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Establishment of Representative Offices in Beijing
Q: I am a CEO of an US-based enterprise. As the growing business required, I am going to open a representative office in Beijing, China. So, I wonder what procedures should I go through for this purpose and what document should I provide?

Prerequisite conditions

Foreign traders, manufacturers, shipping agents, economic organizations and other groups shall report, according to their nature of the business, to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) or other relevant ministries, committees or bureaus which are authorized for the examination and approval of the set-up of resident offices. Proxy authorized by Moftecand Beijing Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Commission will go through the examination and approval procedures for the above mentioned companies. The business activities of the established institutions can only be within the range of business connection, products introduction, marketing, technology exchange and consulting service and etc. Direct business activities are prohibited.

Documents required and necessary procedures

(1) Application for setting up the office: The application shall include background of the enterprise, business conditions, purpose of the office to be established, name of the office, person in charge, scope of business, location and operational term. Application shall be signed by the chairman or president of the enterprise together with the enterprise's seal. (original)

(2) A certificate of authorization to the representative accredited to the office issued by the chairman or president of the enterprise. (original)

(3) Copy of certificate of legal operation or copy of certificate of registration provided by the proper authorities of the country or region where the enterprise comes.

(4) Bank reference provided by the bank of the country or region where the enterprise comes: The bank reference, to be signed by the person in charge or business manager of the bank, shall state clearly the enterprise's registered capital and present amount of deposit, as well as the reputation of its flexing capitals after the opening of the account. (original)

(5) Resume of representative accredited to the office. The resume , including both educational and working background, should be detailed, specific and true. Disconnection is not allowed. Two photographs of each representative are required.

(6) Identification paper of the representatives. For representatives of foreign nationality, copy of passport of the country he holds should be submitted. For compatriots from Hong Kong and Macao, copy of certification for his returning to his hometown and permanent resident identification should be submitted. If a domestic personnel is to take the post of representative or chief representative, approval and identification from Beijing Foreign Enterprise Service Corporation (FESCO) are needed.

Procedures of registration with Administration for Industry and Commerce

Within 30 days after receiving of approval certificate, the chief representative of the office shall go through registration procedures with the Administration for Industry and Commerce, with one copy of original and one duplicate approval certificate, copies of submitted documents (each two copies), a copy of rent agreement for office site and three photographs of the chief representative.

Other Procedures

1. Opening an account with the Bank of China

2. Customs procedures for importing office equipment and daily necessities

3. Registration for taxation with Foreign Section of Beijing Municipal Taxation Bureau

4. Procedures to employ Chinese personnel through FESCO

5. Apply for permanent residence of representative of foreign nationality in Beijing Public Security Bureau.

Procedures for Change and Extension of the Enterprise

To change any registered items (e.g. name of the office, location, scope of business), or when the expiration date of the registration certificate is imminent, the office should immediately report to the registration authorities for relevant procedures. The validity of resident representative offices of foreign enterprises is three years for each approval. In case of extension, the office should report to its proxy three months ahead of the expiration date for the extension applying procedure.

(China.org.cn, June 14, 2002)

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