The Chinese business scope document sets forth the approved list of services that the Chinese company can provide legally as indicated in its business registration documentation.
The company may only produce products or offer services that are included in the Chinese business scope document; anything that deviates from that documentation is expressly prohibited.
If a company wants to change its business scope it must apply and be approved for a registration change.
The business scope is listed on the company’s business license. You also can conduct additional investigation of a company’s business scope against its company’s public registration record. The State Administration of Industry and Commerce keeps the official, publicly-available registration records for companies doing business in their jurisdictions.
The importance of the business scope document
When sourcing goods or products from a Chinese company, caution remains paramount. While thousands of relationships are established and millions of transactions are processed successfully, there always are exceptions where Chinese company tries to represent itself as something it is not. As a small- or medium-sized business, you should investigate a Chinese company’s business scope carefully: it should neither be too wide nor too narrow in scope.
As with all Chinese documents, you should take steps to ensure that information about a company’s business scope information on its business license. We’ve outlined the steps you can take to verify the validity of a Chinese document in our companion article “Certifying Chinese documents’ authenticity.”
With all official Chinese business documents, it’s important to verify its legitimacy, a process that is complex and challenging.
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