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China - Start a Business

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  • Do your homework.
    • Make sure you're informed about the state of the industry you're in. A lot of this research can take place from your own home.
  • Pick a location.
    • You can't set your business down just anywhere and expect to be a success.
  • Choose an entity status
    • Before you register with the government, you need to decide what type of business entity to register.
  • Develop a business plan.
    • A detailed five-year business plan is crucial, because once the government approves it, you will be able to operate only within its guidelines.
  • Find a liaison.
    • No matter how informed you are, you won't get very far without consulting a representative to register your business.
    • A qualified liaison should be able to tell you where you need to go to register, whether it's the local, provincial or national government
  • Organize the necessary documents.
  • Apply for registration certification "business license of enterprise legal person" with SAIC, the organization code certificate issued by the Quality and Technology **Supervision Bureau and registration for both state and local tax with the tax bureau
  • Trademark your intellectual property.
  • Find a bank.
    • This part should be quick and easy, since there are plenty of banks with a huge presence in China.
  • Apply for the authorization to print or purchase financial invoices/receipts.
  • Purchase uniform invoices
    • The company must obtain and submit an application form to purchase uniform invoices
  • File for recruitment registration with local career service center
    • Within 30 days of recruiting employees, a new company must register with the local career service center, sponsored by the local government.
  • Register with Social Welfare Insurance Center
    • Within 30 days of establishment, the company must register for the payment of employee social insurance with the local social insurance office


Required Documents[edit]

  • Notice of approval of company name
  • Lease or other proof of company office.
  • Capital verification certificate or appraisal report
  • Articles of association, executed by each shareholder
  • Representation authorization
  • Identity cards of shareholders and identification documents of officers
  • Appointment documents and identification documents (certifying name and address) of the directors, supervisors, and officers.
  • Appointment documents and identification documents of the companys legal representative
  • If the initial contribution is in nonmonetary assets, the document certifying transfers of the property title of such assets
  • Other documents as required by the authorities

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Shenzhen & South China Office:
6009 Yi Tian Road, Suite 2306,
New World Tower,Shenzhen 518035
Tel: (86-755) 6128.6800 (You can inquire in English, Cantonese and Chinese)
Mobile: (86) 136.8649.3886
E-mail: [email protected]

The People's Bank of China (PBC)
Addr: No.32 Chengfang street,Xi Cheng district,
Beijing,China PostCode:100800
E-mail:[email protected]

Path To China (PtC), Southern China Offices:
161 West Lin He Rd., 23F
Tower A, Center Plaza,
Guangzhou, 510620
Request For Proposal-
Tel: (86.20) 6113.5690

OCRA (China) Limited
Room 3003, Wheelock Square
1717 Nan Jing Road West
Shanghai , 200040

PR China
Tel: +86 21 6288 2288
Fax: +86 21 6288 2138
Email: [email protected]

National Police Agency,
Ministry of the Interior, Republic of China(Taiwan)
Address:No.7, Sec. 1, Jhongsiao E. Rd.,
Jhongjheng District, Taipei City 10058, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Service TEL?02-23219011

Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau
Phone: (8610) 88050813
Fax: (8610) 63070900

People's Republic of China Ministry of Commerce Investment Promotion Agency
Phone: (010) 64404550
Fax: (010) 64515317
E-mail: [email protected]



Businessmen desiring to start a business in China.


CNY 30,000


Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid.
e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links


Sample Documents[edit]

Processing Time[edit]

Please explain processing time taken in obtaining the document/certificate.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 



Before starting up a business in China, you have to know what the options are. Foreign Investors generally establish a business presence in China in one of five ways:

  • Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE);
  • Partnership Enterprise (PE)
  • Representative Office;
  • Joint Venture;
  • Hong Kong company

Required Information[edit]

  • Purpose and estimated investment
  • WFOE's operational structure and number of employees
  • Permission for land use, environment evaluation report
  • Products, size of production, detailed list of equipment, and business plan
  • Environmental protection measures
  • Requirement for utilities such as power and water supply
  • The latest annual audit report copy from the parent company
  • Letter of Authorization
  • Passport copy
  • Certificate of Incorporations, Articles of Formation or Equivalent document
  • Bank Reference Letters from investors bank


Need for the Document[edit]

China can be an overwhelming location to consider establishing a business. China is the most successful communist country on the planet and consistently ranks as the sixth largest economy.

Information which might help[edit]

It is customary in China to pay rent one year in advance and this must be taken into account in planning a budget because the governmental authorities will be expecting this.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]


If you start offering a product or service that is not in your business plan, the Chinese government can shut your business down. The same goes for where and how you operate.