Click for Home Page Click for Contact Us Page Click for FAQ's Page Click for About Us Page Click for Sitemap Navigation
Main Menu
Eason Studio Designer Services

Container Base in Shenzhen

Organising Containers in Hong Kong

Typical Hotel Bedroom

Dynasty Hotel Gardens in Zhaoqing

China Expats Staff making a Factory Visit in Foshan

German Print Machines as Used by our Preferred Print Supplier


Making Cloisonné by Hand

Chinese Marble Buddha

Product Boxes - Also Available with Plastic Windows and Full Internal Structures

Magazines and Catalogues

Solid Granite Worktop and Kitchen Units - Sourced in China by China Expats

OEM ShopFront Glass Door System Fitted in UK - Sourced in China by China Expats

Quality Bathrobes, Towels and Slippers - Sourced in China by China Expats

My personal QA inspection: The 2 holes are to take a 3-Stage Thermostatic Control Valve Set = 3 Large holes required! China Expats ended up Fully Testing every function of every shower from this company before loading - but the price was very good!

OEM Disability Walk-in Bath showing Trial Moldings. This company could not make them withour ripples, so we advised our Client to purchase elsewhere
Business - Chinese Company Formation
Opening and Operating a Chinese Company (December 2008)
Types of Company Ventures:
The theory is very simple, and all versions come under the general heading FIE (Foreign Invested Enterprises).

Investment nowadays is being streamlined along the WOFE (Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise) conduit by Beijing. This is also known as a WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise).

Alternative channels are proactively promoted via the Registered Office (RO) mechanism, which you should only view as being a stepping-stone with many important restrictions. RO's do provide you with Office and Presence in China Mainland, and are ideal for supporting a Sourcing or Development Team - But they cannot make direct payments to Suppliers according to Chinese Law

Other Corporate mechanisms still exist - such as: EVJ (Sino-foreign Equity Joint Venture), and CVJ (A Sino-foreign Co-operative Joint Venture). You may also be interested in a FICE (Wholesale and Retail Shop). Then there are local Chinese and Hong Kong companies + Sole Trader and other options.

This page should be read as a brief introduction to what we consider you may be most interested in. Complex and differing regulations apply to all the above, and China Expats has full details of each upon request. Please contact us for the unexpurgated specifics of your interest, quoting the mnemonic and proposed location in the subject line (eg: EVJ + Shenzhen)

China Expats 'Top 3' requested Factsheet's are now on the webpages below:
(May require a Masters Degree in Gobbledygook, or You may find these examples too simplistic. China Expats understands both viewpoints, and can accommodate your personal perspective)
* Chinese Business Registrations
* WOFE vs Registered Office
* WOFE Process Guidelines

Image - ChinaBiz21_Logo Contact
  Nancy Li
2206 Citic Plaza, Guangzhou ... (Also Hong Kong & Shenzhen)
+86 020 2831 3523
+86 135 600 73294
+86 020 2831 3554 - 3523 and 020 2831 3556


Charges for opening a WOFE seem to be constantly under review, and are usually initially quoted upon how large the Chinese Authorities think your Company is. As a rough guideline for 2008, the following charging band applies: $1million for a Corporate WOFE, $100, 000 for an Ordinary Company, and down to $30, 000 for a local version in the right location for a small private company. Prices quoted in US Dollars (Before the World Financial crisis)

As a brief introduction:

A WOFE is wholly owned by Foreign investors, and should be viewed as a semi-autonomous National Facility or Branch of the parent company / conglomerate. Chinese Authorities will treat this Company as a separate entity. Directors will be Foreigners to China, and one must be nominated as resident. The nominated person must live in China  (Definition is more than 185 days continuously, or for more than 9 months if not continuous - per year at time of press), and they will be issued a Z visa of normally 5-years duration as part of the formation process. This visa is only valid for the term of employment by the WOFE however

Setting up a WOFE is usually done via specific Agents, and whilst there are numerous application forms that have to be submitted in a precise order, most of this becomes a seamless process are far as you are concerned. The exception is if you decide to do it yourself - which will then see you waiting for Licence A to be approved before you can apply for Licence B, and also submit some other relevant forms. We do not advise you to do this yourself! China Expats will be pleased to help you with this, and the process is fully documented via the link above

