Starting a business in China might seem like an impossible feat, but actually the requirements are quite simple:
1. Capital: no minimum starting capital for the company in the most cases , which means even with one dollar you can have your own company.
2. Employees: 1, the owner, is enough
3. Time: up to few weeks according to the bureaucracy needs
4. Knowledge of Chinese: not needed, but it sure helps
5. Nationality: not important. Chinese citizens may have and advantage in some business scopes, but that is all.
6. Kind of business: virtually no restrictions. Some businesses in specific areas which are underdeveloped or promoted by the local governments may have some tax reduction or incentive, so it is convenient to request your consultant for an analysis before opening the business.
7. Paperwork: can be entirely done online through an agent.
8. Bank account: required. It must be a Chinese bank account. Opening a Chinese bank account can also be for free and without depositing a capital on banks such as ICBC.
9. Office: not required, unless you are doing a business which could not be possible without one. You can use a virtual office or your own residence if you live permanently in China.
10. Company name: get ready to struggle here. A Chinese company name is made of three parts:
– The place where the company is located;
– The name of the company;
– The type of business.
Make sure you have at least 10 names before you try to register your company, as probably your idea has already been used. A good name is supposed to be short, meaningful, easy to remember, easy to write or a combination of those. There are no restrictions for the english name of your company, so you can also make the Chinese name simply have a similar pronunciation like your english name.
Other important notes:
1. Accounting: can be self managed, but we strongly advise you to get an accountant. It is not expensive and can avoid a lot of headaches, especially if you are not fluent in Chinese.
2. Payments: to help your customers, make sure you can accept Alipay and Wechatpay, as most people will ask to pay you through their phones. Bank transfer is a must for payments from business to business.
3. Invoicing: most businesses do not provide an invoice for tax declaration, since not all businesses require it. Make sure you ask before the payment and you have your information ready!
If you need help, feel free to ask us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org!