China: All-in-One Business License with unified social license

The All-in-One Business License with a unified social credit code will be implemented soon – the new regulation applies from 2018 onward. From then on, business licenses without a unified social credit code will be invalid in China.

New regulation for business license in China
New regulation for business license in China

On October 1, 2015, China combined the business license, the organizational code certificate and the tax registration certificate into one. After one year, the social insurance registration certificate and statistical registration certificate were again merged into the business license with unified social credit code. The move is to “further reduce institutional costs for market entities and stimulate market vitality as part of the country’s business registration reform.”

On May 12, 2017, the State Council decided to speed up the “all-in-one business license” reform. Compared with the five-in-one business license, it integrates all the licenses related to an individual business. Moreover, the reform doesn't stipulate how many certificates must be merged into one. Each province (region and city) is authorized to decide this, based on its own reality.

The transitional period ends on December 31, 2017. After this date, business licenses without a unified social credit code will be treated as invalid and cancelled.

Three-in-One Business License Not Recalled

Note, however, that the relevant authority will not recall already issued “three-in-one business licenses.” Rather, the information already submitted will be automatically transferred to related departments for the new certificate. “Three-in-one business license” holders do not need to apply for this amendment.

“One set of materials, one registration form, and one window acceptance”

The application procedure will follow the “one set of materials, one registration form, and one window acceptance” model as below:

  1. The applicant needs to take the “Newly Established Enterprise Five-in-One (or all-in-one) Application Form” approved in the electronic system of the local Administration of Industry and Commerce (AIC) to the service window along with the other application materials;
  2. The staff of the service window will verify the information submitted and input it into the AIC’s electronic system. The system will then generate an AIC registration number. The staff at the window will scan the materials submitted and transfer them together with the “Enterprises Registration Circulation Application Form” to the relevant departments, such as quality control, national tax bureau, local tax bureau, social insurance, statistical bureau, etc. All the information will be shared among the relevant departments;
  3. The business license will then be printed out. (Please check the detailed procedures from the local AIC.)

Tax Amendments

After a company switches to the five-in-one (or all-in-one) business license, it will also need to re-register with the tax bureau, which involves:

  • re-activating its online tax filing system;
  • re-carving the special nationwide invoice stamp;
  • re-applying for the official VAT invoice (fapiao);
  • re-signing the three-parties-agreement (company-bank-tax authority) so tax can be deducted automatically, etc.

Converting to the all-in-one business license may be an easy process in one region, but complicated in another, since local authorities vary in their level of information sharing. It sometimes requires complex tax and legal amendments.

If any professional assistance is needed, our Senior Consultant for China, Daniel Bont, together with the Swiss Business Hub China, is able to help you find qualified experts in this field. Contact now


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