• Foreign Enterprises in China

Foreign Enterprises in China (Photo : Getty Images)

The process of business registration in China will soon become easier and cheaper as the State Administration for Industry and Commerce said on April 11 that it is creating a nationwide digitalization platform for corporate registration as well as a new electronic business license. The reform will start by the end of October.

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According to china-briefing.com, the reform in the business registration process is expected to shorten the turnaround time of registering a business and streamline the process for all types of companies.

Currently, the only platform that allows foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) to register their business online is the Beijing Administration of Industry and Commerce (AIC) online system.

However, as the national model is being readied, more regions in China will soon use the national platform, SAIC said.

As new regulatory changes were made, startups that plan to register their businesses were asked to familiarize themselves with the setup procedures.

According to SAIC, it will improve the process of online registration by streamlining the application steps and making the entire application simple.

The new registration process will enable businesses to register online and submit their applications with scanned supporting documents affixed with their e-signatures.

In addition, SAIC will create a standard design of an electronic business license, which will include formatting and listed credentials.

SAIC also drafted the protocol to manage the issuance of electronic licenses. After a national protocol is set in place, sub-national registrars will be required to develop local systems based on the national standards, the report said.

SAIC said that both provincial and municipal AICs must open their lists of business names to allow applicants to check if another business is registered using the same company name. To do this, applicants can use the online name-query platform.

Before this reform, SAIC has conducted digital registration pilot programs in different areas across the country, such as in Beijing and Jiangsu Province. In Beijing, the pilot program was opened only to tech companies in Haidian District.

Meanwhile, Beijing AIC online registration system started to accept applications from foreign-invested enterprises on April 19. But since SAIC still lacks the resources or technologies to verify the identities of foreign applicants, foreign companies have to hire a Chinese lawyer to serve as a local agent and facilitate their online application.

If the pilot programs are successful, the pilot model will be implemented across the country starting October this year. Many local and foreign companies are expected to benefit from the said reform.