you the exclusive right of use.

The administration will verify whether the name chosen for the company has already been is taken by another company within the same city/province where the FIE is to be incorporated.

It is necessary to have such a verification step carried out before the approval of the incorporation documents, as the documents will indicate the company name.

Three different Chinese names may be proposed at the same time. If the chosen names has already been taken or rejected, a new list of company names to be further checked can be submitted to the SAMR, which is the competent administration to reserve the company name.

Should your company name be in Chinese or in Latin characters?

It is not possible to register a company name in China with Latin characters, as all the regulations are only relevant to the Chinese name of the company.

  • You will have to define a company name in Chinese characters;
  • The Chinese name of the company can be protected by the registration, but not the foreign name.

According to the applicable regulations, the name of the company should at least include:

  • Identification name or commercial name selected by the shareholders;
  • Type of business, such as Trading, Consulting or Manufacturing;
  • Company’s place of registration, for example, 上海Shanghai;
  • Form of the company, for example, Company Limited.

There are two approaches to selecting the Chinese commercial name of your company:

  • The Chinese commercial name can be a transcription of the English name, or
  • The Chinese commercial name will be a translation of the purpose and the aim of your business.

What is the procedure for reserving the company name?

When applying for name pre-approval, an application form will have to be submitted to the competent SAMR (State Administration for Market Regulation) indicating:

  • The three options for the chosen name,
  • The business scope,
  • The amount of the registered capital,
  • The registration address, and
  • Other requested information such as the name of the legal representative and the name of the shareholders.

Please note that once the name pre-approval is obtained, some information, such as registered capital and the registered address, cannot be changed. Therefore, it is important that a lease agreement have been entered into by the shareholders on behalf of the company to be incorporated before applying for the name pre-approval.

Once an approval notification is obtained, the name will be reserved for 6 months starting from the approval date, to allow the next steps of the incorporation to be implemented with the competent authorities.

Convinced yet?

This guest post is brought to you by our legal partner Leaf. A Shanghai-based firm with extensive expertise in incorporating companies in Mainland China, Fundraising, and M&A inquiries. Find out more on their website!

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