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Free Trade Zone Company Registration in Shanghai

Last Updated: Jan. 3, 2018

Shanghai Free-Trade Zone (Shanghai FTZ) or Shanghai Pilot Free-Trade Zone was officially opened it's door since August 22, 2013. It is the first Free-Trade Zone in China. Since 2017, it becomes one of the most popular destnations to do business in China among our overseas clients. On March 31, 2017, there are 7 more new Free-Trade Zones have been approved in Liaoning, Zhejiang, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan, Shaani and Chongqing. Among them, Shanghai Free-Trade Zone is the best in our opinion

There are reasons for that.

1. Virtual Address Registration:

It is OK for investors to register a Free-Trade Zone company with a virtual address in Shanghai free trade zone. It's even OK for a such company to apply for working visa for it's foreign employees with such virtual address.

2. Registered Capital:

No. minimum registered capital is required for a such Free-Trade zone company, and even with such condition, the reigstered capital doesn't have to be deposit to the company's bank account in Free-Trade zone. We have a client registered a free Trade-Zone company on Feb. 2017 with capital USD 10,000 and the clients doesn't have transfer this USD 10,000 from overseas.

3. Offshore bank account and Onshore bank account combined:

Shanghai Free-Trade Zone company can open a multi-currency Free-Trade Enterprise (FTE) bank account. Under this account, it's possible for the company to recevied payments from abroad in foreign currency and send payments in foreign currency to overseas without pre-approval from State Adminstration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE). For instance, a Shanghai Free-Trade zone company recevied USD 5,000 from a Singaporean company. And the Free-Trade zone company then send USD 3,000 to it's service provider in Japan. Under the FTE account, the bank only needs to submit a simple due-diligence report to SAFE and then USD 3,000 will be freely to send to Japan.

4. Timing:

It will take approx. 1 month to register a Consulting Free-Trade Zone company in Shanghai. While for a Trading Free-Trade Zone company, it takes 1.5 months.

5. Transportation:

Shanghai has subway line from City to Shanghai Free-Trade zone.

. Information provided below will guide you to:

Documents Required & Registration Procedures of Shanghai Free-Trade zone company


Our suggested minimum registered capital for consulting WFOE, Service WFOE, IT WFOE: USD$ 50,000 or Euro 35,000. (The capital doesn't nessesary to be deposited in the bank account)


Below is the required documentation for Shanghai Free-Trade Zone company formation. (Item 1,2,7,8 should be prepared before visiting China:


Documents required

  • 2x Certificate of Incorporations, Articles of Formation or Equivalent document certified by Chinese embassy or Chinese consulate overseas [UK , US, HK, AUS, RUS, SGP, GER, SWE, ISL etc. ] For individual investor: 2x Passport copies of Investors need be certified by Chinese embassy or consulate. [investorindividual investor] Double check with us if individual investor is currently in China as some cities in China allow individual investor to submit with their original passport.
  • 2x Bank Reference Letters from investor’s bank (declare a good standing)[-bank refernce letter-]
  • Passport copy of: (i) Parent company's director (ii) China company's Legal Representative and (iii) China company's supervisor
  • China Legal Representative provides: 6 photos (2 inches size), brief resume [ -Sample- ]
  • Registered capital; Business Scope; 8 proposed Chinese names of China company
  • Office address in China, 2x leasing contracts [-contract- ] , 2x certificate of real estate ownership [-Sample-], and 2x landlord identification [ Individual, Company ]
  • 4x Letter of Authorization [-Sample-]
  • For Trading WFOEs only: The latest annual audit report copy from the parent company: provided by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) [-audit report-] and Customs HS Code of proposed Import/Export products in China [ Codes ]

The above documents are good enough to register a Trading, Service & Consulting Free Trade zone company in Shanghai. For the establishment of a manufacturing free-trade zone company, overseas investor will also need to provide:

  • Purpose and estimated investment
  • WFOE's operational structure and number of employees
  • Permission for land use, environment evaluation report
  • Products, size of production, detailed list of equipment, and business plan
  • Environmental protection measures
  • Requirement for utilities such as power and water supply

Registration Procedures

Foreign investors are not permitted to directly submit the application documents of incorporate a Free-Trade Zone company to the relevant authority in Shanghai. They must retain a Shanghai entity that is authorized or permitted by relevant authorities to act as a sponsor. The sponsor will submit all the documents to the examination and approval authorities on behalf of the foreign investor. Procedures for setting up a Free-Trade zone company are the following:

  • Name registration with State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) in Shanghai Free-Trade zone.
  • Certificate of Approval by SAIC
  • Apply for Business License with SAIC [-what is a business license?-]
  • Chops made by Public Security Bureau (PSB)
  • Organization Code License by Technical Supervision Bureau (TSB)
  • Tax Certificate by Taxation Bureau
  • Registration and Approval with State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE)
  • Open FTE foreign currency and RMB bank account
  • Financial certificate registration
  • Statistics license registration
  • Import/Export license (applicable for Trading & Manufacturing company)
  • newValue Added Services: Free Visa service, 2 months accounting serivce and morearrow

More information about Free-Trade Zone WFOE:

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