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China Company Special License Application


When running your company in China, you may want to include some specific services to expand your business scope, some of which will require special approval and licensing. Now Hongda has launched comprehensive special licensing application services to help you successfully start your operation in those industries. Let’s begin!


Special License Application for Legal Operation

To date, China continues to be a country boasting a vast market and significant innovation potential, rendering it highly attractive for investors and businesses to explore and engage. Consequently, acquiring a detailed understanding of the limitations and opportunities arising from these special licenses emerges as a pivotal pathway for the development of Chinese enterprises. As an integral part of the negative list for foreign investment, the government has consistently eased entry conditions, thereby reducing regulations on foreign investment. This ongoing trend has cultivated increasingly favorable conditions for businesses seeking to obtain these special licenses. For foreign investment enterprises in China, a profound comprehension of the specific licenses pertinent to their industry will offer essential support for your investment and business initiatives. In this page, Hongda will provide an overview of several of the most prevalent special licenses.


Special Licenses and Permits that You May Need


Import/Export License

An import & export license is a certification granted by the relevant state authorities to international traders, authorizing them to engage in the importation or exportation of goods and services. Within the import and export license framework, businesses involved in the import and export of goods are required to obtain a license before finalizing contracts or initiating ordering procedures. Importantly, without such a license, neither import nor export activities are permitted. Key details encompassed within the import and export license comprise product specifics such as name, specifications, and quantity, as well as information about the importing and exporting countries, term of the license, total value of the transaction, chosen transportation method, trade procedures, payment methods, and other pertinent details. This comprehensive documentation ensures regulatory compliance, facilitates the orderly conduct of international trade, and acts as a crucial safeguard for the involved parties.

Hongda has extensive experience in applying for import and export certificates. We can complete the application process for you within 1-2 weeks, ensuring the smooth progress of your import and export-related operations.


Medical Devices Operation License

Businesses engaged in the production, sale, utilization, or maintenance of medical devices must acquire a Medical Devices Operation License. This license is stratified into three categories, each tailored to different types of medical devices and their specific application requirements. For a more comprehensive understanding of these categories and their associated application conditions, feel free to click here for further details.


Drug/Pharmaceuticals Operation License

Drug/pharmaceuticals Business License is the compulsory license that you need to obtain before starting your drug and pharmaceuticals related operation, regulated under the National Medical Products Administration. It may take up to 36-72 months to apply for the licenses for importing and selling drugs, or 3-6 months for selling cosmetics. Due to the long period of application, please contact Hongda in advance if you want to engage in such operations!


Food operation License/Food Production License

For public safety and supervision purposes, the Chinese government requires any person or institution who wishes to engage in the food industry to apply for related licenses, such as the Food Production License and Food Operation License, which are the most important in the food industry. Based on the business activities, you may need to apply for both or one of these licenses in order to start your operation legally. If you are a food industry player, you may get more information from our previous blog about ‘the license you may need to start food operation in China’.


Approval for the Formation of Medical Institutions and Practice License of Medical Institution

If your company is involved in healthcare businesses, such as medical institutions, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, or nursing facilities, it is required to obtain relevant health permits before and after obtaining your business license. Before applying for the business license, medical institution representatives need to obtain the ‘approval for the formation of medical institutions’, which will be required when registering your company. Prior to officially running your medical institutions, you will also need to apply for the Practice License of Medical Institution.


Environmental Impact Assessment

With the increasing emphasis on environmental improvement in recent years, the government's environmental requirements for businesses have also been rising, ensuring that economic advancement does not compromise the environment. For production and construction-oriented enterprises applying for a business license, obtaining environmental approval, or Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), is a prerequisite before proceeding with other business procedures. EIA involves the analysis, prediction, and evaluation of potential environmental impacts resulting from the implementation of planning and construction projects. It proposes strategies and measures to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental effects and establishes methods and systems for ongoing monitoring.


The Hazardous Chemicals Business License

It is required for enterprises engaged in chemical trade or the handling of hazardous chemicals, including refined oil, crude oil, kerosene, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, chemical products, coatings, paints, and resin. Before commencing operations, these companies need to submit to the Safety Supervision Bureau the types or categories of chemicals they intend to handle, along with the corresponding documentation. It serves as evidence that their operating and storage facilities, as well as their structures, comply with national standards. Additionally, it verifies that key personnel, including the unit's principal, managers, safety production management staff, and business personnel, have undergone professional training and possess qualifications that impact their work responsibilities.