1. A WOFE can operate as any normal Chinese company
2. Payments can be made and received, both Nationally and Internationally
3. Normal Chinese Banking practices apply, therefore: you can only make Bank Transfers between business accounts, (or between private accounts). You cannot transfer funds between business and private accounts in China
4. During the company formation process you must specify which areas the WOFE will operate in, as outlined in the Feasibility Study and associated Business Plan. You can only operate (Like all Chinese Companies) within these guidelines. Therefore business diversification is restricted, unless you alter the business parameters officially
5. You should ensure the appropriate Import and/or Export licence is provided at inception. Normally this is an integral part of the set-up process.
6. Consider very carefully whether a Manufacturers Export Licence, or an Agents Export Licence is more useful to your company. You may not have a choice of course, but if you do; then an Agents licence is far more flexible for general exports, whilst a manufacturers licence is heavily restricted but offers greater depth and has particular benefits the other type does not
7. Consider whether it is in your best interests to be a manufacturer or an assembly plant. If all you want is control of QA, then the latter is more cost effective, and could qualify for an Agents Export Licence

Chinese Registered Office

A far cheaper alternative to creating and operating a Chinese Company.

Advantages = Very cheap and easy to start and maintain
* Best viewed as a Designers' Chinese Office, with associated Sourcing via a mutually involved Agent
* Provides immediate access to a 5-year standard Z visa (Circumstances apply)

* Cannot make Direct Payments for Product, nor any payments that fall outside a strict regimé
* Can give your company a legal presence in China

You do need to Understand:
* Official Chinese Banking Practices:
1. Payment is made between Company accounts
2. Payment is made between Personal accounts
3. You cannot make any direct payment between a Personal and a Company Account whatever in China = ways round this tricky one ;-)


1. A WOFE basically gives you a Fully-Fledged Company in China
2. A Representative Office is not what you think, and can pay Staff and local utility bills. It is expressly denied the ability, (Legally), to make payments for products. This is definitely not the route to use if you want to buy product in RMB = contact us for our best current advice
3. Other devices include the above mentioned: 'EVJ's etc + those listed below:

Chinese and Hong Kong Registered Companies

Hong Kong Company:
1. One Director must be a Hong Kong Citizen = usually the Company Secretary, Monetary Director; or Agent Providing 'Office Services'
2. All other Directors can be of any Nationality (Generalised)
3. Can operate and transfer funds between Hong Kong and Mainland China
4. Online Banking Services are normally provided. This is a very good way around the restrictive Chinese style Banking Practices
5. Hong Kong Bank Accounts are generally expensive to operate if you only need to use them occasionally
6. Many companies form a Head Office in Hong Kong, and then a Registered Office in China. This provides great versatility for International Trading
7. Specialised Agents in Hong Kong will do this all for you as a package. You have many options here; from having a real office presence, to conducting a paper exercise with accounts and annual Audit services, tax returns etc, all dealt with for you at a set administration fee

Chinese Company:
1. At Incorporation: All Directors must be Chinese Mainland or Sars Citizens (Sars = Hong Kong & Macao). If a mixture, then one must be The Company Secretary, who has to be a Mainland Chinese person by Law
2. After the obligatory 30-Days inception process, you can change all Directors, except the Chinese person named in Law (Whom can be changed to a different Chinese Mainland [and suitably qualified] National via a different process).
3. You will need to deposit a set fee which is currently ¥ 30, 000 (December 2008). This must remain in your business account for 30 clear days, after which time you can withdraw it all if you wish! Specialist Agents will offer you 1-month loans of this amount if required

This Gobbledygook actually means in simple English, that you have to lay down the cash to make the Chinese Company, then wait 30-Days for 'Somebody' to add you personally as a Director = no problem, if they are honourable - Otherwise you just lost your money and investment

Very Briefly:

1. Most Operators choose to have a Hong Kong Registered Office, with a Branch Registered in China, both created virtually simultaneously. Those venturing into manufacturing will need a WOFE

There are many permutations of this equation, so we will focus on the main versions for now - but contact us for specific information related solely to your personal or small company situation:-

