While conducting business, companies increasingly become the victims of fraud in the People's Republic of China. The Chinese government requires all legitimate Chinese businesses to register with local authorities and obtain a unique license number. If you choose to conduct business China, avoid partners who cannot provide a license number. Any potential scam artist may provide you with a fake license number, however; take the time to check the authenticity of any Chinese business license number provided to you.
Request a copy the business license from your business partner, which will include all information pertaining to the business. This data includes the company name and license number, as well as the company's location of registry. Remember that Chinese companies register on a local, rather than national, level.
Contact the local Bureau of Industry and Commerce with which the business claims to have registered. Rural companies tend to register at the provincial level, while urban companies tend to register at the city level; keep in mind that provinces and cities have separate bureaus. A telephone call to the relevant bureau will usually suffice.
Verify the company's business license with the Bureau of Industry and Commerce. Check the company license number, and verify that it has a legitimate registered address. Check to ensure that any telephone numbers on the business license are registered with the business's chief representative.
Report a fraudulent license number to the People's Security Bureau. The Chinese government takes fraudulent behavior seriously; reporting an unverified license number will help prevent future scams.
For additional verification of any potential business partner in China, request references from the business's suppliers and customers.
Many of the local Bureaus of Industry and Commerce do not have staff that speak English, in which case you may need to use the services of an interpreter or a Chinese-speaking colleague.
- handschlag image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com