How to Register Your Company in China

Undeniably, China is a hub for massive economic activity and an ideal haven for investors aiming to expand their businesses overseas. With the help of China’s accommodating government policies, registering your business in this country opens you up to countless opportunities within its expansive marketplace. However, before taking that step toward success, be sure to familiarize yourself with the necessary procedures required when registering a company in China.

With this guide, you’ll be well on your way toward registering your business in China – one of the most dynamic markets on earth. We’ll provide an overview of the necessary steps and give helpful advice. 

What are the advantages of setting up your company in China?

Unlocking full access to the potential Chinese market

Operating overseas can be a complex process, but it is especially difficult to do business in China without setting up an organization there. If you’re a retail company seeking to sell on top China-based e-commerce platforms, your options are severely restricted or none.

Nonetheless, although cross-border websites such as Tmall global may still be available for selling goods and services abroad– these platforms cannot provide the same level of user engagement or sales compared to their domestic counterparts.

Reduced Trade/Customs restrictions

Having a locally established business presence in China allows you to benefit from lower duty rates, reduced customs clearance times, and preferential services such as special export lanes. What’s more, having access to these benefits can help you better compete with the competition.

Providing ease of doing business

The Chinese government is taking steps to create a more business-friendly environment. This has resulted in the relaxation of many restrictions, allowing businesses to easily set up their operations and start trading with fewer complications

Government support

The Chinese government is very supportive of foreign businesses setting up and operating in the country, providing them with access to a wide range of benefits and resources. This includes access to finance, technology, infrastructure, legal advice, and more. Additionally, there are also several tax breaks available to companies in China, providing them with additional saving opportunities.

What are the available company types for foreign businesses in China?

Companies from abroad can easily establish a presence in China through one of the following business formations:

Wholly owned foreign enterprise

If you desire to register a foreign business in China without needing the help of Chinese investors, then registering as a WOFE is your best bet. This will grant you all the privileges that come with running a Chinese-owned company, such as hiring residents and selling directly to consumers. Moreover, it allows you to send invoices straight to clients within China and have nearly identical rights as any other domestic business.

Although the process of registering a WOFE has its advantages, it can cost time and money. Additionally, your business must generate a specific amount of income per month to qualify for registration and will need to abide by Chinese taxation laws once registered.

Representative office

If you’re a foreign company looking to get your feet wet in the Chinese market, establishing an RO – or representative office – is the ideal way to go. It’s one of the simplest and most efficient routes for setting up a branch of your business in China.

Putting it simply, a representative office serves as an extension of your international company in China, allowing you to promote awareness and understanding of the brand without engaging in direct trading. Additionally, this office can help companies with marketing initiatives, facilitate collaboration between suppliers and distributors, and even rent out commercial spaces within China.

Joint venture

A joint venture in China is an advantageous business entity, combining foreign and Chinese companies into one. Unlike the more limited representative office option, this efficient hybrid offers far less restricted access to the massive potential of the Chinese market – making it perfect for those looking to maximize their profits.

Partnering with a joint venture in China is certainly an expeditious way to generate income; however, there are potential risks when dealing with outside organizations. Consequently, this arrangement may not be the best option for larger international companies that wish to extend their reach abroad.

What are the necessary steps to register a company in China?

1. Select a professional agency to assist you with the initial registration process

Navigating the intricacies of Chinese corporate law can be a daunting challenge, making it essential to enlist the services of an experienced agency for registering your company. Professional firms are not only able to oversee all aspects of this registration process but also offer additional support such as audits, tax advice, and guidance with accounting and financial reports.

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We offer many different services, from setting up a Chinese business license to market surveys, e-commerce websites, social media marketing, localization, and more.

2. Select the suitable category for your company

To ensure swift economic growth, the Chinese government has organically structured its industrial sectors. To remain updated on this data and in tune with governmental guidelines, you should take heed of China’s ‘Catalog for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industries, which is constantly revised by officials.

3. Get your business name registered

Securing approval of your company name from the Administration of Industry and Commerce is a fundamental step in the incorporation process. This ensures that your chosen business title does not conflict with other existing entities. Don’t skip this critical stage – guarantee exclusivity for your new venture.

4. Gather and assemble the necessary documentation

  • Approved official Business certificates,
  • Approved Copies of Bank statements,
  • ID cards, passports, photos from investors, managers, and representatives,
  • Company addresses, authorization letters,
  • All documents of ownership or leasing of the property

5. Obtain your approval certificate 

After having all your documents in order, the next step to officially register a WOFE is applying for an approval certificate from both the Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce. This will make obtaining a business license possible.

6. Obtain your business license 

Once you have been granted authorization from the appropriate authorities, there is a 30-day period in which to register for a business license with the Chinese Administration of Industry and Commerce. This permit is mandatory before you can commence your operations within China.

Chinese business license

7. Complete your registration with the Public Security Bureau

By registering with the PSB, you will gain access to your business’s chop. Without a valid chop, you are unable to authenticate any agreement in China – so taking this step is essential for successful contract management!

8. Make an application to Tax Bureau

It is mandatory for every business in China to register with the Tax Bureau and strictly adhere to its guidelines.

Do you need assistance?

Our agency can help you navigate the complexities of setting up and running a business in China. Our team of experienced professionals is equipped to provide you with the services you are looking for and ensure that all your operations comply with Chinese laws.

We have a team of Chinese experts that know exactly what to do to start a company in China and can also help you do everything in Mandarin Chinese. Contact us today to get the help and support you need!

1 comment

  • Kirsty Whitaker

    I am an Australian Citizen that wishes to enquire about opening a wholly foreign owned company within China. I am wanting to dropship from china to other countries. Can you please advise me the costs to use your services? It will be a single member foreign owned company.

    Kind Regards

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