how to register a company in China

If you plan to register a local company as LLP or LLC, just needs 10-20 workdays completing the whole process. Since 2020, how to register a company in China and obtain new 5-in-1 business license quickly, let’s get started.

How to Register a Chinese Company as Ltd or LLP or LLC

There may seem very simple if you would like registering a limited company in mainland China, whatever the type of your company is, you have to prepare required documents and legal files and some certifications of oversea companies or identities to submit all requirements paper to the China government departments approval. In fact, if your Chinese company as a LLC ( Limited Liability Company ) or LLP ( limited liability partnership ), WFOE ( wholly foreign owed enterprise ), Joint Venture, or domestic company, from our experience that each industry has different register process in mainland China, for you that still need to familiarize with the documentations, register procedures and the steps of establishment by self learning then you can begin to do business and through out the whole processes of registering a Chinese ltd company.

Here this page guiding our customers the details steps and teaching you how to handle with the basic structure of enterprises for your China company registration, we ensure that you will fully understand these valuable information without specific and difficult professional terminologies. In the meantime, we also are happy to discuss with you if you have more further misgivings.

Download PDF to Learn More About Company Set Up:

Steps of Chinese Companies Registration

Description of Timeline:Processing Time:
Submit the application of company name search and registration.3 workdays
Draft out the documents of incorporation and legal forms, files of business registration.3 – 5 workdays
Apply for the 5-in-1 business license and the certificate of foreign owned company.5 workdays
Apply for the company stamps, corporate seals.2 workdays
Corporate account opening and activate the internet banking.5 workdays
Import and export permits (The Customs Registration Certificate). If needed.5 workdays

1st Step for selecting an available ltd or llp company name to register – 3 Workdays

When starting to check names for your China limited company, this is the most important step that you can do nothing if you do not obtain an available company name from local department of business registration. A Chinese company name must be unique in China and can not similar or identical to a local existing limited company or other enterprises and organizations.

And the same time, you also need to know before go ahead to register a company that a legally, useful and acceptable company name must carry the details industries like international trading, consultants, business consulting, enterprises management consulting, catering management and so on. And also China government of business registration stipulates the whole structure of company name must be included Ltd, Limited or Co.,Ltd, group to show what the type of Chinese company it is.

Today there have more and more foreign investors and oversea enterprises choose registering a limited company in mainland China, and Chinese government offices need to deal with large number companies on daily works to handle with the searching and checking for the names of different companies, so the system of name application sometimes has a little of electronic backlog and the process will be delayed one or two workdays. Therefore, we always suggest our online customers from different countries to submit 5 names at least, to increase the probabilities and save the timing of procedure for name application.

2nd Step for preparing legal incorporation documentations – 3 – 5 workdays

Congratulations for that your name of Chinese limited company has approved in Chinese and English language, our online consultants will assist our customers preparing the official legal documentations and forms of application according to different industries requirements from local offices of industrial and commercial administration.

To guarantee that your all documentations are correctly filled in and legal files will be submitted to government checking on time, you have to keep up with our guidance in advance and sign all below official forms:

1. Standard articles of association, resolution of the shareholders committee,
2. Nomination agreements for legal representative and supervisor,
3. Rental contract for registered address,
4. Application forms for China company registration,
5. Legal services and submit registration for power of attorney,
6. Contracts of hiring a local secretary and financial manager,
7. Oversea residential addresses for shareholders, legal representative and directors,
8. The files of decision of board of shareholders and board of directors,
9. Official forms of bank account opening and tax registration.

No worries about these difficult Chinese documents and legal files please, our lawyers will help you completing and filling them, and if you wish to apply for other special permits registration, our enterprise experts still have great confidence in providing assistance to all of you.

Our incorporating services contain the following items:

  • Assist global customers to jump into China market.

  • Collection, approval, and verify the documentation prepared by customers and our teams.

  • Offer a legal virtual office address to obtain the approval of registration.

  • Name search and submit application, get the approval of the corporate name.

  • Documents and forms preparation, and signature of the corporate shareholder(s).

  • Apply for the certificate of registration of foreign owned enterprise approved by the local Municipal Commission of Commerce.

  • Obtainment of the business registration license from the local licensing authority, know as: 5-in-1 business license.

  • Issuing of the corporate stamps, known as corporate seals.

