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Guide for Foreigners: How to Register a Company in China

February 17, 2023

Guide for Foreigners: How to Register a Company in China

Opening a company in China can be an excellent way for foreigners to expand their businesses into a new market. However, the process of registering a company in China can be complicated, with different procedures and requirements depending on the type of company and location. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of how foreigners can register a company in China.

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Choose the type of company

The first step for foreigners looking to register a company in China is to choose the type of company they want to establish. The most common types of companies in China are Limited Liability Company (LLC), Representative Office (RO), Joint Venture (JV), and Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE). Each type of company has its unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. Therefore, it's important to select the one that fits your needs best.

Find a registered address

One of the requirements for registering a company in China is having a registered address. This address will be used as the official address of the company and will be printed on the business license. Foreigners can rent a virtual office or lease a physical office to serve as the registered address.

Choose a company name

The company name is a crucial part of registering a company in China. It should be unique, distinguishable, and comply with Chinese naming conventions. Foreigners can check the availability of the company name with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC).

Prepare the required documents

To register a company in China, foreigners need to prepare several documents, including:


  1. Business plan: This document outlines the company's intended scope of operations, investment amount, registered capital, ownership structure, and management team.

  2. Articles of Association (AOA): This document outlines the company's governance structure, management rules, and other essential information.

  3. Passport or other valid identification documents of the foreign investor(s) and the Chinese legal representative.

  4. Proof of legal address of the foreign investor(s).

  5. Application forms for company registration, which are typically provided by the local Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) or other relevant authorities.

Submit the application

Once all the required documents are prepared, they should be submitted to the relevant authorities. The registration process typically takes around 1-3 months and may involve several rounds of document review, verification, and approval.

Obtain business licenses and permits


After the application is approved, foreigners can obtain their business licenses and other required permits, such as the Organization Code Certificate, Tax Registration Certificate, and others.


In conclusion, registering a company in China as a foreigner can be a complicated process. However, by understanding the procedures and requirements, and seeking the help of professional consultants or lawyers, it is possible to navigate the process successfully. With careful planning and execution, foreigners can establish a presence in China and tap into the vast market opportunities in the world's second-largest economy.

CT-MARKETING offers company registration services for overseas brands looking to establish a presence in China. Our team of experts can guide you through the process of registering your company and ensuring compliance with local laws. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you succeed in the dynamic and rapidly growing Chinese market.

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