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Navigating Chinese WFOE

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The Experience You Need at Home and Abroad

Harris Sliwoski is a team of experienced global attorneys with first-hand knowledge of China WFOE requirements. With offices in Shanghai and fluency in multiple languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese, we are uniquely qualified to provide the legal guidance needed to navigate Chinese WFOE challenges.

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Our Comprehensive WFOE Services

Our services regularly improve outcomes and withstand Chinese government scrutiny.

Determine Capital Requirements

Though some business types in China have no capital requirements, others must register an amount of Renminbi (RMB) — China’s official currency — on their application. This amount also varies among business scopes with registered capital requirements.

Your Harris Sliwoski attorney will help you determine whether registered capital is necessary for your application and how much to declare.

Define Your Business Scope

In many countries, applying for a business permit means broadly describing your company’s operations. China requires a much more in-depth description of what you produce or provide, known as your business scope. To complicate matters further, individual districts in every Chinese city have different preferences about the scope’s detail. A poorly written scope can cause an application rejection, delay your WFOE formation, and add to your costs.

Our comprehensive WFOE services help prevent those issues by crafting precise descriptions matching area and industry preferences.

Provide Additional Support

In addition to the vital services above, Harris Sliwoski attorneys guide you through other WFOE requirements, including:

  • Choosing a company name conforming to customs and standards
  • Obtaining a company chop, the Chinese-language stamp your business will use on legal and financial documents
  • Registering for taxes and with the social security program
  • Establishing bank accounts and transferring capital
  • Locating and negotiating space for your operations in China that becomes your application’s registered address
  • Customs authority registration for import/export, if needed
  • Obtaining specialized business licensing, if required
  • Developing employment policies and business contracts personalized to your WFOE
  • Legally shutting down a China WFOE or other Chinese legal entity
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China WFOE Formation

China’s economy is the world’s second-largest, making it an attractive destination for companies looking to invest in a new market. If you’re looking to expand your business in China, a wholly foreign-owned entity (WFOE) may be the ideal way to do so. However, the process can be challenging without an experienced legal advocate to guide you through it.

What Is a WFOE?

A WFOE is a registered business organization in China owned entirely by non-Chinese investors. China created this flexible market entry option to promote manufacturing within its borders, especially for those with advanced technology and a trade-oriented mindset. Under the current system, a company can apply for a WFOE for consulting, manufacturing, and trading.

If the government grants the application, the company becomes a separate legal and financial entity, similar to a corporation or LLC in the U.S. The benefits of establishing a WFOE include:

  • Maintaining a Chinese base of operations
  • Access to sell and service local markets
  • Expansion potential
  • The ability to convert profits to U.S. dollars and transmit them back to the parent company
  • Retention and security of intellectual property

Our China Experience and Knowledge Make a Difference

The Harris Sliwoski china law team provides comprehensive legal guidance to leading businesses to protect their rights and lawfully navigate unique Chinese markets and company requirements.

We maintain a Shanghai office and we employ a licensed Chinese attorney in our U.S. headquarters to ensure we’re current on China’s legal and business environments. As part of our services, our team provides the required documentation in English and various native languages, including Cantonese, Chinese and Mandarin.

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CHINA LAW BLOG

Practical Insights of Chinese Law and How it Impacts Business

Dan Harris is a leading authority on China’s legal system and business environment. In addition to making frequent media appearances to speak on Chinese legal issues, they co-author the China Law Blog, which consistently ranks as one of the top English-language legal blogs in the world.

The ABA (American Bar Association) Journal named the China Law Blog as one of the 20 best legal blogs of all time, and for five years in a row the Journal’s readers voted it the best in its category. The China Law Blog offers readers a wealth of information about the types of clients we serve and the legal challenges we help them solve every day.