  • Documents collection and submitting for tax registration, and VAT taxpayer application.

  • Basic and capital accounts opening and capital account declaration.

  • Government cost, translate fee, and drafting of the legal files and forms.

  • Import and export license registration and permits application.

  • Yearly administrative and maintaining services, such as license renew.

  • Annual bookkeeping and tax declaration services for income tax report, annual audit, government inspection, tax final settlement.

  • Other optional service selections, such as: HR, social insurance, housing fund, VISA and resident permit, trademark, etc.

3rd Step starting up the procedure of Chinese company registration – 5 – 7 workdays

As a foreign resident owned company in mainland China, you have to through out 2 basic departments for registering a local company, first is foreign trade and economy commission for applying for a certification of foreign enterprises registration, and the second is industrial and commercial administration for registering a business license.

Once we submitting all documentations and information of companies establishment application to foreign trade and economy commission, this government office will issue an approved certification to applicants and this timing needs around 3 working days and then you can use this certification to follow up the process of company registration.

With making full preparation for all information of company incorporation, for example company names in Chinese and English, structure of shareholders and directors, confirmation of registered capital, shares allocation ratio, details code of industries for different business activities and scopes, registered address, certifications of investors, etc. The industrial and commercial administration will check all requirements documents of application from foreign applicants after they got certifications of business registration from the commission of foreign trade and economy, the industrial and commercial administration will issue an official business licenses to applicants, and meantime inform applicants applying for the stamps of company, this independent procedure needs 5 working days.

Regardless of the company type to be registered, you also need signing up with a local agent to assist you completing the whole process of company registration for your LLC or LLP, our aim is providing a series of quick response and valuable corporate services to support our customers going through the filling procedure and help them obtaining a legitimate status from foreign trade and economy commission and industrial and commercial administration, with these two main government departments you can complete the incorporation within 8 work days.

What documents you have to prepare:

Steps:Topics of Study:Links of Reference:
Step 1Decide what types of registering a Chinese company, depends on your key structure of corporation (shareholder’s structure).Selecting a company type
Step 2How to choose an available company name with bilingual for your private limited company.Naming rules and requirements
Step 3List detail business activities from 10 industrial categories.Selecting business scope
Step 4Set up the registered capital for your limited company.Company registered capital
Step 5Set up core people of your local corporation, and key positions.Decide corporate structure
Step 6Required documents you have to prepare in your country.Documents required to register a company
Step 7Prepare notarization and authentication documents issued by China embassy.Notarization and authentication documents
Step 8Download application forms and legal files and after filling and signing, courier to SMEsChina offices.Company formation documents download

What legal documents SMEsChina teams have to prepare:

Documentation Download List (PDF):Signatory:Remarks:
Letter of Commitment of Establishment of Foreign Investment EnterpriseShareholder(s)Bilingual, print double, black pen
The Letter of Attorney for Appointed or Authorized AgentShareholder(s)Bilingual, print 4 copies, black pen
Foreign Company Registration (Record) ApplicationLegal RepresentativeBilingual, print double, black pen
Information of Legal RepresentativeLegal RepresentativeBilingual, print double, black pen
Information of Executive DirectorDirectorBilingual, print double, black pen
Information of SupervisorSupervisorBilingual, print double, black pen
Situations of Investors ( Shareholder Roster )Needn’tBilingual, print double
The Letter of Attorney of Services of Legal Documents of Foreign Investment EnterpriseLegal Representative and Shareholder(s)Bilingual, print double, black pen
Commitment of the Registry AuthorityLegal RepresentativeBilingual, print double, black pen
Commitment of New EstablishmentShareholder(s)Bilingual, print double, black pen
Virtual Registered Address AgreementLegal RepresentativeBilingual, print double, black pen
Letter of Attorney of Application of Company SealsLegal RepresentativeBilingual, print double, black pen
Letter of Attorney of Corporate Digital CertificateLegal RepresentativeBilingual, print double, black pen
Appointment DocumentShareholder(s)Bilingual, print double, black pen
Sample of the Articles of AssociationShareholder(s)Bilingual, print double, black pen
Application of Foreign Trade Operator CertificatesLegal RepresentativeBilingual, print double, black pen, import and export businesses need it
General Taxpayer Application (VAT Qualification)Legal RepresentativeBilingual, print double, black pen

4th Step for taxpayers registration and opening a bank account – 5 workdays

When you obtaining certification of foreign enterprises registration and local business license, company stamps from government departments, you must apply for a corporate account from local Chinese banks, and you will get an approved bank permit within 5 working days after you submitted official documentations and certifications of business registration. Please be advised that most oversea banks branches in mainland China are unacceptable to apply for China taxpayers registration, except the advantages of timing and pricing, Chinese local banks also provide the internet banking in English language version to global enterprises. So we suggest you choosing a Chinese local bank to open bank account.

