In accordance with the existing laws of China, the establishment of enterprises with foreign investment is subject to project-by-project examination, approval and registration by the government. In general, the following steps should be followed for the establishment of Chinese-foreign equity joint ventures and Chinese-foreign contractual joint ventures:
The procedures for the establishment of enterprises with foreign investment are quite simple. After the initial project application is approved in writing by the examination and ratification authorities, the investors may submit a formal application, with articles of corporation and other required documents. On receipt of the Approval Certificate, they can proceed with the registration formalities by presenting the Approval Certificate.
In accordance with China's existing laws, the state adopts a classification administrative system for foreign investment. The provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions and cities listed as independent units in state plans have the authority to examine and approve investment of less than US $30 million in areas encouraged and permitted by the state. When an investment exceeds this amount, the project application and feasibility study report shall be examined and approved by the State Development Planning Commission or the State Economic and Trade Commission, while the contract and articles of corporation shall be examined and approved by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.
Many provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government have established foreign investment service centers, which offer foreign investors with a one-stop service, ranging from legal consultation to procurement of project approval. With the improvement of China's social services system, intermediary service agents, including consultation companies, lawyers, and accountants, are all expected to provide investors with efficient and qualified services.