We could see chops or stamps on almost all important documents in China, but different stamps have different meanings. In this article, I will introduce why documents need stamps, the types of chops, and how to use these stamps.
The reason why documents need to be stamped in China
According to Chinese laws, a contract in writing form can only become valid after it is stamped. In short, only a stamped document has a legal effect which could protect the benefit of the two parties.
Main types of Chinese chops
1.公章 (Company Official Stamp)
A company official stamp is the most widely used stamp. It is the symbol of the rights and responsibilities of a legal representative and the company. It is used in international trade when signing a contract or sending a proforma invoice. This stamp contains the name of the company, sometimes it also contains the registration number of this company.
2.财务专用章 (Financial Chop)
Financial Chop is usually used to stamp the bank documents and checks, or receipts. It is not usually used in international trade. This stamp contains the name of the company and the characters “财务专用章 (special stamp for finance)”.
3.合同章 (Contract Stamp)
It could be used when signing a contract, it represents the company within the scope of the contract, and the company should bear the obligations. This stamp contains the name of the company and the characters “合同专用章 (special stamp for a contract)”. But in real cases, this stamp is rarely used in signing a contract because an official stamp of a company can also do the work.
4.发票专用章 (Invoice Stamp)
An invoice stamp is used when issuing invoices. This stamp contains the name of the company and the characters “发票专用章 (special stamp for invoice)” and the tax registration number. In international trade, it is often used on invoices issued by Chinese companies.
5.法人章 (Legal Representative Stamp)
It is used for the registration of companies and setting up bank accounts, but in daily business, it is not usually used. This stamp only contains the name of the legal representative.
You should pay attention that although there are contract stamps, the official stamp is more commonly used in the signing of contracts in international trade because the official stamp is the symbol of a company’s legal operation. Only by holding the official stamp issued by public security can the company begin to do business. Therefore, using the official stamp can reduce business risks.
How to Stamp
1. If the document has only one page, stamp it on the lower right corner.
2. If it is a multi-page contract, the stamp is required on the lower right corner of each page. And spread out the contract, stamp a cross-page stamp as is shown in the picture. This means the company will be responsible for every page of the contract.
If your suppliers do not stamp the contracts or other documents, you must ask them to provide you with the stamped documents. Otherwise, it is hard to protect your own rights when something goes wrong.
Besides, you should collect more information about this enterprise before doing business to avoid property loss, such as company structure & shareholders, intellectual property, related risks, customs registration information, business registration information, change records. If you want to know more detailed information, please contact us, we are always willing to help you.