Notes for Setting up Foreign Representative Office in China

In China, the approval process of registering trademark office is relatively simple, and no registered capital is required. Therefore, many foreign investors will choose to develop their business in China initially. At the same time, the investors should fully aware that the foreign representative office could only represent an offshore company to carry out the business activities under their business scope, such as business contact, product introduction, market research and technical exchange, etc.

However, if China has signed bilateral treaty with local government of that foreign country, this bilateral treaty explicitly stipulated foreign permanent representative can engage in the direct operation activity in China, so they should refer to these stipulations. Although the law doesn’t allow the office to be engaged in direct operation, it doesn’t mean that the office can’t be engaged in any economic activity. And the name of the representative office should follow the format ” country/region name + company name+ (the proposed district) office.


Firstly, the company should meet the following requirement before they can set up foreign representative office.

a. The foreign enterprise must have registered legally in its local country.

b. The foreign enterprise should be founded at least two years or more in the country where it is located.

c. The foreign enterprise should have good business reputation.

d. The enterprise should have fixed place of business.

e. The enterprise should appoint one chief representative.

f. According to the business requirement, the foreign enterprise can appoint one to three representatives.


Secondly, the documents and time are required for setting up representative office.

a. Foreign enterprise should provide the proof of residence and legal business for more than two consecutive years.

b. Foreign corporate charter or organization agreement.

c. The appointment file of chief representative.

d. The identity and resume of chief representative or representatives.

e. Certificate of its credit worthiness issued by financial institution which they have business transaction.

f. The proof of legitimate use of representative office location.


The above documents and files should be written or printed in Chinese. Once in foreign language version, the Chinese translation version attachment will be required by each approval authorities. Without the indication to submit copy, all the documents should be in original copies. According to the requirement to submit copies, they should be stamped with official seal by applicants and indicated the same with original ones.

In addition, the foreign representative office should submit annual reports to registration authority between March 1 to June 30, including validly existing of foreign enterprises, business activities of representative office as well as its balance of payments audited by accounting firms.


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