Frequently Asked Questions

What is a WFOE?

A Wholly-Owned-Foreign Enterprise (WFOE, or sometimes WOFE) is a investment vehicle whereby a company operating in mainland China is owned entirely by a foreign-owned limited liability company (LLC).

What is a rep office?

A representative office is a branch office that can conduct business support but cannot receive payments from clients.

What is a Joint Venture Company?

A Joint Venture company is a company with both foreign and mainland Chinese investors.

What is an ICP license?

An ICP license is a registration issued by the state that allows legal operation of China-based websites to legally operate in the country.

How can I send money abroad from China or Hong Kong?

Repatriating funds is not costly, but it is different for individuals and companies. Click here to see our blog with more information.

Do I need to go to the bank in person to open an account?

Usually yes. However, during the pandemic, we were allowed to hold virtual meetings with bank officials to confirm a new account for our clients.

Can branch offices/Joint Ventures/WFOEs issue invoices (fapiao)?

WFOEs and JVs can, branch offices cannot.

What is the criteria for obtaining a work (Z) visa?

Z visas are granted to foreigners who are employed in China and spend at least 6 months our of the year in the country.

How much do foreign companies have to pay in taxes in China?

All foreign companies pay taxes, but it varies greatly by size and investment vehicle.

Do foreigners have to pay taxes on their individual income?

Yes, and there are a total of seven tax brackets.

Do different districts in the same city have different tax laws?

Yes, business laws vary in China depending on province, city, and even city district.

Are there any tax exemptions for foreign companies in China?

No, not particularly.

Is there a difference between a WFOE and WOFE?

No, both acronyms denote a Wholly-Foreign Owned Entity but are sometimes spelled differently.

What documentation do I need to start a WFOE, rep office, or Joint Venture?

Requirements vary by the type if investment vehicle, but you must at least be able to prove you have an office in China, have an investor's certificate, and a bank reference letter.

What is a temporary residence permit?

It proves that you live in China, where you live, and allows you to remain in China for the long term. Most often used by people who have lived in China for many years.

How do I register a new trademark in China?

Design the logo and choose which category of products or services it will be classified in. This is quite a complicated process, click here to learn more about filing a trademark.

If my trademark is registered abroad, must it be re-registered in China?


How often do accounts need to be filed in China?


Can foreign accountants file Chinese accounts?

Yes, but the Chinese system is different than anywhere else in the world. Click here to learn more about the Chinese accounting system.

How do you file accounts?

Incorp China can help you with that.

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