6 Steps to set up Trading company in China – Import & Export
A view of China National Flags near the birthplace of China's Communist Party in Shanghai, where Mao Zedong and 12 other delegates met in secret in July 1921. On Tuesday, 31 October 2017, in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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

“With a population of 1.4 billion, China is a huge market for import and export companies. The People’s Republic of China imported 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. This article is here to help. Aiming to giving you a thorough instruction of Trading company (Import & Export) registration, we’ve listed 6 crucial steps for the setup process.

Common forms of Trading Import & Export Company in China

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

Registered Capital

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

The scope of Foreign invested company’s business

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

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

Other scope of business includes:

The development and sale of computer software and hardware, sale of electronic products, handcraft gifts, office supplies, and other consultation service 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 companies that hold the share of limited company. When checking names of company, natural person only needs to provide the copy of ID card, company shall provide the copy of company license with official seal.

Company business license

You can receive the Name Notice within 5 Working days. All investors shall go to the Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau to sign the documents. The license and the copy of license, Official Seals, Finance Stamper and corporate seal will finish within 7 working days.

china business license

Business Bank Account Opening

After putting in process 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

Involved in Import & Export business, Firstly, the new import & export 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

According to 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 in created to avoid tax evasion. China 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 taxing, 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 are as follows:

Registration Certificate for Inspection and Quarantine

Registration Certificate for Inspection china

Registration Certificate of customs declaration Unit

Registration Certificate of customs China

Registration Foreign Exchange Administration Unit

Registration Foreign Exchange Administration

Electronic port

Electronic port china

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

Find an agent to help you with Company Registration in Shanghai

BaseInShanghai(BIS) 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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