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RO Registration
In China

No need to stress. Hongda’s experts take care of everything of forming a representative office in China: from RO setting up, tax registration, residence permit, and one year of bookkeeping to keep you compliant.

What Is A Representative Office In China?

A China representative office, or rep office for short, is the local presence of a foreign company in China.

A rep. office is not legally allowed to make profits, issue invoices, and trade, which are the main purposes of WFOE or Joint Venture. However, a rep office is still an ideal opinion for a foreign headquarter to organize business meetings, perform quality controls, promote products or services, and conduct market research in China.

Forming rep office is a relatively cost-saving solution within China that could benefit their global performance on behalf of the headquarter. Forming a rep office is also fast and straightforward, which only takes around 2 weeks from registration to running with Hongda’s help.

Thinking of opening a RO? 



How Hongda’s Tailored Services Helps You


Requirements of forming a Rep Office in China

To open China rep. office in China, your overseas headquarter needs to provide proven records of 2 years in operation.

Already meet the criteria? Hongda's China golden experts will assist you throughout the process of forming a rep office in full compliance with local laws and regulations in any cities you may consider, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hainan, etc. Our service package covers everything including:

  • Assistance in office space location selection;
  • Labor contract signing with local staff;
  • Employment residence permit application for foreign staff;
  • Monthly bookkeeping and reporting;

Advantages Of Forming a Rep Office in China

As a foreign company, you may have built a close relationship with your Chinese suppliers. However, this might also cause you some trouble as representatives of both parties need to fly across countries when an in-person joint meeting or demo is to be held.

In this case, forming a rep office becomes an ideal choice if the transaction is built with the foreign headquarter directly. One of the representatives can be located in China to organize meetings, explore markets, display products, and conduct liaison activities on behalf of the foreign company at any time while enhancing your customers’ confidence in your professionality as they visit your physical office.

Furthermore, a rep office will also offer:

  • A real presence in China by locating your office;
  • Enhanced brand-building capabilities as the market changes;
  • Ability to demonstrate technology and ideas face-to-face;
  • Detailed local market research and exploration;
  • Organized and land activities of foreign headquarters in China;
  • Easier and more efficient liaison connection with Chinese customers;
  • A corporate bank account to receive operation fundings from overseas companies;
  • Employ foreign representatives directly or local staffs from third-party agencies; 
  • No registered capital requirement.


Shortcoming Of A Representative Office in China

A rep. office is merely the representation of foreign company in China. As a consequence, it is not allowed to:

  • Conduct any business activities for profits;
  • Sign business contracts for the overseas company;
  • Represent any companies other than home headquarter;
  • Purchase any property or asset in China;
  • Import or export goods;
  • Receive service payments and issue invoices to local customers;
  • Store any products in China;

If your operation involves any activities mentioned forehead, a rep office will not be appropriate. Opening a WFOE or joint venture is a better choice for you to carry your business instead.

Read more about rep office pros and cons.


rep-icon-2  Remember: A rep. office will help you raise brand awareness, communicate with local clients, explore market and make marketing strategy. However, it is NOT ALLOWED to operate for profits.

Hongda’s China Rep. Office Setup Package

No need to put yourself into the complexity and trouble of forming a rep office. Let Hongda’s golden experts do it for you to save your time so that there is nothing to worry about. Just relax until everything is perfectly and effectively done.

Alongside formation services of your rep office, we also recommend the following services to be included in your package to help you through the hard start-up phase:

  • Assistance in labor contract signing with local staffs and registered social insurance;
  • Bookkeeping and accounting services, including journal entries, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, cash reconciliation, individual income tax declarations, annual auditing reports, and license renewal;

Hongda is always happy to provide any in-house legal, financial and human resource services, an optimal way to keep your rep. office compliant at any time during your operation.

Considering opening your rep. office in China? Simply hit the button below for a free consultation with Hongda to discuss your plan today.

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Everything You Need To Do


Consult and confirm proposal

Book a free consultation with our experts and receive our comprehensive proposal for you to confirm.


Contract Signing and make payment

Sign the service contract and make payment.


Preparing Documents

We will send everything that you need to prepare, not hard at all.


Wait for the good news

Leave rest of the work to Hongda and we will inform you in 1-2 weeks.


Rent office space

Registered address

Online registration via


Company Seals

Seal engraving for the company




Issue contracts and hire employees

Apply for name

Approval and registration

Business license

Apply for a "5 in 1" business license from AIC

Bank account

Opening of bank account

Special Licenses

Customs and import-export Registration - Only Trading WFOE


What is the legal status of a representative office in China?

The representative office of a foreign enterprise is an unincorporated entity engaged in liaison in China on behalf of a foreign head office. A representative office cannot engage in business activities, issue invoices, sign sales or purchase contracts, or receive income from services provided. However, it can act as a joint finalist and promoter of the head office.

How can I name a representative office in China?

Normally the naming structure of a representative office in China is: Country name of the head company registered + Name of the company + City name + Representative Office.

Who can be appointed as the chief representative of the representative office?

The chief representative is the legal representative of the Chinese representative office appointed by the foreign head office. There is no restriction on the nationality of the chief representative, who does not have to stay in China during operation.

Does the representative office have to pay taxes in China?

Yes. Whether a representative office needs to pay taxes, and what taxes should be paid, depends on the nature of the industry of the foreign head office.

  • Representative offices of foreign government agencies, non-profit organizations, and certain international organizations (such as the United Nations) are not required to pay taxes, but they need to obtain approval from the Chinese tax bureau.
  • Representative offices of foreign law firms, accounting firms, and auditing firms shall pay corporate income tax, value-added tax, and withholding personal income tax based on the contractual income generated by the representative office through the head office to provide consulting services in China.
  • Representative offices of foreign companies engaged in trade, advertising, tourism, etc. are also required to pay corporate income tax, value-added tax, and withholding personal income tax depending on the operating expenses of the representative office.

How can the representative office hire local employees in China?

The representative office shall entrust a local foreign affairs service agency designated by the Chinese government to employ Chinese employees in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations. Usually, a representative office signs a service contract with a local foreign service agency. According to the service contract, the local foreign affairs service agency agrees to provide services, and the representative office pays for the service fees for hiring Chinese employees. After establishing an employment relationship, the local foreign affairs service agency will pay social insurance on a monthly basis.

Can the representative office open a bank account in one of the Chinese banks?

Yes. Representative offices can open foreign currency accounts and RMB accounts. The foreign currency account is used to receive the appropriation from the foreign headquarters, and the RMB account is used to pay daily expenses. In actual practice, most representative offices only open RMB accounts, which can not only receive funds from foreign head offices but also pay for daily operating costs. Representative office bank accounts cannot accept funds from any other source.

What should be included in the credit report issued by the bank?

The following should be included in the credit report:

The time when the company opened an account in the bank, and indicate the evaluation words such as good operation, normal business, no bad records, etc., and the amount of deposits, etc.

If the bank credit certificate is in a foreign language, a translation must be submitted and stamped by the translation company.


Sound United

Jack Peng
Sound United Vice President > Asia Pacific

Sound United is the leading designer and manufacturer of consumer audio products in the US. Sound United has been using Hongda since 2013. Moving one’s operation to China is not a small task, But Hongda’s expert services helped us set up a company and deal with tax issues so we could get on with growing our business in no time at all, and that’s why we continue to use them today.


Business Service Guidance

Hongda Business Services helps foreign businesses looking to establish in the PRD (Pearl River Delta, Guangdong), Shanghai and Hong Kong take advantage of everything that China has to offer. We typically work with companies in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.


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