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.
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.
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.