State Council cuts bureaucratic time to launch a new business
State Council cuts bureaucratic time to launch a new business
Date: 2018-5-3

State Council cuts bureaucratic time to launch a new business

China will further improve its business environment by halving the time required to start an enterprise and launch construction projects, the State Council decided on Wednesday at an executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

In one decision coming from the meeting, the amount of time required to start a business in municipalities, sub-provincial cities and provincial capitals will be reduced by the end of the year from an average of more than 20 workdays to just over eight. This measure also will be introduced in five cities, Dalian, Qingdao, Ningbo, Xiamen and Shenzhen. Other areas also will be required to make progress, to be followed by national implementation in the first half of next year.

Measures to halve the time required for government approval of construction projects from the current average of more than 200 workdays to 120 workdays will be tested this year in 15 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, and in Zhejiang province. All government review items and approval processes concerning home building and urban infrastructure will be simplified, optimized and standardized. This pilot program will be rolled out nationwide in the first half of next year.

President Xi Jinping emphasized that the government must do away with regulations and practices that impede the development of a unified market and fair competition, stimulate the vitality of all market entities and adopt policies to promote high-standard liberalization and facilitation of trade and investments.

Li said that a good business environment is part and parcel of enhancing competitiveness and productivity. "In spurring economic growth, our focus needs to shift from investing in projects to improving the business environment. The key is to press ahead with the reform of government functions," he said.

An estimate by the World Bank moved China up 65 spots between 2013 and 2017 in the ranking of ease of starting a business, and the amount of time required was cut from 33 days to just under 23 days.

Another decision made at the meeting said the procedures that a new firm needs to go through to become initially operational will be further streamlined. The whole business registration process will be conducted online. Government approval of the names of businesses before registration will no longer be needed unless specifically required.

The record-filing procedure of official seals will be included in the reform to integrate different certification requirements on business registrations. Applicants may also choose service providers on their own.

No separate tax registration will be required and no separate social insurance registration certificate issued for companies that have obtained business licenses with unified social credit codes. The time needed for invoice applications and social insurance registrations also will be reduced.