China WFOE Registration

No restrictions on foreign nationals to register a WFOE in this fast-growing market, the whole process of business registration is the same as local citizens.

Also, WFOE is the most popular company type for foreign shareholders and entrepreneurs.

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    Joy: Customer Manager

    Need to Register a WFOE?

    This is a collection of guidance on the requirements of taxation, registered capital, legal representative, supervisor, business scope, costs and the relevant information of reference in the process of WFOE registration.

    A Chinese WFOE ( wholly foreign owned enterprises ), known as WOFE ( wholly owned foreign enterprises ), or FICE ( foreign invested commercial enterprises ), as the name suggests, the company’s 100% shares owned by foreign national(s), individual(s), or oversea existed corporation(s), no nationality restrictions for foreign shareholder(s), owner(s), as well as the key position of corporate structure, such as legal representative ( known as, executive director ), supervisor ( known as: senior secretary ), and other core elements.

    If your business idea does need to set up a WFOE, WOFE or FICE in the market of mainland China, this is a right place for your studies, OK, let’s go ahead.

    Our WFOE Service Packages 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.

    With the implementation of the New Foreign Investment Enterprise Law, China is encouraging more and more oversea companies to join this emerging market through the further openness of various policies and regulations, such as: lower registered capital system, new 5-in-1 business license, efficient account opening process and more open market access system. Now, start up a Chinese WFOE has turned into a simply and comfortably experience, even you do not need visiting China personally. SMEsChina assists you completing the whole process of establishment confidently by our experienced teams and lawyers.

    Shareholder(s) / Owner(s)

    Any existed foreign companies, foreigners ( nonresidents ) can be the shareholder(s) of a China WFOE, and obtain the approval of certificate of business registration to operate daily businesses and transactions. Before setting up a WFOE in mainland China, you have to make a decision, who will be the shareholder(s), known as owner(s), because shareholders have the right to distribute the final profit of after-tax. Learn more: qualifications and legal requirements of shareholder

    Corporate Shareholder(s)

    A foreign parent company ( existed corporation ) as the shareholder to own the 100% stocks ( shares ), need to register a Chinese subsidiary company as a wholly foreign owned enterprise, and the Chinese WFOE as an independent subsidiary to operate businesses in local market. Foreign parent company as the controlling party, has to obtain notarization and authentication documents for the certificate of registration of foreign parent company issued by the Chinese embassy in your home country.

    Individual Shareholder(s)

    Non residents also can be the shareholder(s) of a WFOE, and you have to apply for the notarization and authentication documents for your passport issued by Chinese embassy in your country.

    Legal Representative of China WFOE

    Legal representative, known as: legal person, or executive director, appointed by shareholder(s), an individual shareholder also can be appointed as the legal representative, no nationality restrictions, legal representative has to apply for the notarization and authentication documents of passport issued by Chinese embassy. If legal representative is a Chinese, need original ID. Learn more: Legal Representative Requirements

    WFOE’s Supervisor

    Supervisor, known as: senior secretary, appointed by corporate shareholder(s), no nationality restrictions. An individual shareholder also can be the position of supervisor. But according to Chinese company laws, the supervisor cannot serve as legal representative at the same time. Foreign supervisor just needs the passport copy and photo, Chinese supervisor needs original ID and photo. Learn more: Legal Requirements of the Supervisor

    Business Scope

    Known as: business activities, you have to select a list from national economic industry classification and obtain approval of business registration, whatever your industry is, you must apply for the business scope when you submitting the application of certificate of registration. Also, different business activities mean different taxation rates, such as: trade, service, engineering, etc. Here, SMEsChina teams suggest you to learn the business scope from our guidance: A Collection Of Guiding Corporate Business Scope.

    Registered Capital

    Known as: investment capitals, corporate shareholders act as investors and fulfill their capital contribution obligations. China government allows foreign shareholders to inject the registered capital with 30 years once local corporation be approved. Registered capital will be transferred from oversea shareholder’s account to Chinese corporate account after exchanging to RMB currency.

    Setting up registered capital is a mandatory provision you have to comply with that, if you are deciding to establish a Chinese business. Traditional trade or service industry, the minimum registered capital is 20,000 USD or Euro. About more reference of capital of China companies, suggest you reading our guidance: Company Registered Capital.

