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A company chop or company stamp is mandatory in certain jurisdictions and replaces the signature of a director or legal representative to validate and bind a document or a contract.
Applicable laws in Hong Kong on company chops/stamps changed over the years.
This article explains the function of a company stamp and its significance.
We also explain if a company chop/stamp is required in Hong Kong.
What is a company chop?
In Hong Kong, a company chop is normally a small round stamp, in blue or red ink.
The company stamp normally includes the company name in English and/or Chinese.
The company’s registration number or business registration number may also appear on the stamp.
However, this is not mandatory.
The term company chop refers to a rubber seal, stamp, or imprint.
It was a prevalent term during the 17th century.
Company chops are also recognized in other common law jurisdictions such as India, China, Australia, and Canada, to name a few.
What is the function of a company stamp?
The function of a company chop is a mix of Chinese and Western models, and it is very common in commercial and corporate use.
The company chop/stamp is used to authenticate and validate official company documents, letters, deeds, certificates, and records.
To put it simply, a company chop in Hong Kong operates as a signature.
Due to the similar nature of a company chop and a signature, a company chop is not always a requirement as a signature has the same effect.
However, certain business transactions specifically require a company stamp.
For example, a company will be required to sign and chop the application form when applying for a bank account.
That is also the case when sponsoring an employee visa.
Company chops have greater use and official value in Mainland China.
Therefore, companies that do business with or have a subsidiary in Mainland China are recommended to use a company stamp to avoid any complications.
Is a company chop required?
In the past, company stamps and common seals played a crucial role in validating and authenticating the documents of a company.
They have become optional following the new Hong Kong Companies Ordinance 2014.
The use of a company chop is optional.
Companies no longer need to maintain a common seal to validate their documents and conduct business activity.
The signature of one or more directors is now sufficient to bind a company.
However, the use of company chops remains a common practice.
In the case of a document signed by an employee of a company who is not a director, the counterparty would usually require the document to also be stamped with the company chop.
How to get a company stamp?
A company can design its company chop or company stamp based on its own standards and choices.
Air Corporate will create your company stamp when registering your company.
We can also help you create a digital version of your company chop for electronic signature.
Simply contact us if you did not incorporate with us but require a company chop/stamp.
While a common seal is not necessary nowadays, we strongly recommend that you use a company chop/stamp for your company.
Having a company chop will simply make your life easier when dealing with clients, customers, or government authorities in Hong Kong, Mainland China, or elsewhere.
Register your company in Hong Kong with Air Corporate today, and you’ll get a company chop included in your business kit!
Focus on your business. We take care of the rest.
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