Monthly Archive July 2017

Opening Up a Bank Account in China, credit card, Opening Up a Bank Account Under Tightened Restrictions - What You Need to Know

Opening Up a Bank Account Under Tightened Restrictions – What You Need to Know

Why opening a bank account in China is more difficult today

It is no secret that the recent crackdown on money laundering has left foreigners struggling to open a bank account in China. As a result, it has become even more beneficial for foreigners, seeking to move or extend their business to China, to consult an agent on the ground. The reason why there are so many China consultancies on the market is because it’ is quite challenging as well as time and labor intensive to get a company approved. Only a few of these China consultants are as committed as Incorp China, connecting with the government bureaus and banks, forming friendships, and therefore getting our clients the service they deserve.

Going beyond obvious

One of our most recent clients, a US software security company, had to open up a bank account after his company license had been approved. In order to do just that, our team went to one of the bigger China Construction Bank (CCB) branches located not too far from our office. Unfortunately, since banks had tightened their requirements over the past couple of months, our first request was denied. Why, is open for speculation.

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The China Construction Bank is one of the ‘big four’ banks in China – and one of the 10 largest banks in the world by revenue.

As Robert Fisch, Incorp China’s CEO did not want our client to have to fly back to China in order to give it another try at another bank, he went into the branch again with two members of his team. At the CCB branch, he found the employee who had refused our application, talked to her, and tried to find out why our client got refused and what we could do to fix it. When this did not work out, he managed to find the account manager.

The account manager, respectful and courteous as the Chinese treat their guests, offered us tea and his time in the staff kitchen. There, the Incorp China team and he talked, tea, took pictures and we each showed interest in each others’ jobs, cultures, and languages. After a while, the account manager promised to help us in every way he could, but that he would first need to get approval from the branch manager. She, luckily, was on site this day.

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The account manager was incredibly friendly and helpful and introduced us to the branch manager, who agreed to see us immediately. Again, the Incorp team were offered tea, we talked in the CCB branch manager’s office about this and that – starting with small talk but ending up talking about family, the beauty of China and how rapidly it has evolved in the past decades. The manager did not, however, clearly state how she was going to help us, despite being very friendly and enthusiastic about our visit. Nevertheless, she did make sure to let us know that she wanted to assist us in the process.

When we went to visit the branch a second time, the mood was slightly more dampened and the odds did not look like they were in our favor. Even a long meeting, talking about all the technicalities of the bank account opening procedure, did not change or clarify anything.

Unfortunately, for the following couple of days, there was honestly more confusion than progress. Nobody could really tell us what had gone wrong, what we needed to do to get the process going, or whether, in the end, they couldn’t do anything for us at all.

Therefore, our CEO headed back into the branch and had a meeting with all managers he could find on site together. After, yet again, some tea and chatter, the situation looked a lot better. We finally got a hint of what had gone wrong, and after ensuring the team at the bank branch that we would love to bring them more business, they understood that we were as serious about the legislations as they are. They agreed to restart the bank account opening process all over again – a clean slate – without the head of the client’s company having to travel to China again.

It’s all about client support

While this was time-consuming for our team, it got us connected with the CCB branch team near us, taught us yet another lesson about China’s bank requirements, and reminded us that with friendliness, patience, and a true passion for our field, every problem can be resolved. We are thankful for all of the China Construction Bank team’s time and effort and their dedication to their clients. Even more so we are proud to have resolved this issue for our clients and helped them to the best of our ability.

The trick to why all of these meetings with the managers of the bank’s branch where possible, and ultimately why they listened to us, was for Incorp China’s boss to speak Mandarin fluently. His China experience, consisting of well over 30 years and counting, gave us the insight into what is and what isn’t possible in such delicate situations, and, perhaps more importantly, displayed the legitimacy and seriousness of our business. It showed that Incorp China is helping both Western companies as much as the Chinese economy by bringing them here. We have been here for a long time and are intending to stay. This feeling of stability combined with our China knowledge has helped us more than once in negotiating a great deal for our clients.

Therefore, it is truly important and money well invested to have somebody on the ground in China who can provide this support to your business.

If you are currently looking into expanding or moving your business to China, let us do your paperwork for you so you can fully concentrate on your business. Call us for a free consultation today at +1 (561) 729 6508, or write us an email at info@incorpchina.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

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Why Employing China Consultants To Solve Banking Issues is a Must

Nationalities are a way of creating a sense of belonging. As soon as you are born, you are gifted one, sometimes two, nationalities. They play an important part in how you identify yourself throughout your life and they can come with – or prevent – great liberties. The problem with belonging to one nationality is that, as soon as you take a step beyond your mother land’s borders, you are a stranger. It is human nature to protect what we know and recognize and seek distance from what we see as foreign and unknown. Whether executed consciously or subconsciously, this behaviors is deeply engraved in our DNA.

It comes at no surprise, therefore, that institutions within one country make it their duty to protect their own citizens as best as possible from everything and everyone outside national territory. Foreigners are therefore naturally subjects to greater controls, restrictions and more tightly supervised legislations.

Coming to China will illustrate this point precisely. Being treated like this by banks and bureaus is neither meant intrinsically bad nor malicious, but can be very frustrating and drag out simple tasks seemingly forever.

One of our US clients, providing HR services for companies worldwide, was experiencing grave trouble with banks in Shanghai. While we cannot name the exact cause for this problem, it essentially prevented our client to pay their staff in multiple countries as a large part of their profit was stored in the Shanghai bank accounts. Incorp China had the entire team on their phones talking to banks in all time zones – Shanghai, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom – day and night. It was our goal not only to find a short term solution and get the client’s staff payed with whatever bank accounts were accessible, but even more importantly, smooth things over with the Shanghai branch and regain access to the client’s account. The issue was resolved, salaries were payed on time and the Shanghai account was reopened for transfers in and out of the country. Incorp China is continuing to look after this client’s staff all over China and helps the individual branches manage their HR payroll processes.

