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Company Formation China



Liaison Office in China

Updated on Monday 02nd March 2020

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A liaison office in China is known as a representative office (RO) directed to foreigners who want to establish the business presence in the country without having to operate as a WFOE in China, as a subsidiary or branch. The registration of a liaison office in China can be made with complete assistance offered by our team of company incorporation agents in China who can also offer support for any type of entity you want to register. 

What are the attributes of a liaison office in China?

The connection between the parent company from abroad and the registered business in China can be established through a liaison office or a representative office in China. It is important to know that such structure has no legal personality and it is subject to varied conditions:
Deals with financial operations  NO
Can issue invoices NO
Can sign contracts   NO
Can assume civil liability  NO
Needs a registered agent  YES
Can perform marketing activities  YES
Must submit the annual financial statements  YES









If you consider that a liaison office is a proper choice to establish the business presence on the Chinese market, you can talk to our company formation specialists in China.

What are the tax requirements for a liaison office in China?

The representative offices in China need to file the annual report with information about the foreign company, about the payment balance and about the ongoing business activities. Moreover, liaison offices in China are levied for gross costs and the tax rate in this matter is set at 11.75% from the monthly expenses, in accordance with the business sector in which these are registered.

What are the conditions for foreign employees of a liaison office in China?

It is good to know that the representative offices in China cannot hire more than 4 foreign employees. Likewise, such employees must have business relations with the parent company from abroad. Here is an infographic that explains how you can set up a liaison office in China:
Steps to set up a liaison office in China1.png

The registration of a liaison office in China

The formalities for registering a liaison office in China are not complex, however, the support and guidance of a company formation agent in China can be quite helpful in terms of documents and many more. The Certificate of Incorporation of a company in China, a document stating the activities of a liaison office in China, and the application form with details about the foreign company and its owners are among the necessary documents for registering and opening a liaison office or a representative office in China. Your business presence in China can start with the help of a liaison office before you consider establishing the company with a traditional office. In any case, one of our agents can assist you throughout the registration process of a company in China, so feel free to address your inquiries to us.

The functions of a liaison office in China

The attributes and the purposes of a liaison office in China are quite clear and foreign investors know from the start about the type of activities and operations that can develop with the help of such structure. For instance, a representative office in China needs a registered agent with a residency in China before developing any activities. Marketing strategies, advertising, and promotional activities are the only operations of a liaison or representative office in China. Because such an entity cannot have financial activities and therefore cannot act like a normal business structure, the liaison office cannot issue invoices or sign contracts. A representative office in China can be the proper business choice for small or medium entrepreneurs from abroad who want to test the Chinese market before acting as an economic operator. Feel free to talk to our consultants and find out more about how to set up a liaison office or a WFOE in China.

The connection with potential clients can be made with a liaison office

A company from abroad that needs to be represented in China can register a liaison office. This kind of representative office develops and preserves the connection between the foreign company and the potential customers and collaborators in China. All the advertising and marketing operations are normally agreed by the foreign business that has a representative agent in China. Such a representative must act in the best interest of the foreign enterprise, looking for varied marketing and promotional methods in order to create a company image and to contact different kinds of clients. Usually, the next step in business in China is to set up a company with a traditional office, if entrepreneurs decide that China is a good business destination for their operations.

FAQ about liaison office

1. Is a liaison office the same with a representative office?
Yes, a liaison office can act as a representative office established by a foreign company in China.
2. What can I do with a liaison office in China?
If you would like to develop marketing and advertising activities in China and detect the proper business sector for your operations, a liaison office can be a great choice. You can get in touch with possible clients and collaborators with an RO in China.
3. Is it hard to register a liaison office in China?
No, there is no need to think of harsh formalities for liaison offices in China. The entire procedure can be handled by one of our company formation agents in China who can also act as a representative office for your liaison office.
4. What kind of companies can open liaison offices in China?
Companies with activities in the manufacturing sector, agriculture, medicine, tourism, engineering, or IT can easily set up liaison offices in China. A complete analysis of the Chinese market is recommended before establishing a traditional office in China.
5. Are there any taxes for liaison offices in China?
11.75% is the tax rate imposed on the monthly expenses of a liaison office in China. An annual report is also needed.

Investments in China

China has a powerful economy and it is one of the most important business players in the world. Large companies have operational branches and subsidiaries in this country, taking advantage of a wide range of business opportunities. Here are some interesting numbers about the economy and business in China:
  1. China ranks 31st out of 190 economies in the world, as stated by the 2020 Doing Business report;
  2. Around USD 1,627,000 million was the total FDI stock for China in 2018;
  3. 871 is the number of greenfield investments in China registered in 2018;
  4. Singapore, USA, Cayman Islands, and the Netherlands are China’s main investors.
If you want to set up a liaison office in China or if you want to register a company in China, we suggest you contact our team of company incorporation agents in China at any time.

Meet us in China

Call us now at +86-755-82148419 to set up an appointment with our company formation specialists in China. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to China.

As a Tannet Group Limited client, you will benefit from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in China. 

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