As of 1 October 2015, under China's
Social Credit System, newly incorporated companies and companies
amending their registration details can apply for a new
'three-in-one' licence to a single registration authority.
The new licence integrates (1) the business licence, (2) the
organisation code certificate, and (3) the tax registration
certificate. After trialling the new licence in select areas, it
has been rolled out throughout China.
To acquire the new licence, an
application form must be completed and one set of documents
submitted to the Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC).
Once the application has been approved, the company will receive a
business licence with an identification number and the registration
will be entered on the national credit disclosure system.
Reform details determined by local AICs
Implementation of the new reform will
vary regionally according to the local AIC. For example, in
Shanghai the submission of old application forms may still be
acceptable for a period after 1 October 2015. As a result,
companies in the process of incorporation in Shanghai will not be
subject to reapply under the new framework. However, in Beijing,
Zhejiang and Jiangsu, the local authorities will only accept new
In some areas such as Shenzhen and
Zhejiang, the 'three-in-one' licence is a
'five-in-one' licence. In these regions, the social
security registration certificate and statistics registration
certificate have also been included in the new business
31 December 2017 has been targeted as
the official end date for the transition. However, local
authorities have their own deadlines, which are a more realistic
guide to the programmed transition. For example, the Beijing AIC
has announced the end of the transition period as late as 31
Incorporation process now far easier for companies and
According to the State Administration
for Industry and Commerce, the new simplified process is expected
to reduce the average time spent procuring the business licence,
organisation code certificate and tax registration certificate from
one month to 5-10 working days.
Despite regional differences, this reform is expected to streamline
procedures and make the incorporation process far easier for
companies and entrepreneurs.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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