Contact us to find out how we can help you. With over 30 years experience in China, we have the knowledge and passion for the field to support you and your business.

Call for a free consultation today at +1 (561) 729 6508, or email us at info@incorpchina.com with any questions you might have. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

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Shutting Down a Foreign Owned Entity in China – IncorpChina’s Visit to the Local Tax Bureau

Last week, three Incorp China team members and the CEO, Robert Fisch, headed to the Shenzhen tax bureau to help one of our US clients on shuting down their entity in China. When shutting down a foreign company in China, the tax bureau has to issue a “notice of cancellation of tax registration”’ for the Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation Bureau. This is a rather difficult and time intensive procedure: The company owner, or a representative thereof, has to physically visit the local tax bureau in order to fill out and hand in the requires paperwork. While some documents are in English, the majority of the procedure will necessarily be dealt with in Mandarin. This highly bureaucratic task involves dozens of different forms that are each tailored to the nature of your business as well as the reason for its closure.

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The counters in the reception hall of the building will help you to get smaller matters dealt with. For larger issues, such as closing down a company, you will be sent to the respective office within the bureau.

Our team had spent the days prior to our visit of the tax bureau preparing the individual documents. Good preparation, however, never actually guarantees that your paperwork will be dealt with quickly. Often, you will be asked to return with special, additional documents. The Incorp China team knows from experience that establishing a good relationship with employees of the bureau will make this procedure as effective and stress free as possible for both ourselves and our clients.

As we arrived at the bureau we headed to one of the front counters in order to find out who in the building would handle a case like ours. We were directed to an office on the 6th floor. After some chatting and having explained the purpose of our visit, it was obvious we had been directed to the wrong office. A few doors down the hall, the government official was willing to process our case. Our CEO, Robert Fisch, didn’t leave it at that.

He found out who the immediate superior of the tax officer was. This allowed us to talk to him personally and show our respect for his work and his country. Due to Robert Fisch’s fluency in not only Mandarin and Cantonese, but his added knowledge about numerous Chinese dialects, allowed him to prove that he was not just any “laowai” – a foreigner. Showing genuine interest and knowledge about China, builds trust, shows respect, and often gets a chuckle or two out of your conversation partner if you happen to be able to introduce yourself in the respective home dialect. Knowing how to sing a couple traditional, Communist songs has never failed to lighten the mood. After all, people are more likely to help if they know you are a friendly, trustworthy and interesting soul.

The team returned to the office of the official who would be processing our paperwork. After some more chatting and giving face to a couple of his colleagues, we finally returned to the head of the department once again. This last visit was just to ensure that everybody was on the same page. Especially knocking on the head tax officer’s door, a second time proved beneficial. Even though we only came to thank him again for his help, saying our goodbyes and paying respect to how well he is running his department, he immediately grabbed the phone to call his co-workers, who we had just seen a minute ago, to ensure them to process his friends’ request as soon as possible.

 

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The file cabinet for the tax bureau forms stretches over an entire wall in the waiting hall. Depending on your issue or request, the right form must be found and filled out in Chinese.

Our work was done, hands were shaken and we headed back down to the crowded ground floor. It took us the entire morning but was well worth it. Our clients are getting their paperwork in a timely manner and our office has formed a good relationship with a new department within the tax office for future collaboration.

Incorp China offers special attention to its clients: we are not just sending your documents off to be processed by government departments which we have never seen from the inside. We try our best to constantly create and enforce our relationship with different bureaus in order to provide the best service possible for our clients.

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The New Fapiao Legislation Explained

Effective 1st July 2017, the State Administration of Taxation extended its requirements for fapiao issuance. All companies need to add their taxpayer identification number on all issued VAT tax invoices (fapiaos) in addition to the original information. The notice was given under the Taxation Notice No. 16 of 2017.. 16 of 2017.

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A sample of a VAT tax rebate receipt (fapiao).

 

What does this mean? Why?

Originally, a fapiao only had to include four components. The paying company’s name, its company address, a description of the good or service being sold as well as its price, and the government issued red stamp. The latest regulation entails that those receiving the receipt have to provide their company’s unique taxpayer identification number in addition to the original requirements. This law, at first, only applied to VAT fapiaos that were intended for tax deducing purposes. Now, however, it includes all normal VAT fapiaos as well. This adjustment in the legislation is supposed to aid the Chinese government in tracking a company’s exact income and expenses in an effort to eliminate tax fraud.

How to find out your taxpayer ID number?

To find out what your company’s taxpayer identification number is, have a look at your business license. Every company receives a unique taxpayer ID number upon registration for tax filing purposes. In case you are the owner of multiple different companies, you will have received a separate taxpayer ID number for each.

 

Are individuals attributed a taxpayer ID number?

No, only companies receive a taxpayer ID number upon their registration.

 

What should you do?

Incorp China advises all its customers to have a physical or digital note on them clearly stating the company’s name as well as the taxpayer identification number. Having this information both in English and pinyin will make fapiao issuance as easy and hassle-free as possible. The new taxpayer number has to be filled into the line located right underneath the company’s name. Every time you ask for the issuance of a fapiao, please double-check whether the taxpayer identification number has been included and whether it is correct. If either isn’t the case you will not be able to record the fapiao in your accounting books. This means you will not be able to deduct the fapiao’s value from your taxes.

 

 

If you have any further questions or concerns, please call us under +1 (561) 729 6508 or write us an email at info@incorpchina.com.

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