About Chinese taxpayers registration for foreign residents, you have to apply for it within 30 working days once you getting your own business license, this is a mandatory provision stipulated by taxation office. As a foreign owned company registered in mainland China, if your application of taxpayer registration oversteps valid period, the tax office will ask for a interview face to face with the legal representative of company, and you must go to tax department in person to explain that why your company delay the taxpayers registration, for you this action means that you have to enter into mainland China and meanwhile undertake the expensive business travel.

Documents required for opening a corporate account:

List of Requirement:File / Documents Description:
Approved 5-in-1 business licenseOriginal business license and copy with company stamp
Certificate of foreign owned enterprises (known as: approved certificate of business registration of foreign invested enterprises).Original business license and copy with company stamp
Identity certificate of China company’s legal representativeChinese people needs original ID card and copy Foreign people (nonresidents) needs original passport with entry record within 6 months (if the foreign legal representative does not want to visit China, can issue notarized passport from China embassy instead of original passport).
Application forms of opening bank accountYou can entrust a local accountant going to bank and filling in the information and submit to bank to get approval.
Make a videoCorporate legal representative (know as executive director) takes his/her passport in hand and read the required content (contain the company registered number, tax ID, and passport number and other information).
Appointment letterEntrust document signed by the legal representative

Price list of registering a Chinese company:

Service Industry

$4,950first year
  • Government Costs
  • Certificate of Registration
  • Business License
  • Seals/Stamps
  • Virtual Business Registration Address ( 12 months )
  • Annual Tax Compliance ( 12 months )

Trade Industry

$6,450first year
  • Government Costs
  • Certificate of Registration
  • Business License
  • Seals/Stamps
  • Virtual Business Registration Address ( 12 months )
  • Annual Tax Compliance ( 12 months )

Extend topics of China companies formation:

There are many different rules, regulations for registering a company in any oversea countries, as you know that you can set up a company from oversea government offices online system and its easily and quickly to operate the procedure of incorporation, and foreign countries can issue the certifications of business registration by online printing, you can download it any time and any place you want. And most of countries can register a certification as only one proof of local juridical status and can be approved to do many industries and activities.

But in mainland China, although we are changing the enterprises laws and local regulations for foreign investors from all over the world, also need you applying for different activities and business scope from different codes of industries, all required original files and documentations must be submitted by manual approach without using online system. So we prefer to do full preparation in advance, avoid making mistakes and submitting more times to influence the whole process.

With the business license is not only one certificate of business registration, there also have to apply for other special business permits for some restricted industries. For example, food, liquor, raw meat, dangerous, medicines, etc. And these special business permits need to be registered from different supervision departments and you have to prepare extra confirmation documents and requirements files to provide government offices checking, without doubt, you need to pay extra services fees to us.

On the Chinese business license of incorporation, you will find some important information of registration and meanwhile local government offices will publish these useful information on the website system of industrial and commercial administration and any person can search and check these information by online website. For example, company name, registered address, how much registered capital, name of the legal representative, period of validity, date of establishment, register number, taxpayer registration number, business scope, special business activities, QR code and so on.

Such is the case, with your business license of Chinese company approved in hand, you must hire an accountant and a ltd company secretary to visit tax offices and banks on behalf of your China company each month. From this point, if you do not have any Chinese employees here, we suggest you to hire our firm as your local financial manager and llc secretary, our aim is offering a cost effective and dependable legal services to our employers.

So to recap in the end, for registering a company as Ltd or LLP or LLC in mainland China, you should select a right firm and ensure that you have understood the whole process of company incorporation. And with our professional services you can simple and convenient establish your business entity.

If you are considering how starting doing business in China, and planning to register a LLC, LLP, you can obtain more further details from our incorporation consultants and lawyers.

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