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China Representative Office Registration and Maintenance

China RO Registration Service
Hotline: 86-755-82143348,

A representative office is used as a basis for doing market research within China and other not for profit seeking activities like e.g. meeting and researching / acquiring suppliers and potential customers.

China Representative Office Registration Procedures
The procedures for establishing a Resident Permanent Representative Office (RO) vary slightly in different areas of China and also vary in accordance with the places where the foreign companies are located. In general, the procedures for the establishment of a Permanent Representative Office consist of three steps:

Step 1: Pre-registration of China Representative Office
Before submitting the registration application documents to the local Administration for Industry and Commerce for registration, the foreign enterprise should have certain documents ready, including the tenancy agreement for the office premise to be used by the RO and the legalized identity documents and banker’s reference letter.

Step 2: Registration of China Representative Office
The foreign investor submits the application documents to the relevant AIC to application for Representative Office Registration Certificate. This step is completed when the AIC issues a Registration Certificate for Permanent Representative Offices of Foreign Enterprises.

Step 3: Post-establishment Registrations of China Representative Office
After a Permanent Representative Office (RO) is registered with the AIC, it must handle registration and other procedures with banks, customs office, tax authorities, public security bureau and other authorities.

Maintenance of China Representative Office
(a) Registration with Public Security Bureau
This authority will issue two documents: a PSB Registration Certificate that is used to apply for visas for the RO’s employees; and a Notice of Chop Carving, which allows the RO’s representative to go to the appointed RO chop-carving shop to obtain the official company chop. The "chop" is the official company seal that is used to stamp all official company business documents, much like a corporate "signature".

(b) Registration with Institute Code Center
Here the RO will obtain the Code Certificate and the IC Card. The IC Card and the Code Certificate are very important, similar to a person’s ID card and ID number. They will be used in the following registration procedures and in the future operations of the RO.

(c) Registration with Foreign Currency Bureau
This authority issues the RO a formal permission notice for use in opening the company’s foreign currency account. The permission notice contains information about the bank where the RO must open its foreign currency account, the denomination of the foreign currency that the account will contain (e.g. USD), usage limitations on the account (only for receiving overseas funds for ROs), etc.

(d) Registration with State Tax Bureau and local State Tax Office
This bureau will issue a State Tax Registration Certificate to the RO. The Local State Tax Office will interview the person that the RO has designated for handling its tax affairs, check the nature of the foreign enterprise in order to determine the tax calculation method to be applied, set a tax payment schedule and the method of reporting taxes paid, etc.

(e) Local Tax Bureau and Local Tax Office
This office is similar to the State Tax Bureau and Local State Tax Office. The only difference is that the State Tax Bureau handles the Enterprise Income Tax and Business Tax that is levied on the RO, while the Local Tax Bureau handles the Individual Income Tax that is levied on employees of the RO.

(f) Setting up Banks
The RO can open both a foreign currency account and an RMB account in the bank suggested by the RO and subject to be approved by the Foreign Currency Bureau.

(g) Statistics Bureau and Local Statistics office
This authority issues a Statistics Registration Certificate to the RO. The Statistics Office will interview the representative of the RO to give he/she a lesson on the importance of reporting statistics figures to the office and set up a schedule for reporting the appropriate statistical figures.

(h) Registration with Customs
This authority issues a Customs Registration Certificate to the RO. The Certificate will be used when employees of the RO have personal belongings, office equipment, samples for exhibitions, samples of goods from overseas, etc. that need to go through Chinese Customs. If the RO has none of these items, this step can be deleted.

Contact Us
If you have further queries, don’t hesitate to contact Tannet anytime, anywhere by simply visiting Tannet’s website  or, or calling Hong Kong hotline at 852-27826888 or China hotline at 86-755-82143422, or emailing to


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