Last Updated: 13 June, 2014
[Since March 1, 2014] No. minimum registered capital is required for WFOEs with scope of business of consulting, Trading, retailing, information technology etc. in China. There are minimum registered capital still required for some industries for instance: Banking, Forwarding etc.
Since China still maintains foreign currency control policy, it's still advisable to choose registered capital within RMB 100,000 ~ RMB 500,000 as the minimum registered capital for Consulting WFOE, Service WFOE, Hi-Tech WFOE registration in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou and many other cities of China. (Investor could inject the above capital within 2 years) Information provided below will guide you to:
In Mainland China, there are 4 modes of business presences for foreign investors: WFOE(65%), Representative Office(20%), FIPE(10%), Joint Venture(5%). About 65% of PtC's clients chose WFOE as their China business entity since a WFOE could freely conduct it's business in China like anyone Chinese domestic companies, a roughly comparison between these 4 modes, check the Comparison Chart.
The Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) is a limited liability company wholly owned by the foreign investor(s). In China, WFOEs were originally conceived for encouraged manufacturing activities that were either export orientated or introduced advanced technology. However, with China's entry into the WTO, these conditions were gradually abolished and the WFOE is increasingly being used for service providers such as a variety of consulting and management services, software development and trading as well.
The registered capital of a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) should be subscribed and contributed solely by the foreign investor(s). A WFOE does not include branches established in China by foreign enterprises and other foreign economic organizations. The Chinese Laws on WFOE do not have a clear definition of the term of "branches". The term of "branches" should include both the branch companies engaged in operational activities and representative offices, which are generally not engaged in direct business activities. Therefore, branches and representative offices set up by foreign enterprises are not WFOE.
There are many businesses for WFOEs. The following are frequently chosen by our clients:
The advantages of establishing a WFOE include, but are not limited to:
One of the most important issues in WFOE application is business scope. Business scope needs to be defined and the WFOE can only conduct business within its approved business scope, which ultimately appears on the business license. Any amendments to the business scope require further application and approval. Inevitably, there is a negotiation with the approval authorities to approve as broad a business scope as is permitted. Generally business scope includes investment consulting, international economic consulting, trade information consulting, marketing and promotion consulting, corporate management consulting, technology consulting, manufacturing, etc. With China's entry into WTO, more and more business is open to WFOE especially in Trading, Wholesale and Retail business.
Registered Capital: USD$140,000 is a decent investment capital for many types of WFOE. (with USD$ 140,000 investment it's easy to get approved). RMB 100,000 ~ RMB 500,000 (Approx. USD$15,000- 75,000) is the advisable as minimum investment capital to be approved for Consulting WFOE, Service WFOE, Hi-Tech WFOE registration in China. After the approval, initial paid-up capital should be injected within 3 months which could be 20% of the registered capital, the balance should be remitted within 2 years.
Registered capital is the amount that its required to run the business until it can break even - the 'minimum registered capital' is a guideline only. If you do looking for a minimum registered capital, for instance RMB 30,000 (which is impossible to run a WFOE in China) this means you will run out of money pretty soon, which leads to increased costs in reapplying for permission to increase capital, additional licensing fees and renewals of business licenses and so on. The WFOE needs funding via it's registered capital until it's able to support itself from its own cash flow.
However the amount of registered capital needed is also dependent upon factors like scope of business and location. In reality, local authorities will review the feasibility study report (and check the lease contract) approve the investment on a case-by-case basis; reduced registered capital can be negotiated in some cases.
The minimum registered capital guides for various industries according to our practice in China, for instance Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Ningbo & Hangzhou are given below:
|Consulting WFOE*||RMB 100,000 ~ RMB 300,000 (Approx. USD$ 15,000- 50,000)|
|Service WFOE||RMB 100,000 ~ RMB 300,000 (Approx. USD$ 15,000- 50,000)|
|Hi-Tech WFOE||RMB 100,000 ~ RMB 300,000 (Approx. USD$ 15,000- 50,000)|
|Trading WFOE / FICE||RMB 300,000 ~ RMB 1 million (Approx. USD$ 75,000- 140,000)|
|Food & Beverage WFOE||RMB 500,000 ~ RMB 1 million (Approx. USD$ 75,000- 140,000)|
|Manufacturing WFOE||RMB 500,000+ (Approx. USD$ 75,000+)|
A new rule on foreign employees’ social security in effect starting October 15, 2011. It is said that if a company hires a foreign employee, the company shall register this employee with the local social security authority within 30 days of the employee receiving their work permit.
Since Jan. 2008, China's new corporate tax rates range from15% to 25%. (the rate depends on the places where the company is registered and the industry that a company engaged). Please check the latest Corporate Income Tax Law of China, ( 193KB: Corporate Income Tax Law of China ) All enterprises are required to report to the Tax Administration Department monthly, quarterly and annually. Path To China provides part time accounting services for our clients, you are welcome to contact us for more information.
Any limited companies in China should summit annual audit report to the relevant authorities. The annual audit cost is about RMB 6,000. Any company will be subject be to a fine if the Annual Audit Report is not submitted in a timely manner.
China Government allows Foreign Invested Enterprises remit their profits out of the country and such remittances do not require the prior approval of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE). Dividends cannot be distributed and repatriated overseas if the losses of previous years have not been covered while dividends not distributed in previous years may be distributed together with those of the current year. Repatriating the rRegistered capital to home countries is forbidden during the term of business operation.
In China, terms of 15 to 30 years are typical for a manufacturing WFOE (although some may have a longer term). It is also possible to obtain extensions of the WFOE's duration. For projects in which the amount of investment is large, or the construction period is long and the return on investment low, projects producing sophisticated products using advanced or key technology provided by the foreign partner, or for projects producing internationally competitive products, the term of WFOE may be extended to 50 years. With special approval from the State Council, the term may be even longer than 50 years.
The WFOE may be terminated under certain conditions. For example, the inability of the WFOE to operate due to heavy losses, or in the occurrence of an event of force majeure, etc.
To closing down or de-registration a WFOE in China would be much more complicated than establish a New WFOE. It could be stuck there if the liquidation report can't be approved by local tax authority, thereafter, investor has to spend great amound of time on the closure of a WFOE. Find it here about required documents, procedures and cost to deregistration a WFOE in China. Contact our offices below to get a free review of your WFOE.
More information about WFOEs:
Contact Our Regional Partners in Holland, Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hangzhou or Hong Kong for more details: