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Features of Permanent Representative Offices in China
Characteristics of a Permanent Representative Office
A Permanent Representative office of a foreign enterprise is a non-legal entity operating in China representing its parent company. A representative office is not allowed to engage itself in business activities, issue invoices on its own, remitting outward, signing sales or purchase contracts, or receiving income from services performed but may act as a liaison and promotion office for its parent company.
Permanent Representative Office Registration Procedures
The procedures for registration of a Permanent Registration Office in China could be summarised into two steps:
Step one: registration should be made with the Administration for industry and Commerce.
Step two: Post-establishment regsitrations.
Life Span of a Permanent Representative Office
The validity of duration of the residence for the Permanent Representative Office (RO) is 3 years, beginning from the date on which the registration certificate is issued by the relevant Administration for Industry and Commerce.
Authorities for approval are distributed among various State Council Departments and are delegated to their local offices. Applicants should apply for approval from different departments (at their local offices) according to their core activities. Some of the major types of industries and their approval authorities are:
Name of a Permanent Representative Office
The name of the Representative office should be in the form of ¨Name of the Enterprise + Name of the City + Representative Office (or Office)〃.
Business Address (Registered Office)
Before submitting the documents for application for registration to the Beijing Aministgration for Industry and Commerce , it is required that the office premise to be used by the Permanent Representative Office be leased and a tenancy agreement concluded. The tenancy agreement could be executed by the Chief Representative of the Permanent Representative Office or the director of the foreign company applying to set up the Permanent Representative Office.
Note the business address must be located in commercial buildings approved by the government.
Chief Representative is the legal representative of the Permanent Representative Office in China, appointed by the board of directors of its parent company. Local representative is not required. Normally, if the chief representative does not intend to stay and work in Shanghai for over 90 days (within a year), no employment visa is needed. In case that the chief representative is a foreigner and intends to stay in China for over 90 days in a year, employment visa is needed. More...
Documents Required for Application
The applicant shall complete and submit "Form for Establishing Representative Office by Foreign Enterprises〃 and ¨Form for Staff of Representative Office〃 together with the following documents:
It normally takes 30 days from receiving instructions and full particulars and necessary documents form the applicant to issue the Approval Certificate. Thereafter, the Post-establishment Registration procedures take about 30 days. However, a registration could be completed in 30 days.
Procedure for Change and Extension of the Representative
To change any registered items (e.g. Name of the organization, location, scope of business), or when the expiration date of registration certificate is imminent, the office should immediately report to the registration authorities for relevant procedures. The validity of resident representative offices of foreign enterprises is three years for each approval. In case of extension, the office should report to its proxy three months ahead of the expiration date for the extension applying procedures.