Home to one of the world’s fastest growing economies and an incredible one-billion plus potential employees, China certainly seems like the world’s best place to start a new business. While retirees and expatriates based in China face numerous restrictions to starting a business, doing so is very possible with the right outlook, the right capital, and the right banking connections.
China’s rapid growth, particularly in the middle classes, makes it one of the world’s most lucrative business locations. To capitalize on the potential for foreign investment, the Chinese government has taken steps to simplify starting a business in the country. From import-export arrangements to online service companies, China is now very much open for forward-thinking foreign expatriates.
From a logistical perspective, China’s key coastal cities are the best places to start your business in China. Shanghai and Beijing are major administrative centers, with the former attracting thousands of international corporations and the latter housing the nation’s government. As such, both are great locations for retirees and expatriates looking to open a business in China.
Likewise, many of China’s second-tier cities are ideal places to base your business. Manufacturing centers such as Shenzhen and Guangzhou are popular with import-export business operator due to their incredibly supply opportunities, while smaller, rural cities are becoming increasingly popular with expatriate web entrepreneurs looking to operate their businesses from an affordable location.
While finding a location for your business is far from difficult in China, operating your business can be something of a headache. Thanks to the country’s rapid economic liberalization, large banks such as HSBC – which is based in nearby Hong Kong – now offer simplified business opening services aimed at expatriates looking to break into the growing Chinese domestic market.
HSBC, for example, now offers a service for foreigners looking to open their own business in China without dealing directly with the government bureaucracy. Expatriates and retirees can open various types of business, including a WOFE – Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise, a EJV – an Equity Joint Venture between an expatriate and Chinese enterprises, and a simple Chinese representative office.
Each of these options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and would-be entrepreneurs are advised to speak with a major Chinese bank – HSBC and Bank of China are good options – in order to determine which type of business is ideal for their operation. Many businesses looking to gain a foothold in the Chinese market may be able to get by with a simple representative office operation.
Setting up business banking in China is a relatively simple process, with many banks able to open a bank account for small businesses and large investment corporations relatively quickly. HSBC and Bank of China are the most popular choices amongst foreign business owners, although a variety of smaller Chinese banks are also excellent choices for businesses operating in China.
Whether you’re opening a Chinese business to offer a useful service to the local market or simply to carry out your current business activities from within China, opening and running a business from within China is far easier than many people believe. With guided service from banks such as HSBC, almost any foreign expatriate or retiree in China can easily develop and operate their own business.