To Recap the Essential Points

The theory is very simple, and investment nowadays is being streamlined along the WOFE (Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise) conduit, although other Corporate mechanisms still exist. There are also other tools such as a Representative Office (Cannot Export or make Factory payments), and Chinese or Hong Kong registered Companies (Nationality restrictions)
First: location. Are you in an Economic Development Zone? What is local and Regional Government Policy? Local resources and manpower availability. Social and environmental concerns. Transportation. Direct Export permitted from the region? Rural locations may offer tax and other incentives for you to build your factory there. City centre offices are horrendously expensive - do you really need one? Is your shop or office in a good location for actually doing business?

Second: Investment.
How much do you have available? What do you want to spend it on exactly? Is this the best way to promote your business and profitability?

Third: Small Enterprises. Sole Traders and very small companies should examine options of registering in Hong Kong, or in China, or both. All of these option will require a Chinese partner, and a small Chinese registered company can only have you listed as a Director after 30 days of existence, not at inception (Generalised).

Note: A WOFE normally comes with either a general or manufacturers Export Licence! Your Agent does have to apply for this (Paperwork exercise only), and may overlook this important aspect completely! All will require additional business licences, usually paid directly in cash to local government officials = a couple of thousand RMB each (Versions)

China Expats are very accomplished at forming Chinese companies for Foreign investors and entrepreneurs = we live here, we have done it ourselves, we know what to do and how it all works. We will also tell you clearly where your money goes, and why. We can also advise you on your choice of Chinese partner (If required by law), and have a fully qualified Chinese Corporate Lawyer working in association with ourselves to advise on contractual issues, etc (She is my very good friend). We can also advise you on Export Agents, and Company Formation Specialists both in Hong Kong and Mainland China

Of utmost concern for many, is the high level of trust, blind-faith and investment - that you end up placing with people you cannot even hold a simple conversation with. You will definitely feel you need your own independent translator
This information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
Search this Website
Search Query
Our Friends
Image: ChinaBiz21 logo
Professional Visa Services
Company Formation Packages

Excellent & Free Online Chinese Language Portal
Cantonese Sheik - Free Online Language Resources
Thousands of free print-friendly Chinese reference sheets, tests and revision aids.
Easy Learning format &
Listen to Spoken Words
British Foreign & Commonwealth Office
British Foreign Office

Resource and Advice for Travellers Worldwide
Chinese Embassy in UK
Chinese Embassy in UK

Information About China
International Relations
Visa & Consular
British Consulate General in China
UK Embassy in China

Information About UK
International Relations
Visa & Consular
Excel Education - Dedicated to Promoting International Languages, Cultural Exchange, and Understanding between Peoples Excel Education
Languages Courses
Study Abroad
Summer Camps
Information for Teachers
The Dreamscheme - A Place where all disadvantaged children can be empowered to make a difference to: Themselves, Their Local Community, and The World!
Excellent and relaxing base to explore this most beautiful of regions in all China!
Down The
How We Traded Our Ordinary Lives For a Global Bicycle Touring Adventure
Tim and Cindie Travis
See Us in China
The Dreamscheme - A Place where all disadvantaged children can be empowered to make a difference to: Themselves, Their Local Community, and The World!
Empowering Disadvantaged Children & Their Communities = Worldwide
Martinos Cafe - The Best Western Restaurant in Foshan
China Exploration and Research Society
Based in Shangri-la,
Yunnan Province
Dedicated to Exploring Remote Areas of China
Committed to Nature Conservation and Preserving Ethnic Cultures & Traditions
Travel China Guide - Your First Call for Holidays and Information about China. Free Community resources, including City guides written by Foreigners who have been there
Based in Xi'an,
China's Premiere Travel Agency and International Travel Community -
Committed to providing:
Best travel deals & current information for all International Travellers
Large Tourist Resources and Galleries
Pearl Dragon

Vast Online Trading and Information Resource
Link goes to Chinese Tourism and Galleries Section
Page Navigation: Top of Page
Link to: - Excellent Hosting and Support Services
Image for Decoration only
    Copyright Webmaster @ ChinaExpats Links