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Registration of Representative Office in Shanghai, China

Q1. How to handle the registration of representative office in Shanghai?
Q2. What documents should be prepared?
Q3. What documents should be prepared and submitted for registration in SABIC?
Q4. Is a Representative Office/Company permitted to be located in a building both used for business and living or an apartment?
Q5. Is it necessary to rent office space prior to application of setting up representative office/company?
Q6. Must the Chief Representative go to Shanghai to handle those issues such as office registration, tax registration, bank account opening etc.?
Q7. How to apply for extension of Registration Certificate when it is expired?
Q8. How to go through the formalities of foreigner employment in Shanghai?


Q1. How to handle the registration of representative office in Shanghai?

A1. Enterprises from foreign countries, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao can entrust an agent to apply for establishment of representative office approved by Shanghai Foreign Economic Relations & Trade Commission (SFERTC); and apply for registration in Shanghai Administrative Bureau for Industry & Commerce (SABIC).


Q2. What documents should be prepared?

A2. (1) Application Letter (original)
a) official letter with company heading and signature by Chairman of Board or General Manager
b) 2 originals submitted to SFERTC and SABIC respectively
c) statements including name of representative office, address, business range, name of chief representative and service period (3 years)

(2) Appointment Letter (original)
d) official letter with signature by Chairman of Board or General Manager
e) 2 originals, submitted to SFERTC and SABIC respectively

(3) Personal Documents
f) resume
g) certificate of status (copy)
h) 2 pictures

(4) Certificate of Incorporation & Other Registration Documents (copy)
a) Credibility of Letter signed by the Head of the Bank (original)
b) Documents of Office Location
located in office building or hotel approved by SFERTC, which is qualified to host foreign companies
c) Lease Agreement (1 year or above)
d) Lease Certificate authorized by Shanghai Real Estate Management Bureau (copy)
e) Statement of Office Location issued by Property Management Company

(5) Enterprises Introduction
a) brief introduction
b) business contact unit in China
c) business prospect of Shanghai Representative Office
When receiving the Approval Certificate authorized by SFERTC you should ask your agent or Chief Representative to apply for business license from SABIC within one month.


Q3. What documents should be prepared and submitted for registration in SABIC?

A3. All documents as above mentioned, except that the Application Letter and Appointed Letter do not need to be original copy.


Q4. Is a Representative Office/Company permitted to be located in a building both used for business and living or an apartment?

A4. The Representative Office must be located in designated office building which is qualified and approved by the Shanghai Government to host foreign representative offices/companies.


Q5. Is it necessary to rent office space prior to application of setting up representative office/company?

A5. Yes. Before proceeding your office/company registration the lease agreement of office space must be signed between tenant and owner and the lease term must be not less one year.


Q6. Must the Chief Representative go to Shanghai to handle those issues such as office registration, tax registration, bank account opening etc.?

A6. No, itíŽs not necessary. You can authorize Kaizen Corporate Services Limited or your own employee to do them.


Q7. How to apply for extension of Registration Certificate when it is expired?

A7. Normally the Business License is valid for three years. You can engage Kaizen Corporate Services Limited or other agent to prepare and submit all necessary documents 2 months before it is expired. In particular, the following documents need to be prepared and submitted:

(1) Application Letter for Extension (original)

(2) Appointment Letter (original)

(3) Personal Documents
a) resume
b) certificate of status
c) 2 pictures

(4) Certificate of Incorporation & Other Registration Documents

(5) Credibility Letter

(6) Documents of Office Location
a) located in office building or hotel approved by SFERTC, which is qualified to host foreign companies
b) Lease Agreement (1 year or above)
c) Lease Certificate authorized by Shanghai Real Estate Management Bureau (copy)
d) Statement of Office Location issued by Property Management Company

(7) 3 Year Business Report Of Representative Office (with signature of Chief Representative and Chop of Representative Office

(8) Original Certificate of Approval, Registration Certificate, Taxation Registration certificate


Q8. How to go through the formalities of foreigner employment in Shanghai?

A8. (1) If the Representative Office will hire foreigners the employer should apply for Certificate of Working Permit issued by the Foreigner Employment Office of Shanghai Labor Bureau before entering China.

(2) With the Certificate of Working Permit the employer should proceed to the entry visa for the employed foreigner.

(3) The authorized unit will send the letter of entry visa and the Certificate of Working Permit to the employed foreigner.

(4) The foreigner with concerned documents including the received letter and the Certificate should go for application of professional (Z) visa

(5) Within 15 days the foreigner with (Z) Visa should apply for the Employment Permit issued by the Foreigner Employment Management Office of Shanghai Labor Bureau.

(6) If has received the Employment Permit the employed foreigner should go to Shanghai Security Bureau for Residence Permit within 30 days.

(7) Without the requirement of Working Permit the appointed Chief Representative or Representative of Shanghai Representative Office can directly go for Employment Permit and Residence Permit with the Work Certificate of Representative Office in China of Foreign Enterprises issued by Shanghai Administration Bureau of Industry and commerce.



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