May 4, 2017

Companies that would like to set up in China will benefit from a more efficient corporate registration process by the end of October this year. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) released an opinion on April 11 that outlined its digitization effort, which will entail the construction of a nationwide digitized corporate registration platform and a new electronic business license.

This reform will improve the turnaround-time and streamline the registration workflow for all types of companies. The Beijing Administration of Industry and Commerce (AIC) online system is currently the only platform that allows foreign invested companies (FIEs) to register their business online, but more regions of China will follow suit once a national model is ready to set forth.

New market entrants who plan to register their startups in China should understand the new regulatory changes governing setup procedures.

According the Opinion, the SAIC will work to optimize the online registration process through streamlining application steps and the content of application materials. The new electronic registration program allows entrepreneurs to register an account online, upload scanned supporting documents, and authorize e-signatures when submitting the application.

The SAIC will also standardize the design of an electronic business license, including formatting and listed credentials. A series of management protocols for issuing an electronic license are also under drafting by the SAIC. After these nationwide protocols are defined, the SAIC will require sub-national registrars to develop their local systems in alignment with the national standards.

In an April 19 announcement that followed the Opinion, the SAIC clarified that both provincial level and municipal level AICs will need to open their respective enterprise name pools. This will further optimize the online registration process: all company registration applicants will be able to use the online name-query platform to check if another business has registered the same company name.

This article was published by our media partner Dezan Shira & Associates (