How to Obtain Business Incorporation Certificate

Business certificates in China, also known as business licenses and permits.

This is the most popular guidance posted by SMEsChina teams in 2019, if you are looking for the methods, requirements of incorporation and researching the basic information to better understanding the regulations and business rules for obtaining a certificate of business registration of incorporating a private company in China to develop more opportunities through launching a business entity.

This all-around guidance, helping foreigners, companies, foreign corporations and entrepreneurs to learn about topics on company types, key structure, how preparing required documents and other requirement to obtain an incorporation certificate from the business registration department easily and quickly.

For better understanding to learn everything from this guidance, we use simple vocabularies rather than technical, legal terms to let some visitors to our website from non-English speaking countries to know smoothly and simply.

What is a Business License for China Limited Company

Obtaining a business license and certificate of company registration for foreign investors is very fast and straightforward in mainland China. With the growth of economies, the regulations of enterprise registry process and requirement rules are having much more rapid development, most of entrepreneurs and startups considering doing business and establishing companies in Shanghai China. You can comfortably and easily incorporate a limited company by our online guidance.

As a great country, China is becoming the center of the world in the field of finance, free trade, commerce and technical innovation, the Chinese government is pointing out explicitly the direction of deepen the reform for the current enterprises register ordinances, through strengthen and improve the entrepreneurial environment to attract more foreign enterprises investing and establishing their business entities. Therefore, public functional departments are creating a good business environment for global entrepreneurs and help these enterprises obtaining a business license and certificate of company registration easily and quickly.

Publish the register information of company business license

Once you obtain a legal business license from local government, public departments website will publish all following information to society.

1. Company name
2. Registered address
3. Registered capital
4. Business scope
5. Date of establishment
6. Valid period of business license
7. List of shareholders
8. List of directors
9. Legal representative
10. Supervisor
11. General manager
12. Taxpayer credit rating
13. Illegal record
14. Annual inspection information

General industries of Chinese Business License

1. Business consulting and services company
2. Scientific and technical corporation
3. Domestic trading company
4. International trading business
5. Architectural engineering design and management
6. Enterprises management company
7. Educational technology
8. Software, network, information technology
9. Equipment trade
10. Ship technical consultation

Others general industries all can be accepted to register business license and certificate from the local government office easily and quickly.

Regulated industries and Special Permits

1. Food circulation and trading
2. Liquor sales and trading
3. Dangerous chemical
4. Medicine sales
5. Medical equipment
6. Travel agency
7. Financial services
8. Educational training
9. Employment agency

Compliance of Business License, Permits and Certificate of Registration

SMEsChina will help you completing all forms and legal documents for application of business license registration, and before you apply it you may ask our consultants to get more guidance about each industry requirements. And we will suggest you all process and necessary steps,required documentation, and after we prepared these legal files each other, will submit to local government check and approval. Total process around 5 workdays, then you will get a business license and use it to do business here.

If you interested in doing business in mainland China, we will protect your planning and assist you obtaining a legally business license for your China limited company.

OK, let’s learn from below content with 10 minutes.

1st Learn the types of China corporation for getting a business certificate

If you wish incorporating a business in mainland China and hope to get a registration certificate smoothly, you can ask us any questions, our online teams and consultants will do our best to answer your queries and this page is designed to provide global customers helpful guidance on different types of company in terms of Chinese enterprise laws and regulations. We are knowledge about types of China company from different industries and corporate structure.

What is WFOE

With the deepening of economic reforms, a growing number of foreign companies, corporations, organizations, entrepreneurs have established their brands in China market with different industrial products, technologies and brands support. Most of them chose to set up the most popular corporate structure: wholly foreign owned enterprise ( WFOE / WOFE ) to do services, trading, technologies, engineering and others business scopes.

