Why the Chinese Chop is Important for Your Documentation

The Chinese chop is the equivalent of signatures on documents in Western countries. In China, the chop is the ultimate tool used to authenticate any kind of document. In mainland China, chops legally bind people when signing contracts. The tradition of the chop goes back almost 2000 years, but it has evolved from a drip-wax, carved-out letters seal to a stamp pad and chop. However, the importance of the chop importance has remained similar. Used to authorize documents of all kinds, the chop serves as a legally binding seal when it is applied to a document.

The Importance of the Chinese Chop

The Chinese chop adds a level of security in some instances. A chop also verifies a person’s authority and is used for official documentation. A good example is when certain documents with multiple pages must be stamped. In this case, one stamp (called a fan chop) must be placed across all pages to easily verify the document in case any one of the pages has been substituted. The chop also makes it easier to transfer legal authority to somebody in case of an emergency or the absence of a legal representative.

The importance of Chinese seals stems from a historical mistrust of signatures and the number of forgeries that could easily occur. Just like signatures, chops have distinctive traits. If a seal is lost, a public announcement must be made in a local newspaper to notify anyone that may be affected. There’s a big issue around the responsible use of chops in China as improper usage can lead to fines. And all misuse issues go to the Public Security Bureau.

Almost all Chinese documents contain chops. But different chops have different meanings. According to Chinese law, only a document stamped with a chop and proper Chinese characters has legal effect and can be used as compliance documents.

Main Types of Chinese Chops

Company Chop – 公章

An official company chop is the most widely used official chop. It represents a company’s rights and responsibilities and is used for international purposes such as visa applications. If you’re having your Chinese documents translated and certified, the language services provider’s chop will appear on the document, verifying its authenticity.

Financial Chop – 财务专用章

A financial chop or the finance chop is applied to financial documents like bank transactions, receipts, and checks. The finance chop also works for proof of payment receipts. Some also refer to this particular chop as the invoice chop.

Contract Chop – 合同章

They use a separate contract chop to sign contracts and represent the registered Chinese company within the scope of the contract. The contract chop also contains the name of the company and the characters 合同专用章, which means special stamp for the contract. The contract chop grants those with a business license and Chinese companies to create legally binding contracts.

Company’s Legal Representative Chop – 法人章

This chop is used whenever a legal representative acts in the absence of a company owner. A legal representative is authorized to do business on behalf of the company. When a company’s legal representative acts on behalf of the company, they use this chop to sign legal documents and official documents.

When and Where a Company Chop and Chinese Seals are Used

The majority of Chinese citizens possess personal name seals. And they use this chop to sign official documents. They call this the personal chop. The chop is generally used for official purposes and replaces Western signatures on documents.

Any official Chinese document will contain a chop to authenticate its content.This is why it is essential to have the chop translated as part of the process whenever your documents must be translated to English for official use abroad.

Professional Certified Translation Services in China

Day Translations office in Shanghai offers our clients a reliable, effective, and 100% accurate certified translation service. We can assist you with all types of translation. And we’re based on the ground in China. This means we’re able to assist you regardless of where you live in the country.

Day Translations has its own signature chop and will authenticate every document translated by using our company chop. We also emboss all translations for an added layer of security!

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our translation services and other leading language solutions

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