Home   |   About Us   |   Attorney Profile   |   Practice Areas   |    Articles & Publications  |   Contact Us       

The Formation of a Wholly-Foreign Owned

International Freight Forwarding Company in China

According to the Regulation on Foreign-funded Enterprises of International Freight Agent (Revised 2005, effective on 11 December 2005), from 11 December 2005 China has allowed foreign company (foreign investors) to establish wholly foreign-owned companies (WFOCs) in China to do freight forwarding business.

Business Scope

After approval, the business scope of a foreign-funded international freight forwarding company may include:

  • Booking (including air and sea), consigning for shipment, storehouse storage, packing;

  • The supervision of freight loading and unloading, container consolidation, dismantlement, appropriation, transfer, and other short distance transportation services;

  • To be customs agent, to be agent for testing, examining, insuring goods;

  • The issuance of relevant documents, payment of transportation fees, settlement and payment of sundry fees;

  • Agent for transportation of international show products, private articles and pass-by goods;

  • International multiple-modal combination transportation, container transportation (including container consolidation);

  • International express (excluding delivery service of private letters and official documents of party, government and military organs above county level);

  • Consulting and other international freight agent business.

International express for the delivery of mails and articles considered to be mail shall obtain the authorization of postal authority.

Registered Capital

Pursuant to the above Regulation, a foreign-funded company to be set up in PRC to do business of freight forwarding is required to have a minimum registered capital of US$1 million. For investors from Hong Kong or Macao (which are required to have registered in Hong Kong or Macao and conducted business for at lease 3 years), the minimum required registered capital shall be

•  RMB 5 million for international sea freight forwarding;

•  RMB 3 million for international air freight forwarding;

•  RMB 2 million for international land freight forwarding

If a foreign-funded freight forwarding company conducts two or three business listed above, the higher registered capital requirement shall be met.

The registered capital does not need to be contributed when applying for the registration of the company. After the company being registered, at least 20% of the registered capital needs to be transferred to the bank account of the company within 90 days after the registration; the balance can be transferred to the bank account of the company within 2 years after registration.

The requirement of the registered capital is to ensure that the company will have enough funds for its operation after being registered. The registered capital is to be used for the expenditures of the company, and it is not allowed to be returned to the investor(s) unless the company is to be terminated (dissolved) or liquidated.

Documents Needed

To apply for the establishment of a foreign-funded freight forwarding company (the Company), the following basic documents are required to be submitted to the relevant government authorities for approval:

  • The business registration certificate of the foreign investor(s);

  • Bank Reference Letter issued by the bank of the foreign investor(s);

  • Name list of the board directors and the letter(s) for the appointment of director(s) ;

  • Documents (such as an office tenancy contract) to prove the use right of a business office in China ;

  • Application Letter for the establishment of the Company;

  • Feasibility Study Report on the establishment of the Company;

  • Articles of Incorporation (Articles of Association) of the Company;

  • Letter of Preliminary Approval of the name of the Company, issued by the registration authority;

All the above documents shall be in Chinese. If some of them are in foreign language, they need to be translated into Chinese.

We help our clients to prepare the documents needed.


The investor may appoint himself or other Chinese or foreigner to be the director(s) of the Company.


NOTICE: The material contained herein is in the nature of general comment and information ONLY and neither purports, nor is intended, to be advising on any particular matter. Readers should not act or rely upon any matter or information contained in or implied by the publication without taking appropriate professional advice.


Add: Room 609, Guangzhou Exchange Square, 268 Dongfeng Zhong Rd., Guangzhou, China, 510030
Tel: (+86) 133-0239-1991, (+86-20) 8317-9309 Fax: (+86-20) 8751-1208 Email: Michzou@21cn.com
zoulaw.com © All rights reserved