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Representative office in China, registration authorities, foreign representative offices in the Republic of China and registration procedure in China

The procedure for opening and registration of a representative offices in China on behalf of a foreign company, post-registration procedures in the PRC authorities

The concept of a representative office of foreign company in China

The concept of representative office of foreign company in China includes representative offices of enterprises and other economic organizations involved in economic activity, trade, technology development or banking operations.

Representative office is a convenient tool for a company that is going to enter into a new market and is not going to deal with commercial activities that generate income.

In accordance with the Provisional Regulations about the Control of Permanent Foreign representative offices in China, foreign commercial organizations and some non-profit organizations can register a representative office in China, if they are engaged in economic activities.

If the representative office in China established by a company, which is registered abroad, then the main requirements for the parent organization will be: registration period is not less than two years, otherwise the application for establishing of the representative office in China will be declined.

The main regulations for registration and activities of foreign representative offices in China include:

Resolution of the PRC Government dated 30 October 1980 “Provisional regulations about the

  1. Control of permanent foreign representative offices”;
  2. Order of the State Administration of and Industry Commerce dated March 15, 1983 “Regarding Registration of permanent foreign representative offices in China”;
  3. Order of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of PRC dated February 13, 1995 “Instructions for authorization and control of permanent foreign representative offices in China”
  4. Registration and activities rules of permanent foreign representative offices in the territory of PRC №584 “dated March 1, 2011.
  5. Temporary rules for taxation of permanent foreign representative offices in the territory of PRC №18 » issued in 2010.

The registration procedure of travel agencies, audit and law firms, banking institutions, copyright register and control organizations’ foreign representative offices is regulated by other special laws and requires more time, than in case of registration  of representative office of consulting or trade company. The general procedure for opening of foreign companies’ representative office in China also applies to Hong Kong and Macau companies.

The General conditions for receiving the permission to open a representative office in China of foreign companies are:

  • The foreign company must be registered in accordance with the legislation of the country of its origin;
  • Foreign company has a good reputation and exists at least for 2 years
  • Foreign company can submit the documents required for registration of a representative office in China in accordance with the Chinese law;
  • Foreign company is obliged to issue permission for the establishment and registration of representative office in China in accordance with the PRC legislation procedure (if necessary);
  • To submit other documents for the registration of representative office in China upon request.

The accreditation period of foreign representative office in China depends on the period of the business license of the parent company, but usually is not more than three years, after  that  it is necessary to apply for certificate extension or cancellation six months before of its expiration period.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and PRC Economic Cooperation and the Commission of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of the provincial and municipal level have the right to authorize the registration of representative offices of foreign companies in China for spheres which require the necessary permits. In this case, the procedure of registration representative office will consist of two phases: 1) getting permit , 2) registration in the local administration of industry and commerce.

After representative office is granted a business registration certificate it should proceed the additional registration in Tax authorities, Statistics and Customs authorities , make stamps and register in police and open a bank account. All this should be finished in 30 days since the date of business registration certificate.

Our company – UGL Corporation Ltd. has extensive experience in the registration of representative offices in China, our services are used by big Russian corporations and ordinary trade and service companies. We are happy to provide you with the first-class level services to new clients.

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