New version of WFOE’s business license of incorporation

With the innovation of new 5-in-1 business license and the reformation of the registered capital subscription system, the procedure of establishing a WFOE has become easier and quicker to obtain approval from local government offices. Whatever your China WFOE does, we have confidently and expertly experience to solve different industrial cases with our fast response services. More reference of China WFOE, suggest you read this useful link: 20 Workdays Setting up a WFOE in China

Limited Liability Company

Selecting the right structure of China Limited Liability Company and forming a company as a legal business entity to invest in China market. If you are seeking a local expert and consultant to obtain the best solution and results to save time and costs, in fact, you are the right place. SMEsChina is assisting global enterprises growing and expanding their brands here.

You can register your Chinese company anytime if you have everything you need to set up, and in the future also can use a registered company to run a business here. Generally speaking, corporate shareholders need to agree forming a local China company and to sign articles of association and appointment documents and relevant other legal files to Bureau of Market Supervision.

20 Workdays Formation LLC

– Incorporation a suitable company name.
– Find a registered address for China LLC.
– Set up a structure, shares of shareholders.
– Appoint an executive director (legal representative).
– Appoint company supervisor and secretary.
– To sign articles of association and official files.
– Work out list of shares for Chinese LLC forming.
– Appoint a financial executive to register taxpayer.
– Application forms for certificate of incorporation.

Read more: China Company Formation LLC

Limited Liability Pertnership

It’s easily set up and operate a limited liability partnership (known as LLP) in the China market, here SMEsChina teams is introducing and explaining the regulations of China business registration system, including registering business name with both languages, requirements of foreign investors, registered capital and how listing acceptable business activities for LLP incorporation.

A limited liability partnership ( LLP ), as the name implies that the business should be operated with 2 shareholders or more members of the board of shareholders, and any shareholders can be individuals or legally existing enterprises ( known as a corporate shareholder ), and also shareholders of LLP can be Chinese citizens, legally registered companies or non residents and foreign business entities.

20 Workdays Incorporation a LLP

– Approval a company name.
– Get an available registered address.
– List shares, 2 shareholders at least.
– Appoint an executive director (legal representative).
– Appoint LLP supervisor and secretary.
– Sign LLP agreement and articles of association.
– Appoint a local person as a financial executive.
– Application forms for incorporation LLP.

Learn more: Incorporating an LLP

Joint Venture Business

Evidently, the meaning of joint venture is sino-foreign joint venture, it is not like a partnership wholly owned by foreign enterprises or wholly owned by domestic citizens. The major difference is that the structure of company is wholly owned by Chinese partners and foreign companies with 2 or more shareholders with a joint business agreement and set up a board of directors appointed by contributors ( investors ).
Read more about LLP: How to Set up a Joint Venture Company

Subsidiary Company

Especially through establishing a WFOE ( wholly foreign owned enterprise ) or DIE ( domestic invested enterprise ) or other corporate types to obtain recognition of legal status. Your Chinese subsidiary company has to get approval for registering a local business license and certificate of registration first, then you can use the business entity to operate daily business transactions, the whole process is easily and quickly from our practical experience.
Read More: How to Establish a Subsidiary Company in Mainland.

Representative Office

Through setting up a representative office in mainland China, foreign business entities can sound out marketing response, collect market information, feedbacks from local Chinese customers, and also can establish initial business liaison and distribution channels to build a foundation for the future’s investment.
Read more: How Setting up a Representative Office in China

Domestic Invested Enterprise

According to Chinese domestic enterprises laws and regulations, domestic businesses must be owned by all Chinese citizens or local institutions and organizations ( legal registered and existed ). And all cooperators as the shareholders to set up company structure and apply for procedure of corporation formation with five-in-one new business license. The difference with WFOE ( wholly foreign owned enterprises ) or JV structure ( Joint Venture ) is that no foreign entities and non residents be the shareholders.
Read more: Incorporating a Domestic Invested Enterprise

Branch Office

Here you must understand that branch office(s) managed by local parent companies ( have obtained local business licenses, permits and registered in other cities or provinces ). It is not like representative office(s) managed by foreign business entities and oversea enterprises.
Read more: How to Open a Branch Office with Simple Process