Internet Culture Operation Permit

This permit can be further divided into two categories: operational and non-operational. Operational internet cultural activities refer to profit-oriented activities that aim to generate revenue by charging internet users, engaging in e-commerce, advertising, sponsorship, or other means, while providing internet cultural products and services. Non-operational internet cultural activities refer to activities that do not aim for profit and provide internet cultural products and services to internet users. If a company intends to engage in operational internet cultural activities in China, such as the online gaming or live streaming industry, it needs to apply for this permit from the local cultural and tourism department where the company is located. On the other hand, non-operational permits can be registered with the local cultural and tourism department after the establishment of the company.


Telecommunications and Information Service Business Operation License

This license is also known as ICP License, referring to the certificate obtained by the organizer of a general operational website through application to the local authorities. For enterprises engaging in internet-based paid information services, including online sales, online payments, advertising, membership fees, and other business activities, the acquisition of an ICP license is required.


EDI License

The full name of the EDI license is the Value-Added Telecommunications Service Operation License. It is the business license for providing online data processing, transactions, and transaction processing to users through public communication networks or the internet. If your website's business involves e-commerce, such as having transaction information on the website or directly obtaining product prices through the website, or if your website requires third-party payments, then you need to apply for an EDI license.


ODI Licenses/ODI Filing

ODI refers to the three main procedures that Chinese enterprises or entities need to go through when making investments outside the mainland of China (including Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan). These procedures include obtaining approval from the commerce department for overseas investment activities, approval or filing by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) for overseas investment projects, and foreign exchange registration with banks. For enterprises involving state-owned assets, approval from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) is also required. ODI filing and approval are categorized based on factors such as the investment amount, industry, and country. Generally, record filing is applicable to non-significant investment amounts or non-sensitive investments. For sensitive industries, regions, or investments exceeding a certain amount, approval from the NDRC and the commerce department is required. To find out more about what Hongda can help you with your ODI program, you can get more information through Hongda’s ODI related website: www.globalodi.com!


QFLP License

QFLP refers to the program where overseas investors, after obtaining qualifications through approval processes and complying with foreign exchange fund supervision, convert overseas capital into Chinese yuan for investment in domestic equity investment enterprises. As limited partners of VC and PE funds established within China, overseas institutional investors need to submit this application. Upon approval through the qualification review and foreign exchange fund supervision processes, they can convert overseas capital into Chinese yuan for investment in the Chinese equity market. Currently in the pilot stage, about 20 cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Hainan, are eligible for QFLP application. For information on approved cities and additional application procedures, you can contact the Hongda team.


Let Hongda Know Your Needs and Solve Your Problems!


Hongda consultation



Doing business with HONGDA is getting a share in our know-how, expertise and dedication. Our determination leaves our customers with peace in mind, as they know our passion and strive for perfection in all that we do.

To ensure that we keep pushing the boundaries of what our market can expect, we relentlessly strive for increased benefits of doing business with HONGDA. To declare our efforts, our daily work is based on 4 tangible, practical promises to our customers - and just as much to ourselves.



Consultation & Proposal

We (can) advise you on the best solution for your business model and send you our comprehensive proposal.


Signing & Payment

After reviewing the proposal, we sign the service contract and receive your payment.


Preparing Documents

We send you an application form as well as the list of documents we need from your side.


Take a Break

Sit back, relax and let us take care of everything from here on out.


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.


How do I set up a company in Shenzhen or the PRD?

Prepare the shareholder certificate, letter of good standing from the bank. Find an office in China. Make the application (of course better find a professional agent in China to help you).

Do I need to have a foreign company to start a company in China?

No, you could also use your personal name to start the company in China.

What are the drawbacks of a WFOE / rep office / JV?

Rep.Office:High tax, could not hire Chinese employees directly.

WFOE/JV: Slow registration time.

The benefit of all is that if you aim to run a business in China, any will allow you to do so. 

Do I need to personally go to China to set up the company?

No, you dont. Hongda Business Services
can help you to do this while you are abroad.

Do I need an actual office space to register a WFOE / rep office / JV?

Luckily now, you dont. Hongda Business Services can provide the office address for registration. 

Which documentation do I need for a WFOE / Rep Office / JV?

Oversea investor's certificate, bank reference letter and office in China are the key documents for each company type. 


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