The China Syndrome

June 12, 2012

From time to time our clients provide us with interesting challenges and sometimes, like the Clapham Omnibus, they arrive in threes! And so it was recently when three clients wanted to know what was involved with setting up a business in China and how they should go about it.

For two of these clients the request was not unexpected as we had already helped them set up limited companies in the US, Australia and Singapore through our international network.

Our clients operate in very different sectors, one in the recruitment sector, one in shipping and the other wanted to open new sales distribution channels for a cutting edge technology product, made in the UK and used in research environments.

This meant that they all had a slightly different approach to their new Chinese operations. One client met an operations manager through their existing connections in Singapore who was moving to China; another secured a senior manager who had been working for one of their Chinese clients; and a third is using a formal ‘business agent’ who will undertake the sales and distribution of their product throughout China.

A formal presence in China is necessary if there is a manager employed on the ground and WSM were able to advise on the three main options of a Representative Office, a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (referred to as a “WFOE” pronounced Woofie!) and a Sino-British joint venture.

Through our international accounting and legal services network, EuropeFides we were able to introduce our Chinese associates SBA Stone Forest and their highly professional team, many of whom speak and write fluently in English. This enabled clear three way communications between ourselves, or clients and the team at SBASF.

Our practical advice has been ongoing and we have also been able to help with the challenges of writing employee service contracts in China, finding serviced offices, opening Renminbi bank accounts and negotiating the set up of internet banking facilities.

We are thrilled that already two of the three clients are now successfully up and running in China, so if you are thinking of going global, speak to Simon Marsh for more information.