Group Company

Group companies consist of several subsidiaries, joint stock enterprises, manufacturers, or other organizations. It is a consortium of enterprise ( numerous upstream and downstream resources ) and manages huge assets and implements diversification business strategies, through setting up subsidiaries to operate different industrial sectors, thus enhancing the competitiveness of enterprises.
Read more: Guidance of Group Registration and Formation

Joint Stock Company

Initiators must be more than 2 ( at least ), and less than 200 members, each contributor needs to bear limited liabilities on the basis of their subscribed shares ( stocks ). The minimum registered capital is 5 million RMB for forming a stock company ( corporation, enterprise ). Anyone can be the shareholder once paid payment of shares.
Read more: How to Form a Joint Stock Company in China

Self-Emoloyed Business

Sole traders known as sole proprietorships, it is a legal business entity operated by self employed and invested and owned by an individual ( personal property ). The most important difference with LLC ( limited liability company ) and LLP ( limited liability partnership ) include structure ( only one individual can be the owner ) and take responsibility for unlimited liabilities. Yes, we are correct, sole trader ( self employed business ) is an entity of unlimited liabilities, opposite viewpoint is that only one owner can keep all profits ( income derived from production and business ) after paid tax.
Read more: Set up a Sole Trader or Self Employed Business

Offshore Company

Since the reform and opening up, China has made great achievements in attracting foreign investment and oversea enterprises. January 29th, 2019, Chinese government issued a new Foreign Investment Act. It demonstrates China’s sincerity and determination to open wider to the outside world and welcome, protect and encourage foreign investment enterprises to bring technologies, ideas, brands, products into our fast-growing market.

Offshore companies registration in Mainland China becomes the most effective approach, through forming virtual companies and online offshore banking to operate daily transactions wherever you are. Specially oversea small and medium enterprises eager to enter China market to obtain more opportunities of development. Here, our teams providing a series of solution for setting up a offshore company in mainland China.
Read more: Offshore Companies Registration

2nd Learn incorporation requirements for a foreign company

The purpose of this guidance is to help foreign business entities, brands, companies getting more useful information to start the procedure of forming a company smoothly and comfortably. Before your decision on launching a business in Chinese market, you have to understand the key requirements, such as: naming rules, business scope, registered capital, corporate structure, required documents. You can learn everything from below guidance.

Naming Rules

Online learning normalized writing and naming a Chinese company name without any professional industrial terminologies through our guidance and assistance. There are many industries registered in mainland China with different brand names from all over the world. Here we provide a series of industrial reference to help you naming a corporate name simply and easily.
Read more: Naming Rules and Requirements of Chinese Company

Select Business Scope

If you are using translation software filling in business scope and commercial activities for setting up a Chinese company with the corporate type as a WFOE ( wholly foreign owned enterprise ) or other structure of corporations such JV ( joint venture ), DIE ( domestic invested enterprise ), LLC ( limited liability company ), LLP ( limited liability partnership ), Sole Trader ( self employed business as well as proprietorship ) to operate offshore businesses in mainland China.
Read more: A Collection of Guides Chinese Corporate Business Scope

Learn Policies of Registered Capital

All shareholders as actual contributions ( corporate investors ) have to submit related legal declarations to confirm the final proportion of shares through signing the articles of association and subscription agreement. These signed declarative documents protected in terms of Chinese laws of corporations and enterprises, when corporations having troubles on distribution of profits, sharing risks and losses.
Read more: Requirements of Registered Capital

Decide Key Structure of Incorporation

In accordance with the company law of the Peoples Republic of China and relevant regulations for the implementation of the law of foreign invested enterprises promulgated on 26th, October of 2018, and voted through the sixth session of the standing committee of the 13th National People’s Congress. In order to regulate the behavior of the enterprises and organizations, to protect the legitimate rights and interests of shareholders and creditors, maintain social and economic order, the second legal catalog stipulates, a legal registered enterprise must set up and appoint effective organizational institution to take responsibility for its rights and obligations.

