Starting a business in China, like every other place, comes with its unique challenges. This is not surprising as everything about China differs from what is available in the Western World.
As a result, one needs to prepare extensively if the business will have a smooth sail in China. Here are critical areas to focus on:
1. Have a Business Scope
It makes no sense to simply go to China and start a business. It is expected of you to have a detailed plan of what you want to do and steps to achieve it.
This comes back to your business plan.
Your business plan gives your business a blueprint. As a result, if your original intention of opening a WFOE is to start a supermarket, you cannot switch to a mobile phone business later. This will come back with grave consequences.
2. Get Help with taxes
In other words, enlist the help of a professional that can help you stay on top of your taxes. It can be a local accountant or an outsourcing company. You have got to be tax compliant to remain relevant in doing business.
Even if you feel you want to cut corners, be sure that the country does not joke when it comes to taxing foreign firms. If you desire to start a company in China, be sure to have the right intentions.
As a result, local help will go a long way in ensuring that you get it right with payroll, bookkeeping, invoicing, and your tax.
3. Take care of your Work visa
Your Chinese visa has a direct link with the local authorities and tax agencies. As a result, you need to get your visa in order.
While it is possible to apply for a Chinese Visa yourself, make sure you get help from professionals. Like taxes, payroll, and others, you are better off enlisting an expert’s assistance to help with your tax.
4. Brace up For China’s Internet
For many companies in another part of the world, the internet is an essential and indispensable part of business success. This also applies to China but in a different way.
What makes China different is that most eCommerce websites, social media sites, and channels we use to sell are not the same in China.
Facebook and Google are common platforms indispensable to the success of many businesses and startups. These two are, however, not present in China.
In starting a business in China, be ready to change your approach to the internet. This means a world without Google.
5. Chose the Right Company Type
As with many countries, there are many forms of business in China. With this, be sure to ask the critical question which will help you structure your business. Your company structure determines many things about it, such as taxes, size, mode of operation, etc.
Here are the types of company forms available in China:
- Joint Venture
- Representative Office
- WFOE (Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise)
6. Get Permit
Apply for a certificate of approval for the establishment of a foreign-invested enterprise. First, you need to declare the project approval, then submit the feasibility report, contract, and articles of association, apply for approval to the foreign economic and trade approval agency, and obtain the approval certificate.
7. Industrial and commercial registration
Before obtaining the foreign-invested enterprise approval certificate, the enterprise name must be pre-approved. Fill in the “Application for Pre-approval of Enterprise (Company) Name”, and apply for the retention of the company’s company name to the industrial and commercial department with the signature or seal of the shareholder (signature of natural person shareholder and seal of legal person shareholder), and obtain the “Notice of Pre-approval of Enterprise (Company) Name” ”
8. Procedures for the organization code
After obtaining a business license, a foreign-invested enterprise shall apply for an organization code certificate from the Technical Supervision Administration. The following materials must be submitted: “Organization Code Declaration Form”, original and photocopy of the approval certificate, original and photocopy of the business license, ID card or passport and photocopy of the legal representative.
9. Land use procedures
Obtain the production sites of foreign-invested enterprises through signing a land use agreement or plant lease agreement. To obtain land use rights, foreign-invested enterprises need to go through land use procedures with the land and real estate management department.
10. Handle foreign exchange registration procedure
A foreign-invested enterprise shall, within 30 days from the date of issuance of its business license, go through the foreign exchange registration procedures with the foreign exchange administration of the place of registration and obtain the Foreign Exchange Registration Certificate of Foreign-invested Enterprise. The following materials (copies) shall be submitted: the contract that has become effective as approved by the approval authority, Articles of Association; approval certificate issued by the approval authority; business license and copy issued by the Administration for Industry and Commerce. After reviewing the above documents, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange will fill in and issue the Foreign Exchange Registration Certificate for Foreign-invested Enterprises.
11. Tax Registration
A foreign-invested enterprise shall, within 30 days from the date of obtaining a business license, declare to the competent tax authority for tax registration with the following materials (copy): a copy of the business license issued by the Administration for Industry and Commerce; contract, articles of association and its approval documents; approval authority Approval documents issued; feasibility study reports and approval documents; list of corporate board of directors, etc.
12. Customs filing procedures
Foreign-invested enterprises need to submit the following materials for customs declaration registration: approval certificate issued by the approval authority; business license issued by the Administration for Industry and Commerce; enterprise contract and articles of association; list of approved imported equipment; enterprise capital verification report, etc.
To successfully have a business in China, you have to be prepared and get all the helps you can.
The points we discuss here can go a long way in setting you on the right path. China is a vast country with tremendous opportunities. As a result, you need to visit China and see things for yourself.
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