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How to name your Chinese company – The art of naming!

by Angel Ho | 25 June 2024



Naming your company in China can be a challenge for foreign business owners, especially for those who know little about the regulations regarding Chinese company namings. In this blog, Hongda will introduct you how to name your Chinese company with an insteresting story!

how to name your Chinese company


Like an old Chinese saying goes: "A good title is half the success of an article.", naming a company is an art. Like people's names, most company names carry the founder's good wishes (though some odd names are chosen just to pass the registration process). In the wave of globalization, having a memorable and resonant local name is as important as having a name in the native language for both companies and products. 

Compared to straightforward names like Apple, Inc., Meta Platforms, Inc., or Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Chinese company names are generally formulated according to the "Measures for the Administration of Enterprise Name Registration" issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation. These names follow the sequence of administrative division, brand name, industry, and organizational structure. Under these rules, company names uniformly start with the name of a city or district.

Looking back at 2018, during the peak of Chinese companies' participation in CES, more than 1,500 Chinese companies exhibited, accounting for one-third of all exhibitors. Like all tech journalists, Mike Murphy, a reporter for Quartz, carefully studied the exhibitor list. He was astonished to find that nearly 500 companies in the A-Z sorted list began with "Shenzhen." His curiosity led him to check other Chinese cities, and unsurprisingly, there were numerous companies starting with the names of cities in Beijing, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta. This was Mike's "I don't get it, but I'm deeply impressed" moment. He then wrote an article drawing a quirky conclusion: Chinese tech companies are really fond of their hometowns (Chinese companies at CES love putting their hometowns in their names). 


how to name your Chinese company


After reading this interesting story, let's now take a look at how you should name your Chinese company with Hongda!


How to name your Chinese company - Rules to remember!

Chinese company names generally consist of four parts in the following order: administrative division + brand name + industry characteristics + organizational form, or brand name + (Beijing) + industry characteristics + organizational form.

  • Administrative Division

The administrative division is usually expressed as "Beijing" or "Beijing City." "Beijing" can also be used in the middle of the name, but it should be enclosed in parentheses, for example: Baidu (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd. or Baidu Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd.

  • Brand Name

The brand name is the name differentiating this unit from other business units that are engaged in the same activities. At least two Chinese characters that meet national standards should be used, and this is called the brand name. A brand name is both the most important and the core of a company's name simultaneously. Naming a brand is like giving a baby a name. A good, mellow, easy-to-remember, and meaningful brand name can often be the first key to making the company's success. Many foreign companies entering China register their local company using a transliteration or translation of their overseas brand name: for example, Apple Inc. is translated as 苹果, and Amazon.com, Inc. is transliterated as 亚马逊.

The "Measures for the Administration of Enterprise Name Registration" in China do not stress the translation of the brand name very much; it does not even require the approval of the industrial and commercial administration. This is why an English version of the brand name is not used throughout all foreign companies operating within Chinese borders, thus making their origin explicit.

  • Industry Characteristics

Industry characteristics indicate the core business activities of an entity. For example, a company whose core business activity is clothing might contain the words "Commercial," "Clothing," or "Trade." A company whose core business activity is technology might contain "Technology," "Development," or "Tech." A company whose predominant activity type is restaurants might contain "Restaurant" and "Dining." When choosing the type of industry, it is essential that the "National Economic Industry Classification" is applied according to what is provided by the National Bureau of Statistics.

  • Organizational Form

The organizational form reflects the company's structure or liability form. Companies are generally required to use terms like "Limited," "Limited Liability Company," "Corporation," or "Limited Company."

Regardless of the type of enterprise, a name must be chosen before it is officially registered as a Chinese company. A good company name must adequately reflect the uniqueness and characteristics of its products or services.



When Can I Use an English Name for my Chinese Company?

Now imagine that your foreign company earned some reputation. You started one company in China and wanted to use the English name of this foreign company for better market development for your business. Would that be possible? 

Under the Laws and Regulations of China, only Chinese names will appear for corporate registration. That essentially means there is not going to be any English name or lettering on your business license. This, however, does not impede the use of your English name and its associated logos on your internal documents, business cards, or even on the website. You may then adopt an English name when signing contracts with third parties, provided that under such legislation, said contract should be stamped with a seal corresponding to the Chinese company name to have the same legal binding.

In general cases, once a company is registered, the official seal made by Chinese authorities will only have the Chinese name that appears on that business license. For foreign-invested companies or those involved with numerous international businesses, it is a necessity to have a bilingual seal in Chinese and English. If you need a bilingual corporate seal, please let us know while entrusting Hongda as your partner; we shall go through the relative process and apply for the corresponding bilingual seal for the company's use. 

And more importantly, whether you will be applying for an import and export license or opening a foreign currency account in your company, you will use the English name of your company. However, to ensure that the English name you would like to use is compatible with and corresponds to your Chinese company name, then the English company name you would like to use must first be registered on the website of the Chinese government for governmental regulatory purposes. You can either translate your Chinese company name as your English company name, translate it phonetically, or take a meaning-based translation of your name. For example: the official name of Hongda is '深圳市环达商务服务有限公司'. We can translate it as 'Shenzhen Huanda Business Services Co., Ltd.' Of course, we can also use 'Shenzhen Hongda Business Services Co., Ltd.', which we are using now, as long as it is recorded and filed with the national management system. If you'd like to know more about registering a company name in English, we can provide you with further particulars on this.



Naming Chinese companies is not only a legal process but also a very subjective, strategic process. A unique and compliant name will be able to express the core value and positioning of the business, which may make you stand out from a fiercely competitive market. With the correct use of the imagery and phonetic beauty of the Chinese characters, you will be able to combine effectiveness for the name with attractiveness and memorability for your brand, infusing it with singular cultural significance and commercial appeal. Whether you are entering the Chinese market for the first time or looking to rebrand, the right choice of company name will be critical to your success. Your name is more than just your name card; it's your first impression on the market. 

Hongda is aware of how important a company name is in order to be able to function in China. Hence, Hongda would very much like to help you with all the initial business creation; we will help you to come up with a professional name for the industry and advise on the best option available.

Book a free consultation to get information about Hongda's company establishment service. This way, we will be able to collect the relevant information to run a no-obligation check and search for the Chinese name and trademark. Let Hongda assist you all the way to excel in the Chinese market.




Hongda consultation CTA 2016

Angel Ho

Angel Ho

Helping make China companies easy for foreign investors since 2007 as lead consult.



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