Register a Company in China

Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE)

WFOE (also known as WOFE – Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise) is actually a Limited Liability Company owned 100% by foreign investors. It can be started by anyone above 18, and can have 1-50 shareholders. 

Best Uses for WFOE?

Foreign entrepreneurs register WFOE for different reasons – import and export, business consulting, online stores etc. WFOE is required if our Clients want to sell on Chinese e-commerce platforms – taobao,, and others. Also, WOFE is used to apply for a VAT refund in China.

Freelancing with WFOE?

If you’re a freelancer and want to relocate to China, WFOE maybe the perfect option for you: Since there’s no freelancer visa in China, it is possible to register a single shareholder WFOE, appoint yourself a director of the company, apply for a work visa, and move to China to run your company. There’s no requirement to hire anyone – foreign or local.

What is a WFOE?

Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) or also known as Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise (WOFE) is the most common type of company among foreign entrepreneurs in China. As the name suggests, this type of company is 100% owned by foreign shareholders.

Technically speaking, WFOE is a limited liability company, and it can be formed by a minimum of 1 and maximum of 50 shareholders of any nationality, 1 director (aka legal person -of any nationality) and 1 supervisor (of any nationality).

WFOEs can be in different business scopes, for e.g. trading, business consulting, cultural promotion, sports consulting, IT consulting, international trade, manufacturing, banking etc.

Since 2016, most common types of WFOE in China – Trading & Business Consulting don’t have any paid-up capital requirements, i.e. one can start a company without depositing any capital into the company account.

Can I export/import products with a WFOE?

Yes, with a General Business License, WFOE can have a long list of products it can import and export. Some products, however, require additional licenses – alcohol, food & beverage, dangerous chemicals etc.

Can a WFOE own property in China?

Yes, foreign owned companies (WFOE) can purchase properties in China. However, renting it out to others is not always allowed.

Can students start a WFOE in China?

Yes! foreign students can start their their own companies in China. However, until they change their student visa to a work visa, they will not be allowed to get paid from their company.

How to invest in WFOE?

If you’re thinking of injecting capital to your WFOE in China, it might not be possible directly from China – capital will have to come from abroad.

WFOE names – how to?

How to choose a WFOE name? China, unlike other countries, requires foreign entrepreneurs follow a certain structure when choosing a name for their companies in China.

Corporate Bank Account for WFOE?

Is it hard to open a corporate bank account for a WOFE in China? Unlike other countries, opening a corporate bank account in China is much easier.

Still have some questions?
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