    Requirements of China WFOE Registration

    Key Structure of WFOE:Required Documents:Remarks:
    Corporate ShareholderNotarization and authentication documents for the certificate of registration of foreign parent company issued by the Chinese embassy. Learn more: Embassy Notarization Authentication Documents2 sets, bilingual
    Individual ShareholderNotarization and authentication documents for the passport issued by the Chinese embassy. 16 years old at least. Learn more: Embassy Notarization Authentication Documents2 sets, bilingual
    Legal Representative – Chinese PeopleOriginal ID card, photo, 16 years old at least.none
    Legal Representative – NonresidentNotarization and authentication documents for the passport issued by the Chinese embassy. 16 years old at least. Learn more: Embassy Notarization Authentication Documents2 sets, bilingual
    Supervisor – Chinese PeopleOriginal ID card, photo, 16 years old at least.none
    Supervisor – NonresidentPassport copy, photo, 16 years old at least.none

    Taxation of Foreign Owned Enterprises

    Whatever your corporate type is, all taxes of the company are consistent with the local resident enterprises, such as VAT, profit tax, personal tax, additional taxes, and so on.

    Basic Taxes:Service Activities:Trade Activities:Engineering and Installation:
    VAT – Value Added Tax6%13%9%
    Corporate Income Tax – Profit Tax

    ( less than 1 million RMB each year )

    5% ( preferential tax rate )5% ( preferential tax rate )5% ( preferential tax rate )
    Corporate Income Tax – Profit Tax

    ( 1 – 3 million RMB each year )

    10% ( preferential tax rate )10% ( preferential tax rate )10% ( preferential tax rate )
    Corporate Income Tax – Profit Tax

    ( more than 3 million RMB each year )


    Prices and Costs of China WFOE

    Service Industry

    $1,550first year
    • Government Costs
    • Certificate of Registration
    • Business License
    • Seals/Stamps
    • Virtual Business Registration Address ( 12 months )
    • Annual Tax Compliance ( 12 months )

    Trade Industry

    $1,700first year
    • Government Costs
    • Certificate of Registration
    • Business License/Import and Export Permits
    • Seals/Stamps
    • Virtual Business Registration Address ( 12 months )
    • Annual Tax Compliance ( 12 months )

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The whole procedure of WFOE registration needs 3 weeks, and after getting the approval of license registration, you may open a bank account within 1 week, so you can run your businesses around 1 month after you making a decision to register a wholly foreign owned enterprise in mainland China. Also SMEsChina suggests you reading another guidance edited by our lawyers: 20 Workdays Setting Up a WFOE in China

    Because a trade company needs another procedure for the application of import and export permits. If your trading business does not need to apply for them, the cost of setting up is the same as service industry.

    Due to the latest reforming of business registration for startups, the bank account opening process is getting easier, even you do not visit China personally.

    Exactly, in China, whatever your industry is, you have to report monthly incomes and expenses, and profits, if you do not have a local full time accountant, you can entrust SMEsChina financial center to get supporting on monthly tax return.

    Do not worry about that please. Before SMEsChina lawyers getting your orders, we will confirm all required documents of legal compliance for your company registration. In case of misfortune, you can not obtain the business approval of WFOE registration, we guarantee a full refund.

    Your decision, if you plan to rent a business office to register your WFOE, also this office address can be approved as your registered address of license. If you do not want that, you can contact our lawyers to provide a virtual registered address to obtain approval of registration.

    An available Chinese company name decided by your teams with your brand name and both languages. Such as: BASF Catalyst (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. The corporate name of BASF, includes BASF (brand name), Catalyst (industry), Shanghai (registration area), and Co.,Ltd (limited company). Detail reference of company name, you can link our guidance: naming rules and requirements.

    SMEsChina teams previously published a guidance: Top 2 Categories of Chinese WFOE, consulting and trading businesses are the most popular types for foreign companies, if your company involves cross-industry business activities, do not worry, a consulting WFOE also can apply for the trade activities, the same reason, a trade company also can select consulting and service activities.

    As a foreign shareholder, you can pay off the registered capital within 30 years, you can inject the capital anytime from your oversea account, but for activating the functions of banking, SMEsChina suggests you to transfer 500 USD to your China company’s account once account be approved, the reason of injecting 500 USD at the beginning, is to keep the corporate account valid.

    In China, a company must include 4 key people as the corporate structure, shareholder(s), legal representative ( executive director ), supervisor ( senior secretary ), and financial manager ( accountant ), then can be obtained the approval of business registration. Also, you can appoint other people to set up a board of directors or general manager, more reference of company structure, you can link to our guidance: corporate structure.

    Your decision, China is actively reforming the commercial registration system, and it has become more and more convenient for foreign companies to register their business entities here. After you getting notarization and authentication documents from Chinese embassy, you can register your WFOE easily and don’t need to be present in person.

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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, 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.

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