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What is the purpose of reserving the company name?

Before starting the incorporation process of a company, the administration shall verify that the name chosen for the company to be established is not registered by another company within the same city/province where the FIE is to be incorporated.

This verification step is required by the law, and has to be completed before the approval of the incorporation documents where the company name shall be indicated.

Moreover, reserving the company name enables to protect the name and to benefit from an exclusive right of use.

Is it mandatory to reserve a company name in Chinese?

Yes, the registration and reservation of the company name are only related to the Chinese name of the company. It is not possible to register a company name in Latin characters. Therefore, it is mandatory to reserve a company name in Chinese characters, which can be protected by the registration and reservation.

How to form a Chinese company name?

According to the applicable regulations, the name of a company shall at least include the following elements:

  • A commercial or identification name selected by the investors;
  • The activity of the company, such as Trading, Consulting, Manufacturing;
  • The place of registration of the company, for example 上海 (Shanghai);
  • The form of the company, for example Limited Liability Company.

Typically, there are two approaches to have a Chinese commercial name or identification for your company:

  • Choosing a Chinese commercial/identification name which is a literal translation of the phonetic of the English name; or
  • Choosing a Chinese commercial/identification name translating the aim and the purpose of your business.

What is the procedure for reserving the company name?

The SAMR is the competent administration to reserve the company name.

Application for name pre-approval is included in the SAMR online pre-approval process, where relevant information of the company to be pre-approved by the SAMR is submitted. Upon online pre-approval, an application form which indicates the name options, business scope, registered capital, registered address and other requested information, shall be submitted to the competent SAMR office onsite. The shareholder shall obtain and confirm aforementioned information before starting the pre-approval process.

Once pre-approved, the name will be reserved for 6 months starting from the pre-approval date. 

Is it possible to have a company name in English or other languages?

Yes. A company can have an English name or a name in other foreign languages, despite that it is mandatory to have the official registered company name in Chinese. The company name in foreign languages shall be consistent with the Chinese name, and be included in the Articles of Association of the company to be filled with the SAMR. The company also has the option to have the chops of the company in bilingual.

-> This article may also be of interest to you : The Approval and Filing Procedure – Foreign Investment in China

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