According to a circular recently released by the State Council, China will further reduce the length of time required to open a business, in a further bid to usher in a legal, international and convenient business environment and facilitate sustainable and high-quality economic development.
As the circular said, more efforts will be made to step up reforms streamlining administration and delegating power to lower levels; addressing issues plaguing enterprises and the public; and highlighting inefficiency, red tape and difficulties in opening a business.
The length of time required will be substantially shortened, with a considerable increase in efficiency, transparency and predictability in related governmental services. Additionally, there will be further reductions in government-imposed transaction costs, unleashing incentives for mass innovation and entrepreneurship.
The procedures that a new firm needs to go through to become initially operational will be further streamlined, the circular added, and the length of time required to start a business in municipalities, sub-provincial cities and provincial capitals will be lessened from 20 workdays on average to 8.5 by the end of the year. Other regional authorities should also adopt vigorous measures to compress the required time, with all regions reaching the goal across the board in the first half of 2019.
All authorities concerned should transform the previous time-consuming procedures into a one-stop checklist, featuring one single form for application materials, simultaneous management, information sharing, prompt completion and one single window for multiagency services.
Government approval of business names before registration will no longer be needed unless specifically required. It grants enterprises more autonomy in choosing their own names, and more convenience as this procedure can be concluded during business registration, which shall be reduced to five days or less.
The approving procedure for official seals will be replaced by the record-filing procedure for official seals, which will be incorporated into the reform to integrate different certification requirements for business registration.
The market regulatory authorities will take charge of the collection of related information and upload it onto the sharing platforms. And applicants may also choose their own providers for official seals, said the circular.
Neither will a separate tax registration be required, nor a separate social insurance registration certificate be issued for enterprises that have already claimed business licenses with unified credit codes.
The amount of time required for invoice application and social insurance registration will also be decreased, with a two-day invoice application procedure for newly established enterprises.
The State Administration for Market Regulation, the major driver for halving the time for opening a business, should coordinate together with the concerned departments, said the circular.
The National Development and Reform Commission and the National Bureau of Statistics will be in charge of constructing a unified national assessment system for the business environment, which is aimed at enhancing enterprises and the public’s sense of participation and convenience by formulating feasible assessment benchmark and measures.
Additionally, the assessment will be piloted in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, evaluating the business situations of enterprises, which will eventually develop into a normal assessment mechanism with further improvements, said the circular.