The regulations and rules apply to all local businesses and organizational types such as private companies, LLC ( limited liability company ), LLP ( limited liability partnership ), WFOE ( wholly foreign owned enterprise ) known as WOFE ( wholly owned foreign enterprise ) and FICE ( foreign invested commercial enterprise ), JV ( joint venture business between foreign shareholder and Chinese partnership ), domestic invested enterprise, subsidiary company, offshore company, stock company and group company, etc.

Read more: Corporate Structure

Pre-prepare Required Documents of Incorporation

You should prepare relevant documents to prove authenticity and legitimacy for foreign identification or business entity, then courier these original certificated files to our office, all legal instruments will be submitted to the Chinese market and supervision department. Once documents be recognized by the Chinese government, that signifies your documents of foreign identification can be accepted and approved to register a company here or do business activities in mainland China.
Read more: Prepare Required Documents to Register a Company

Link Chinese Embassies for Notarization and Authentication

Notarization and authentication documents, known as consular identification or foreign certification, as authentic prove files are used to verify the authenticity between countries, all legal files certificated by local Notary Authorities, the Supreme Judicial Courts, Secretaries of State, Foreign Affairs Offices, Embassies in Foreign Countries or other authoritative public departments and organizations.
Read more: Notarization and Authentication Documents

That’s all. Above information enough for your preparation to start up a business in China and obtain incorporation certificate of business registration, and get approval for a foreign company with the certificate of registration of foreign enterprises. Also, you can continue to apply for the bank permit and other certificates of registration for special industries and needed situation.

Today, over 40 million companies have established in mainland China and more than 3 million new enterprises are registered each year. Too many global brands and companies are planning to form local companies here and obtain approval of certificates of business registration. So SMEsChina also is changing our strategy and improving our service level.

Check if setting up a Chinese private company is right for you, how you launch a corporation depends on what business activities you do in China. It can also affect the processes of registration and different requirements for your preparation. If you have everything to incorporate a business, you have to learn the relevant information, required documents, corporate structure and other statutory and regulatory requirements from our online guidance, to make sure everything completed legally, smoothly and easily. All references and guidance collected by SMEsChina Teams in accordance with the latest implemented laws of the People’s Republic of China on Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprises ( WFOE ), Joint Venture ( JV ) and Limited Liability Company ( LLC ), Limited Liability Partnership ( LLP ), and other relevant and officially promulgated regulations and rules on the corporation formation and registration of industrial and commercial enterprises.

But SMEsChina still remembers, we are a service corporation and we have never lost sight of our goals: Do not forget the original intention so that you can make business easier and to be stronger.

If you plan to apply for local certificate and license of business registration, you may get in touch with our teams and lawyers.

Finally, thanks team members for their editing and collecting.

Topics of China Company

China tax system stipulates strictly that whatever your corporate type is and business activities do, even if you do not have any business at the beginning, you must register taxpayer within 30 days after WFOE license be approved, and report tax situation such as income, expenses, VAT, profits ( known as corporate income tax ), personal tax ( employee ) etc.

Whole procedure from getting business license to opening corporate bank account, our standard pricing depends on your industry and business activities, you may contact our teams and just briefly explain what your WFOE does in China and details business scope, at the same time SMEsChina will send you a standard quotation and proposal.

Your decision, as a rule of thumb, whole process can be completed through online guidance, but there is no denying that come here in person is easier and quicker. If you do not want to come here in person, also can complete whole process for WFOE establishment.

Sure, all Chinese business entities ( WFOE, WOFE, LLC etc.) may hire local staff and foreign employees, and as a local employer, WFOE can hire foreign staff to obtain work visa and residence permit.

Except for above basic guidance and process, SMEsChina assists you obtaining import and export licenses and permits from the Customs and Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, this process needs extra procedure with another 5 working days.

There are many special industries need to register permits for your local company, whatever your company type is ( WFOE, Joint Venture, Limited company or other types ), special permits and licenses issued by different supervision department offices and they are compulsive requirements you have to get approval.

Such as: food and beverage licenses, liquor permit, dangerous chemicals, medical apparatus and instruments, dairy products, raw meat trade, etc.

