New Regulations for Establishing Representative Offices Released

Posted by Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jan. 20 – The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has released new incorporation regulations that will affect foreign investors setting up representative offices in China, as well as ROs already established on the mainland.

The new regulations, issued on January 4, stipulate the following:

  • The parent company must been in existence for two years
  • In addition to the incorporation certificate, a bank reference letter also will need to be notarized and legalized
  • The registration certificate for an RO is now only valid for one year rather than three years; all existing ROs will have a one-year valid registration license when they renew their current registration certificate
  • Every year when an RO renews its license, a notarized and legalized incorporation certificate of the parent company will need to be provided
  • Foreign representatives of an RO, including the chief representative, cannot exceed four; for existing ROs with more than four foreign representatives (including a chief representative), the SAIC will not require the RO to decrease their number of representatives but will not approve any additional foreign representatives
  • The local branch of the AIC will verify all the information of the RO including its registered address within three months after the RO obtains its registration certificate

For further information on setting up representative offices in China, including the various regional differences in establishment procedures and annual license renewals, please contact Dezan Shira & Associates at

Related Reading
Setting Up in China: Establishment Procedures for an RO
Representative Office Risks and Audits in China
Preparing for Annual Audits in China

Setting Up Representative Offices in ChinaChina Briefing has also produced the technical guide, “Setting Up Representative Offices in China.” Written by the business advisory and corporate accounting teams at Dezan Shira & Associates, it is now in its third edition and may be purchased from our bookstore in both hard copy and PDF versions.