Setting up a business in Shenzhen,Invest in Shenzhen
Choosing your Shenzhen Company Structure
When contemplating setting up a business in Shenzhen, one needs to consider what structure to use. But before deciding on the structure, it is important to lay out a strategy. Strategy must lead structure. First consider why you want to make an investment in Shenzhen, and then find out just what you should be doing, before determining just how to do it.
Are you looking to sell to Shenzhen or do you want only to set up a small representative office? Do you need a Chinese partner or can you go it alone? These are just a few of the key issues to consider before establishing a business on the mainland.In this issue of Shenzhen Post, we will discuss some of these issues, the various options available and the establishment process.
There may be several motivations in play of course, but almost every Shenzhen investment boils down to one or more of these. Understanding which applies in your case will help you decide what the correct structure should be.
Equally, when choosing an appropriate investment vehicle, many factors must be considered, as these will lead to different legal and tax considerations. You will need to address questions such as:
- Do you require an entity in mainland Shenzhen or is a Hong Kong incorporation sufficient to reach your aims?
- Do you need to invoice locally for services or products?
- Are you getting a feel for the market or have you decided to commit to a larger scale operation?
- Are you planning to set up a productionoriented entity or do you need only a representation in the country to carry out market research or liaison activities?
- Will you be involved in trading, manufacturing services or a combination of these?
- Is the sector you are investing in fully opened to foreign participation or do you still require a local partner?
- Would you need to conduct the business alone, or would you require a Chinese company chipping in with assets or distribution networks?
- Where should you be? You will need to consider issues such as proximity to any Shenzhen suppliers and raw materials; proximity to any Chinese customers; proximity to ports and other related infrastructure; costs of land and staff; and available incentives
Once you’ve clearly defined the needs and goals for your Shenzhen investment, it’s time to consider the legal form your Shenzhen entity should take. Foreign investors have several choices for structuring a Shenzhen enterprise: the representative office, the joint venture (JV), the wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) and the foreign-invested commercial enterprise (FICE). These structures have different features that can help or hinder your Shenzhen venture, so choosing the appropriate vehicle from the outset will be invaluable for the long-term success of any investment.
Please contact Shenzhen Post for advice on Shenzhen incorporations, business management, tax, accounting, due diligence and audit matters.
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