Company Registration in China

Company Registration in China

Updated on Sunday 02nd February 2020

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Businessmen or entrepreneurs who want to open a company in China must submit a series of documents in order to register the Chinese company with the relevant authorities. The company registration procedure begins with the preparation of these documents, followed by the opening of a bank account for the Chinese company, as well as establishing a business address. The registration certificate is issued by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People’s Republic of China. Our Chinese law firm offers company registration services and it can help foreign businessmen to prepare and submit all the necessary documents. Our attorneys in China can also help with choosing the suitable business form for your company.


Types of companies in China

Foreign businessmen interested in the business environment available in China can choose to incorporate a company under the following legal entities prescribed by the Chinese legislation:
  • wholly-foreign owned enterprise – is a type of company which has 100% foreign ownership; the business is not related to any Chinese investor;
  • joint venture – the legal entity is available for local and foreign businessmen interested in establishing a company with mixed capital;
  • partnership enterprise – a legal entity which can be set up by individuals or companies. 
After choosing the desired business form, an entrepreneur in China must obtain an approval to use the chosen company name. The approval is issued by the Administration of Industry and Commerce and the application form must be signed by all the company’s shareholders. The business name must comply with the specifications set forward in the regulations issued by the above-mentioned institution. Businessmen who need assistance with protecting a trademark in China can address to our Chinese lawyers, who can offer more details about the relevant procedures.

Do I need a minimum share capital for a company in China?

The minimum share capital for the Chinese company must be deposited in a new bank account, but it is important to know that the legislation in this sense stipulates that a minimum capital is required only in certain situations. According to the Company Law in China, the minimum share capital is no longer compulsory for most of the business entities; in various cases, on which our team of lawyers can assist you, the business partners are required to establish a capital set out in accordance with the operational scale of the company. It should also be mentioned that investors can set up a representative office as well; this type of business establishment is not a legal entity recognized by the Chinese legislation, as the representative office is set up in order to represent the interest of a foreign company on the Chinese market.

This comprehensive video presents the most important steps during the company registration process in China:


The company registration certificate in China

The application form must be submitted to the Administration for Industry and Commerce, along with the following documents:
  • proof that the company has an office based in China (purchase agreement or lease agreement);
  • approval for the company's name as soon as a name verification in this sense has been made;
  • the company’s articles of association signed by the shareholders;
  • identification documents for the stockholders and appointed individuals and the company’s legal representative(s).
It is important to know that the Chinese government has made progress in terms of doing business on this market, as the new stipulations of the Company Act eliminated the requirements related to minimum share capital when incorporating a company, but the rule is applicable only in Beijing and ShanghaiCompanies established in China are required to register for social security, a process which falls under the supervision of the Social Welfare Insurance Center; according to the business operations of the company, the investors will have to obtain special permits or licenses. Other documents referring to any transfer of property or assets, if applicable, may be needed. The approval for the company registration should be communicated within 15 working days. After it is registered, a Chinese company can go forward with other procedures, such as the registration for tax purposes.

Can I open a branch in China?

Yes, foreign companies from overseas can set up branches in China as soon as a business representative is appointed. This is not an independent legal entity and the financial reports must be stated to the parent company. A branch in China will only activate with the purposes established by the company in the foreign country.
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Can I open a subsidiary in China?

Yes, foreign investors can establish subsidiaries in China and benefit from the independent status of such business structure. A subsidiary in China can perform the activities under a different name than the foreign enterprise and it can be 100% foreign owned, without dealing with Chinese partners. We remind that before the incorporation procedure, it is best to talk to one of our Chinese attorneys to establish all the legal aspects in this matter. They can also help you obtain the EORI number.

Can I open a representative office in China?

All foreign companies who want to enter the Chinese market and have an idea about the businesses and activities here can set up representative offices (RO) and deal with all non-economic activities like:
  • marketing strategies and verifications to see if your company fits the Chinese market;
  • marketing research and promotions on behalf of the foreign company you represent;
  • contracts negotiations before any deal are signed with future partners;
  • business meetings with potential clients and partners in China.  
Our Chinese law firm can offer you complete solutions for company registration and company management in China. You may contact our Chinese attorneys in Shanghai for more details.