The Chinese business legislation allows the establishment of a range of companies, depending on the interests of their owners. A company registration procedure must be undertaken by any investor who wants to do business in China. The Trade Register in China is the place to have companies registered and to obtain information about the Chinese businesses operating on the local market. Our lawyers in China can give you detailed information about the process of company registration.
The Trade Register is the company registration authority within the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) or its local counterparts (AICs). Its main responsibility is to undertake the registration procedures for establishing a Chinese company. Any businessman who wants to open a company in China has to file a name pre-approval application with the Trade Register.
If the chosen name is identical to the one of an existing company registered in the same industry, the Trade Register will reject the proposal. Since 2016 a Guiding Opinion on Opening-up Enterprise Name Database and Promoting the Reform of Enterprise Registration (Guiding Opinion) was issued by the SAIC. The company name database is now open to the public.
The Guiding Opinion contains seven categories of company names, among which the names of existing companies, previous names of enterprises which have changed their name within the previous year, company names submitted for approval, but not approved yet, and so on. This Guiding Opinion is aimed at simplifying the verification of a Chinese company. Business registration in China is done at a regional level by the local Administration for Industry and Commerce. The Chinese Trade Register has a centralized system for checking business registration, but it is available only in Chinese. Therefore, it is highly recommended to rely on the professional services of a Chinese law firm if you want to register a company.
Company registration is a necessary step for every investor who wants to start up a company and do business in China. Several stages need to be completed before registering a company in China. These include the following:
• Name search and reservation – prepare three or four company names (in Chinese) and submit them with the local industry and commerce administration bureau. They will confirm the name availability and reserve it for your business. The reservation is valid for six months, with the possibility of extension. The name search and reservation takes one working day to complete;
• Examination and approval – after the company name is reserved, you need to obtain the approval of the investment project from the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce. A series of documents need to be submitted in order to acquire this approval. A maximum amount of 30 working days are necessary for completing this step;
• Registration for business license – once the approval certificate is issued, you need to register your business with the Administration for Industry and Commerce. This usually takes 15 working days to complete.
Company registration in China requires the payment of several fees such as: official registration fees, translation and legalization fees. Depending on the type of business you want to register, these fees may vary. We kindly invite you to contact our attorneys in China if you need further information about the company registration fees.
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