6 Steps to set up Trading company in China – Import & Export Business

6 Steps to set up Trading company in China – Import & Export Business

When you’re doing Import or Export business with a company in China, one of your most basic concerns may be “How to set up a Trading company in China?”.

“With a population of 1.4 billion, China is a huge market for Trading companies (Import & Export). Mainland China imported the US $ 2.135 trillion worth of goods from around the world in 2018. It increased by 15.8% from 2017 to 2018.”

If you are attracted by the enticing opportunities of China’s vigorous market, but as every newcomer, feel unfamiliar with market regulations and procedures.  Aiming to give you thorough instruction of Trading company (Import & Export) registration, we’ve listed 6 crucial steps for the setup process.

The company Registration process in China

Rent office for the Company License

If you want to set up a company in China, you need to rent an office in the district which the company locates in. For example, if you register a food & beverage enterprise, you need an actual office address which is no less than 45 square meters for the import & export License.

The Chinese company’s Name pre-approval

A Chinese company needs the Chinese Name for the company in Mainland China. When companies in China are registered, they are done so entirely in the Chinese language including FIE (Foreign Investment Enterprise).

The normal Chinese Import & Export or Trading company’s name should be formatted as:

Chinese: 上海xxx进出口有限公司

English: Shanghai xxx Import & Export Co,. Ltd.

Chinese: 上海xxx商贸有限公司

English: Shanghai xxx Trading Co,. Ltd.

First structure: Registered place (For instance: 上海 Shanghai);

Second structure: Chinese name (For instance: XXX);

Third structure: Key Industry (For instance: Import & Export / Trading 进出口 / 商贸 );

Fourth structure: Form of Incorporation (For instance: Co,.Ltd 有限责任公司 );

But why Chinese companies have English Names? The answer is simple, for the import & export activity that deals with foreign customers, choosing an English name becomes a necessary condition for overseas payments. Normally, companies use an English translation of their official Chinese company name.

Registered Capital of Trading Company

The Chinese company Law enforces the subscribed system after March 1, 2014, which requires no capital verification requirements to registered capital, Foreign-invested companies can confirm a certain amount of funds according to their own situation.

The business scope of Foreign invested company

The main scope of business of Import & Export companies is:

To do the importation & Exportation business of goods and technology.

Other scopes of business include:

The development and sale of computer software and hardware, sale of electronic products, handcraft gifts, office supplies, and other consultation services or trading business. Companies that do capital import& export do not need to list their products, they only need to add the Import & Export business of goods and technology to their scope of business in the official business License of their company.

Shareholder Information

The shareholder is the natural person or company that holds the share of a limited company. When checking the Chinese names of the company, a natural person only needs to provide a copy of the ID card, the company shall provide a copy of the company license with an official seal.

Company business license

You can receive the Name Notice within 5 Working days. All investors shall go to the State Administration for Market Regulation(SAMR) to sign the documents. The license and the copy of the license, Official Seals, Finance Stamper, and corporate seal will finish within 7 working days.

china business license
China enterprise License

Business Bank Account Opening

After putting in the application of all the licenses mentioned above, opening a business bank account in China is indispensable to ensure business in the future. In China, the general company bank account is opened in China Bank, China Construction Bank, China Industrial and Commercial Bank, China Agricultural Bank, etc.

Import & Export License for Trading Company

Involved in Import & Export business, Firstly, the new trading company shall go to the State Administration for Market Regulation(SAMR) to register and put on record, then the company can legally operate Import & Export activities in China.

Import & Export License China

Taxpayer Type for Import – Export Company

According to the China Accounting Standard (CAS), taxpayers are divided into two types: the small-scale VAT taxpayer and the general VAT taxpayer. BIS is here to help you select the type in line with your business.

Invoice (Fapiao) is required by China’s tax authorities in business in order to compel companies to pay tax in advance on their future sales. In this way, China’s Fapiao invoice system is created to avoid tax evasion. China’s invoice is obliged to be purchased from the Tax Bureau and print it with the specified invoice machine of the unique invoice code for the company. With expertise in accounting and tax, we are here to provide an effective and prompt response to all your questions, concerning China’s invoice system.

Applying for the import & export rights

Normally, as the Import & Export company in China, we need 4 certificates or permits in the Customs Bureau, the process is as follows:

Registration Certificate for Inspection and Quarantine – Trading company

Registration Certificate for Inspection china
Certificate for Inspection china – Trading Company License

Registration Certificate of customs declaration Unit – Trading company

Registration Certificate of customs China
Certificate of customs – Trading Company License

Registration Foreign Exchange Administration Unit – Trading company

Registration Foreign Exchange Administration
Registration Foreign Exchange Administration – China Trading License

Electronic port – Trading company

Electronic port china
Electronic port china – China Trading License

Finally, I hope your import and export business is successful in China.

Find an agent to help you with Company Registration in Shanghai

GWBMA provides professional company registration service for foreigners. We have a very strong relationship with the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.

We provide one-stop service for you to start a business in Shanghai.

Contact Us: service@gwbma.com

Tel:  +86 15901819201


Hi, I'm Mao Lida, the Founder of BIS. I am based in Shanghai, China. How to do business in Shanghai, How to set up your company in China? BIS provides one-stop business service for enterprises like registering companies, finding office service, Accounting and Tax, HR outsourcing, VISA & working permit, Marketing and legal services.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Tori

    My business partner and I are exploring our business opportunities in China. Thanks for the information. Very helpful article.

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