A change of address for a business is sometimes a necessary step towards securing long-term gains. A company’s address is a core element of registered information (along with its business scope, registered capital, and company name, etc.), and making changes to this information can be a somewhat complex process. In our previous article, we provide a step-by-step guide to changing the registered address of a business in China. However, the application procedure for registering/changing company address for a foreign-invested enterprise (FIE) has been affected by the country’s introduction of the new “three-in-one” business license. This article lays out the simplified procedure for applicants seeking to change their registered company addresses and explore the major changes to the regulation.
The Procedure for Changing the Registered Address
First, the company’s registered information must be changed. A fully completed and clearly written application should be filed with the same Administration of Industry and Commerce (AIC) office where the original registration was made. This should be accompanied by the following materials (all original documents unless otherwise stated):
- After the change has been approved, the original business license, along with a copy, should be submitted to the registration authority to acquire a new business license.
- The ID card of the company’s legal representative or an entrusted party.
- Certificate for legal use of the domicile.
- A resolution or decision on the change of address, made in accordance with the relevant Articles of Association.
- The Amendment to the Articles of Association (or Revised Articles of Association) signed by the company’s legal representative.
- A Chinese translation affixed with the seal of a translation company for all materials submitted in a foreign language.
- Any other documents as required by the AIC.
Upon receiving a certificate of relocation from the original AIC office of registration, the company can then apply for a new business license from the AIC at its new location. If, however, the new location is outside the jurisdiction of the original AIC, the company must obtain an official reply and receive approval documents from the new AIC to be submitted to the original registration authority.
New ‘Three-in-One’ Business License
Previously, companies looking to register a change of address would be required to obtain a new national organization code (NOC) from the Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision and to change tax registration at the Tax Registration Authority after changing information. However, the new ‘three-in-one’ business license reform streamlines this process by combining the business license, organization code certificate, and tax registration certificate into a single social credit code. The AIC shares updated basic information with the other two bureaus via an information exchange platform.
For applicants wishing to alter address information, a ‘three-in-one’ business license will need to be obtained before applying. However, before December 31, 2017, a company may choose to keep the three old licenses as long as alterations to core information are not made, or can upgrade to the ‘three-in-one’ license. For companies looking to correct information regarding general manager, director, or supervisor’s name or passport number, etc. that is not stated on the business license, they can either upgrade to the new ‘three-in-one’ business license, or they must adhere to the old procedure for application. It should be noted that application procedures vary depending on location.
This article was first published May 2016.
Since its establishment in 1992, Dezan Shira & Associates has been guiding foreign clients through Asia’s complex regulatory environment and assisting them with all aspects of legal, accounting, tax, internal control, HR, payroll and audit matters. As a full-service consultancy with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India and emerging ASEAN, we are your reliable partner for business expansion in this region and beyond.