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Get in Touch with Our China Law Team

Get started by filling out the form, or call 1-888-330-0010 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Our Clients' Successes

“Harris Sliwoski expertly guided us through the formation of our company. They continue to assist with necessary registrations and compliance with numerous regulations. They were able to promptly answer all our many questions and provide understandable options, explanations and practical advice. We expect to continue to use Harris Sliwoski on a regular basis as our company expands. They were also able to introduce us other professional experts. We would not hesitate to recommend Harris Sliwoski to any companies in need of legal advice.”

user icon Three Continents Foods LLC

This law firm was a huge help as our company went through the process of commercial licensing in the California cannabis industry.  They have helped us with a variety of legal issues in a timely fashion, while clearly communicating with us throughout the process.  Everyone we’ve worked with at Harris Sliwoski is an expert in their field and we have always felt that we were in good hands through our legal representation.

user icon Wil Crummer, CEO PRO Farms

Legal stuff is always scary. And I’ve had to play offense a couple times, begrudgingly. To have Harris Sliwoski have my back? It made things a lot less prickly. They quickly walked me through my options, and were refreshingly consistent in their communications, timing and billing. I’ve been lucky to stay out of the legal side of things my whole career, thankfully. When things went a little wrong, Harris Sliwoski quickly made things right.

user icon Aaron Draplin, Founder Draplin Design Co.

I am impressed with this law firm. They answered all my questions regarding cannabis businesses and the California cannabis framework, and they have helped me with a variety of legal issues in a timely fashion, while always clearly communicating with us throughout the process. They also redirected me to other quality people for my business needs. Everyone I worked with at Harris Sliwoski is an expert in their field, and I was in good hands throughout my legal representation.

user icon Corey T., CEO Thinc Cubed, LLC

I have been working with the lawyers at Harris Sliwoski for more than 20 years both as a business owner and as an executive at a large east-coast health system and that is because they have always efficiently provided high level and clear international law advice. Most recently, Harris Sliwoski provided legal support on many matters related to procuring medical products worldwide. Their support was particularly helpful to during the onset of COVID, when there was a big need for securing PPE quickly, all while navigating complicated international and domestic legal requirements. Harris Sliwoski’s team of international lawyers helped by conducting rapid-fire due diligence on potential suppliers, navigating the legal logistics for getting product from overseas and through U.S. customs, and drafting contracts to protect against various sorts of horribles. They did this by essentially providing what amounted to 24/7 service. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

user icon Dan Pak Hospital Supply Chain Executive

Harris Sliwoski has represented our company in the legal cannabis industry for years. Harris Sliwoski has advised us in a wide variety of legal matters, and they are truly experts in their field. I would highly recommend Harris Sliwoski to anyone with questions about cannabis law, or any legal matters. They have been great for our Company, and will continue to guide us as our industry evolves

user icon Matt Hurt, COO Cannabis Nation

You won’t find a better partner than Harris Sliwoski when trying to navigate the complex world of healthcare regulations.  They not only give sound and reliable legal advice, but they are also very responsive and are able to guide you in a way that helps you reach your business objectives as well.

user icon Joseph Axelrod, General Counsel Irwin Naturals

When we started the process of building a ‘seed to sale’ cannabis company in Oregon, we saw the need for expert legal counsel.  The cannabis sector is fraught with potential peril at every turn, and we wanted the best legal advice we could find.  After talking to several firms and individuals, we feel extremely fortunate to have chosen Harris Sliwoski as our legal counsel.

user icon Tony Theiss, CEO and Co-Founder Redbarn Cannabis 

We use Harris Sliwoski on all our international legal matters, including on our international litigation matters. We have over the last few years been involved in a couple big international legal disputes and Harris Sliwoski’s international dispute resolution team provided us with expert legal assistance on both matters. They were always very careful to explain to us what they were doing and why and what their actions would likely cost us in legal fees. Most importantly, we did extremely well on both cases and I have no doubt Harris Sliwoski was a big factor in that.

user icon Kevin English, CEO We Are Camp

We have used Harris Sliwoski for legal help related to our international manufacturing. The lawyers with whom I worked had extensive familiarity with the international legal issues involved in our various projects and offered us key insights. I particularly appreciated how they always quickly and efficiently do what they say they will do and always within their cost estimates.

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