If you do not know your list of products if includes special supervision, you may contact our WFOE experts to obtain more advice.

2 types you can select with Chinese registered companies.

First is small scale taxpayer can issue general invoice for your business activities ( trade or services, or engineering ).
Second is general taxpayer ( known as VAT ), can apply for general special invoice to Chinese customers.

Which is better, depend on your business and what kind of invoice your local clients need. And all of them need to report monthly tax records and quarterly profits, and attend annual government verification and inspection.

All company structure have to appoint below 3 key positions.

1st. Shareholder(s), can be the foreign individual(s) and oversea enterprise(s) registered in other countries.
2nd. Legal representative ( executive director ) can be non residents or local Chinese.
3rd. Supervisor ( secretarial position ), also can be non residents or local Chinese.

As a WFOE, you can inject the capital within 30years and amount must be injected from foreign shareholder(s)’ account(s), and through foreign exchange process transfer to RMB basic account to as daily operations, this process needs 2weeks to complete, our accountants will assist you operating it.

According to Chinese foreign enterprises laws and regulations, China government stipulate that foreign shareholder(s) can inject the registered capital within 30 years.

Whatever your company type is, WFOE, Joint Venture or partnership, you can use an oversea existed company as the shareholder, but you have to get authenticated and notarized documents for your foreign certificate of registration from China Embassy in your home country’s branch office. And courier these legally documents to SMEsChina submitting China industrial and commercial bureau to verify.

You can appoint local firm, secretary to collect and submit changing application to different industrial department offices, and the process will affect your daily operations like issuing invoice, maintaining social insurance and work permits for employees, and bank account ( example: change company name must apply for new corporate bank permit ), but you still can change any records and information for your corporate structure anytime.

Certainly, some industries need longer procedure to operate the changing application, such as international trading business, you also need to change the related information to obtain new business licenses, certification of registration of enterprise and other special permits.

All companies and partnerships registered in mainland China, must report monthly VAT records and quarterly corporate income tax to local tax authorities and collect documents to attend annual audit, government licenses inspection and information verification within March each year. If fail to deliver do these stipulations, key positions and company tax ID, register number will be listed into black name and be fined.

Yes, you have to register taxpayer within 30 days and report month accounts to local tax bureau, same time to create a corporate bank account paying taxes as a taxpayer. And prepare information and documents to public inspection for annual financial settlement and audit.

Any person can be the appointed as the legal representative under the LLP structure and other company types, if you are the director, shareholder, or employee, its your decision, legal representative known as executive director and appointed by shareholder(s). But legal representative can not be the supervisor under same group.

1. Contact our online consultants and obtain business advice.
2. Get a list for preparing required documents you have to collect in oversea.
3. Get a application forms of registering company to fill in.
4. Download and sign legal files and official forms.
5. Courier these documents to SMEsChina office from your country.
6. Obtain business licence, company seals, certificate of registration.
7. Appoint SMEsChina to open a local corporation account.
8. Tax registration to obtain VAT invoice, and register employee system.
9. If need, follow on the step for import and export permits.
10. None, exactly, That’s it. Whole Process done.


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Check if setting up a private company is right for you, how you launch a corporation depends on what business activities your company does. It can also affect the processes of registration and different requirements for your preparation.

SMEsChina focus on the growth of enterprise and providing a variety of business solutions in the area of strategy consultancy, WFOE setting up services, business registration, certificates and licenses of registration, company formation, incorporation of domestic invested enterprise, finance and audit services, HR and payroll, corporate bank account, resident permit, immigration and visa, trademarks and legal compliance. If you have everything to set up a private business in Mainland China, you can get in touch with our teams to get more useful information and online guidance.

More than 47 million companies and small medium enterprises have registered their business entities in mainland China and over 3.5 million new enterprises are incorporated during each financial year with comfortable process of registering companies due to China government implemented new rules and regulation on business registration laws since Oct. 2014. That’s Why SMEsChina is Here.