Register your
Foreign Representative Office In China

This China RO Registration page was last updated on May 13, 2012

A China RO, still worth registration?

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China RO: Registration Benefits

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Facts about the Foreign Representative Office in China

Benefits or Disadvantages? China announces new company law for RO

Recent and latest regulations passed upon Foreign Representative Offices in China may have let you hear sounds of "RO is out of Fashion". Truth is, the rather inexpensiveness (if compared with other forms of company formations in China) and "ease of registration" of an RO in China in the past, had also lead to a certain level of abuse (another form of disadvantage, really). To avoid this from further escalating and especially with the growth and maturing of China’s own economy, China, with effect of mid 2011, had decided to reform the establishment of a Foreign Representative Office.

Some of these RO reform cupsles lead for sure to release more disadvantages, hence less popularity of a Representative Office in China. Fact is, but, some of these disadvantages are also benefits; meaning, all you need to is get better professional advice and Straight, Untwisted Facts about what you can do with an RO and what consequences you will have to face should you happen to step outside the ring. And which country wouldn’t go the same way? In fact, many foreign developed countries offer less options to conduct business at low entry levels, which China still does.

A great Benefit - "RO have become more transparent"

So - Is a Foreign Representative Office still attractive. You bet it is, and for the very good reason of what - it always was but now perhaps it is better understood - it is supposed to be!

In a nutshell -

As the term suggest, an RO "Represents" and a Representative is not "Active"

"Transparency" is the key of any success.

Aforesaid, though the doorway may have become narrower and thus little more disadvantaged, in retrospect and with abrogate effect, the Foreign Representative Office has now also become clearer and naturally even widened for the right people with the right use for an RO. Additionally this but also means better protection for your business activities in China. Below you will find the most recent updated the RO benefits or "what can do" and RO disadvantages or "what cannot do".

What business activities are allowed under a Foreign Representative Office?:

Allowed Representative Office Business Activities:

Under the uphold of the current law, all business activities within China shall only revolve around representing its overseas parent company only. As such, the means of a Foreign Representative Office shall include and therefore allow for;

  • (Benefit 1) - the liaison with local business entities
  • (Benefit 2) - the conduct of local researches and/or surveys
  • (Benefit 3) - the provision of business (promotion) material to potential business partners
  • (Benefit 4) - the promotion and presentation of products and services
  • (Benefit 5) - act as activity and travel arrangement coordinator

A Foreign Representative Office may receive exemptions and be allowed to limited extended business activities where existing, bilateral treaties between the two countries do in fact allow for such extensions

Under no circumstances, however, shall a Foreign Representative Office engage in;

  • (Disadvantage 1) - any business activity to derive direct profits from
  • (Disadvantage 2) - signing any contracts, agreements or special deals
  • (Disadvantage 3) - representing any 3rd party individual and/or body corporate
  • (Disadvantage 4) - issuing any legal document or invoice
  • (Disadvantage 5) - receiving any kind of payment or reimbursement
  • (Disadvantage 6) - buying any property
  • (Disadvantage 7) - importing of production equipment
  • (Disadvantage 8) - self employ any staff members

On the next page we will cover the more bureaucratic part of a Foreign Representative Office registration, the documents which need to be prepared to succeed with your registration

China RO Fast-Track Navigation