Speak to an advisor: +852 5803 2409

Register your business before 27th Mar and save HK$2,000 on government fees.


The Key Steps to Incorporate a WFOE in China

5 minute read

A Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) is a limited liability company established solely by non-Chinese investors and most often by a single investor.

China is an exciting yet difficult market to succeed and navigate in. There are often many regulations in placed with different requirements from local and provincial government.

Multiple foreign investors are permitted (limited to a maximum of 50 investors), though it would typically create more flexibility to consolidate foreign shareholdings in an offshore company.

Foreign Invested Enterprises (FIEs) can be incorporated partially or fully with foreign capital. The foreign investor(s) have complete control to implement the operational, investment and management strategies.  While a WFOE typically has a board of directors, a WFOE with comparatively few investors or small in scale may have one executive director instead of a board of directors.

Although WFOEs can engage in a wide range of sectors even if restrictions still exist, such restrictions are set out in the China’s Foreign Investment Industrial Guidance Catalogue and various industry-specific regulations.

The liberalization of foreign investment increased the popularity of WFOEs among foreign investors, and currently, the WFOE is the most frequently used foreign investment vehicle in China.

Steps to Incorporate a WFOE in China

Step 1

  • Online registration with the SAIC (State Administration for Industry and Commerce)  and the MOFCOM (Ministry of Commerce) reporting (between 5-10 days);
  • Registration with the SAIC onsite, Issuance of the New Business License (combining the Business License, the organization code certificate, and the tax registration certificate between 5-10 days).

The WFOE now legally exists

Step 2

  • Company chops to be made by the Public Security Bureau (between 2-3 days);
  • Foreign exchange registration and opening of bank accounts (capital account and current account) in foreign exchange currency and Renminbi (about 10 days depending on the bank policies);
  • Registration with Tax Bureau (between 5 days);
  • Post-registration procedures (depending on the type of business) such as Customs, Labor Bureau and Social Security Bureau.

Convinced yet?

This guest post is brought to you by our legal partner Leaf. A Shanghai-based firm with extensive expertise in incorporating companies in Mainland China, Fundraising, and M&A inquiries.

Find out more on their website!

Talk to our sales team to get started!

Ready to grow your business?

Our expert team is here to help you. Explore our incorporation services or contact our team to get personalised advice today.

Start a business in less than 3 hours with us. Talk to our experts today.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our jam-packed newsletter covers monthly compliance updates, upcoming events and exclusive offers

Other articles that might interest you

Related content


We'd love to help. Share your contact details and we'll call you back!

WhatsApp Us
whatsapp icon

Chat with us on WhatsApp from your mobile

30 day moneyback guarantee

30 Days Money Back Guarantee

Our refund policy:

We care about you – within 30 days from your purchase, if you’re unhappy with our services, we’ll refund our fee. Email or call us, and we’ll process the refund within five working days.

What it doesn’t cover:

We will not be able to refund Government fees once the application has been submitted, nor any third-party processing fees.

When it applies:

We cannot guarantee any specific legal outcomes when you use our services. For instance, a company registration might be filed correctly but still get rejected by the Company Registry for reasons beyond our control. We can only refund our fees for issues we are directly responsible for. In the case that you purchase a service and later change your mind, we can’t issue a refund.

Our customer support team is at your disposal for any questions or issue you may face.

Need help?

Our sales team is available from Mon - Fri 9am to 7pm (Hong Kong Time)

Let's get in touch

Book a time with our experts to guide you in finding the best solution.