Basic information regarding the setting up of a Representative Office (RO) in Shanghai:
RO is not qualified as legal person
Parent Company should already operate at least 2 years
There is one RO establishment in each city
Representatives: According to the requirements representatives are limited to 4 people: One Chief Representative and 3 ordinary Representatives ( Chinese employees are not limited). RO can not directly hire Chinese employees. It should be done through local HR Company
Types of RO:
Representative Office of Enterprise
Representative Office of Chamber of Commerce
Representative Office of Governmental Organization
It is not permitted to establish RO for the following industries:
Banking, insurance, marine, air transport, shipping agents.
Chinese name of the representative office
[Hong Kong] + [full name of the parent company] + Shanghai + Representative Office.
The registered address of a representative office must be in an office building approved by Shanghai authority. (please let us check in advance)
Representative office is only allowed to conduct the non-profit business activities for its parent company.
Representative offices are subject to a consolidated tax based on their total expenses. The tax rate is around 11%. If parent company is non-profit organization (government organization) it can enjoy exemption of taxes.
Time estimate for the setting up of a representative office in Shanghai
Issue of the registration certificate: 10 working days from the date of submission of all the application documents to the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”)
Post-registration formalities (including Rep. Office Code, foreign exchange, bank, tax): 30 -35 working days
Note: The above time estimate does not include the time necessary for the preparation and signature of the application documents.