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Zhuhai Hengqin Development Series - 3
Hengqin New Area launches business registration reform

 Photo: The convention and exhibition business cluster under construction at Hengqin’s Shizimen CBD i
 The convention and exhibition business cluster under construction at Hengqin’s Shizimen CBD in November 2011.
Zhuhai promulgated the Administrative Measures on Business Registration in Hengqin New Area of the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone on 23 May 2012. Under the Measures, the threshold for business registration has been lowered and registration procedures have been simplified. A "liberalised" registration system and a "stringent" supervision system have also been introduced to lay a solid foundation for the creation of an international business environment in Hengqin New Area.

1. First local government rule on business registration in China

On 10 March 2012, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) published the Opinions on Supporting Guangdong in Accelerating its Transformation, Upgrade and Creation of a Happy Guangdong, lending great support to Guangdong in launching a unified business registration system reform pilot in Shenzhen and Hengqin of Zhuhai. On 15 March, the Guangdong provincial government issued Several Opinions on Accelerating the Development and Construction of Hengqin, granting strong support to Hengqin in launching pilot reform of the enterprise registration system. Following the official adoption of the Measures by the Zhuhai municipal government, China’s first set of rules on business registration promulgated by a local government conferring legal protection has come into force.

2. Adopting the "easy access" model of Hong Kong and Macau

The Measures embrace a number of new systems, including a registration system that separates business entity qualifications from business scope approval, a system facilitating the registration of a business entity’s domicile and place of business, a system for registered capital subscription of limited liabilities companies, and a system for exempting the registration of individually-owned businesses. The introduction of these new systems has not only simplified the registration and filing procedures, but also enhanced government efficiency. The lowering of the threshold for enterprise registration is bound to attract more enterprises to come and invest in Hengqin.

3. Creating a legalistic, international business environment and implementing tight supervision

Under the new Measures, the system of annual review of business entities has been replaced with a system that requires them to file their annual reports for the record. At the same time, the following systems are put into implementation: a system of revocation from the business register, a supervision system whereby the authority that issues the licence will be responsible for carrying out supervision, an enhanced information disclosure system, a "company secretary" system, and a system whereby enterprises failing to disclose their information according to regulations are held legally liable. At the same time, the duties and responsibilities of the supervisory organs are defined clearly. The credit rating system and self-discipline mechanism of the market will help bring about tight supervision and create a legalistic, international business environment in Hengqin.

4. Updates on business registration while new rules are put in place

On 28 May, the Industry and Commerce Administration Bureau of Hengqin New Area was officially set up. Tongmei Qinfa Zhuhai Holdings Co Ltd, a joint venture between Datong Coal International Trading Co Ltd and Zhuhai Qinfa Logistics Co Ltd, obtained the first business licence from the bureau. The joint venture company pointed out that it chose to locate in Hengqin because of the policy, geographic location and talent advantages here.

from HKTDC Shenzhen Office

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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