Provides references to local service providers and other professional associations.
Last Published: 7/14/2017
The system for regulation of foreign commercial activity in China is difficult to navigate and is not fully transparent. Companies new to the market are strongly encouraged to retain professional services to structure commercial transactions. Establishing a wholly foreign owned subsidiary, joint venture, or representative office requires compliance with complex contract approval requirements, business registration requirements, taxation regulations and statutes, and labor regulations. Many U.S. banks, accountants, attorneys, and consultants have established offices in China and are familiar with Chinese requirements. Some Chinese professional service providers also have substantial experience serving foreign clients.

Chinese law requires representative offices and foreign-invested enterprises engage the services of accountants registered in China to prepare official submission of annual financial statements and other specified financial documents. Therefore, only Chinese accountants and joint venture accounting firms may provide these services. All of the major U.S. accounting firms have established offices in China and provide services including audit, tax and advisory services, the preparation of investment feasibility studies, and setting up accounting systems that are in compliance with Chinese law.

The legal services that a foreign law office can provide are limited to: 1) providing consulting services to its clients with regard to the home legal affairs for which it is licensed and international conventions and practices; 2) providing legal services to its clients or Chinese law firms with regard to legal affairs in the country/region for which it is licensed; 3) entrusting Chinese law firms with regard to China legal affairs on behalf of its foreign clients; 4) establishing long-term contractual relationships with Chinese law firms with regard to legal clientele; and 5) providing information with regard to the impact of Chinese legislation.

Management Consultants
Foreign companies new to the Chinese market often engage the services of local consultants to develop market entry strategies, conduct due diligence investigations, and identify potential investment partners, sales agents and customers. Most of the major foreign consulting firms are active in the Chinese market, along with a number of small niche players, as well as many local companies.

The U.S. Department of Commerce maintains lists of U.S. law, accounting and consulting firms with offices in China, as well as lists of Chinese firms with whom the Commercial Office or its customers have had favorable dealings.
Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

More Information

China Trade Development and Promotion