By Jake Liddle
On July 5, 2016, the State Council issued a circular to speed up the rate of business registration reform. The decision was made to fully implement the ‘Five-in-One’ business license across China as of October 1, 2016, a departure from the previous ‘Three-in-One’ business license system which was introduced the same time last year. The Five-in-One business license was previously piloted in places such as Shenzhen and Zhejiang Province when the Three-in-One business license was first rolled out. The business registration reform is part of a broader effort to ease market access by simplifying administrative procedures.
The new business license’s standardized national credit number will now encompass the social security registration certificate and the statistical registration certificate in addition to the business license, organization code certificate, and tax registration certificate previously covered by the Three-in-One business license. The new license will also contain a QR code which can be scanned by smartphones in order to instantly see all relevant company information.
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The circular also details how the State Council aims to establish an online business registration management system and an information sharing platform between all the departments involved in the registration procedure so as to ease implementation. It also endorses the extensive use of the new business license, with all governmental departments recognizing and accepting it as official documentation. Companies already registered under the ‘Three-in-One’ business license are not required to submit a new application for the new license, as their information will be automatically sent to relevant departments, and a new license will be issued.
Implications for social insurance
One of the main implications of the new license will be the simplification of social insurance registration procedures for new enterprises: at the same time as completing commercial and industrial registration procedures, newly formed enterprises can also register for social insurance. Before, enterprises were required to provide bank account information when registering; now, this will only need to be provided when enterprises are applying on behalf of employees. After registration for the new license, social insurance agencies will receive the data exchanged by the industrial and commercial departments, and will produce and file a Social Insurance Registration Form. If an enterprise makes changes to its information or deregisters, the social insurance agency will update the social insurance registration information of the enterprise according to the data provided by the industrial and commercial department. Enterprises that have already contributed to social insurance and have deregistered from the commercial and industrial department must also deregister with the social insurance management organization. For enterprises that have already obtained information from the industrial and commercial departments, the social insurance agencies can directly access the unit’s information and supplement their records with the bank account information to complete employee social insurance registration.
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