Foreigners Living in Tianjin Know Everything-Business
This is a handbook about foreigners’ work and life in Tianjin. The passage selects several parts closely related to foreigners’ lives from the handbook such as employment, education, business and accommodation, and complements the relevant information of TEDA, so as to provide the most comprehensive and considerate service for foreigners working in TEDA.
Q1 What are the policies for foreign nationals to invest in Tianjin？
A According to China’s Foreign Investment Law and the Regulation on the Implementation of the Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China, the country implements a management system of pre-establishment national treatment and a negative list for foreign investment. Foreign investors investing in areas outside the Special Administrative Measures for Foreign Investment Access (Negative List) (hereinafter referred to as Negative List) shall be registered in accordance with the principle of consistent treatment for domestic and foreign investment. Foreign investors or foreign-invested enterprises investing in areas within the Negative List where there are restrictions on the proportion of investment and nationality of the legal representative (main responsible person) shall be registered according to the law if they meet the requirements stipulated in the Negative List; for foreign investors or foreign-invested enterprises whose business permit-related items have been examined according to law before registration by the competent department of the industry shall not be reexamined by the registration authority on whether the conditions specified in Negative List are met. Foreign investors or foreign-invested enterprises investing in areas prohibited from being invested in by the Negative List are not allowed to register.
Q2 What kind of visa do foreign nationals need to invest in Tianjin？
A They can enter China with M, F, Z, or R visas.
Q3 Can foreign nationals apply for an individual business license？
A According to the Negative List (2020 Edition), overseas investors are not allowed to engage in investment and business activities as individual industrial and commercial units, investors in sole proprietorship enterprises, or members of farmers’ professional cooperatives.
Q4 Can foreign nationals register trademarks？
A Foreign nationals who apply for trademark registration in China shall comply with relevant laws and regulations. Article 17 of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as “Trademark Law”) stipulates that the trademark registration in China of foreign nationals and foreign enterprises shall be handled in accordance with the agreement jointly signed by the country to which the foreign nationals or foreign enterprises belong and the People’s Republic of China, or any international treaty in which both parties participated, or on the basis of the principle of reciprocity. Clause 2 of Article 18 of the Trademark Law stipulates that foreign nationals or foreign enterprises that apply for trademark registration and handle other trademark matters in China shall entrust a trademark agency established according to law to handle. Article 5 of the Regulations for the Implementation of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates that when a party that entrusts a trademark agency to apply for trademark registration or handles other trademark matters shall submit a power of attorney. The power of attorney shall specify the content and scope for the attorney, and state the nationality of the principal. The notarization and authentication procedures of the power of attorney of foreign nationals or foreign enterprises and the relevant certification documents shall be handled in accordance with the principle of reciprocity. In applying for trademark registration or transfer, if the applicant for trademark registration or the assignee for trademark transfer is a foreign national or a foreign enterprise, a recipient in China shall be designated in the application form to be responsible for receiving the subsequent legal documents in relation to trademark business from the trademark office and the trademark review committee. The subsequent legal documents of the trademark office and the trademark review committee will be delivered to the recipient in China. The term “foreign national or foreign enterprise” mentioned in Article 18 of the Trademark Law refers to a foreign national or foreign enterprise that has no habitual residence or premise in China.
Q5 What procedures shall foreign nationals go through to set up companies in Tianjin？
A The applicant shall log on to the One-website Handling Platform of Tianjin Municipal People’s Government Online Service Hall for Market Entities:
for independent declaration of enterprise name, filling in the registration information and uploading the registration materials for application for establishment. As real-name authentication for foreign nationals cannot be realized at present, the applicant shall submit the application materials to the window for enterprise registration in the local government affairs service hall in the place where the applicant lives after the application materials pass the preliminary examination by the registration authority.
The applicant may also directly consult about the registration of the establishment of a foreign-invested company at the enterprise registration window of the government affairs service hall in the place where the proposed company is located and submit the application materials for the registration for establishment.
022-66897195 (Government Affairs Service Office, the People’s Government of Tianjin Binhai New Area)
022-25208080 (TEDA Government Affairs Service Office)
(II) Talent Pooling
Q6 What is Tianjin’s plan to attract talent？
A In order to further implement the strategy on developing a quality workforce, Tianjin, based on the development orientation of “one base and three areas”, focuses on the needs of strategic emerging industries (mainly referring to artificial intelligence, new-generation information technology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy and new materials, biomedicine, digital creativity, aerospace, energy conservation, and environmental protection, etc.) to vigorously gather top talent, leading talent, high-end talent, young talent, and other kinds of outstanding talent to accelerate the construction of “a modern Tianjin featuring innovative development, openness and inclusiveness, ecological and livable environment, democracy and the rule of law, and civilization and happiness” and carry out the “Haihe Talent” project.
022-25201235 (TEDA Human Resources and Social Security Bureau)
(III) Tax Payment
Q7 What kind of taxes do foreign enterprises need to pay when they obtain income in China？
A China now has 18 tax categories. To answer this question, it is necessary to know the tax liabilities of foreign enterprises in Tianjin according to their specific operating conditions. The tax categories include value-added tax, consumption tax, corporate income tax, property and action tax, additional tax, international tax, and others.
Q8 Do foreign nationals in Tianjin need to pay individual income tax？
A According to the Individual Income Tax Law of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as “the Law”) and Regulations for the Implementation of the Individual Income Tax Law of the People’s Republic of China, the tax liabilities of foreign nationals in Tianjin shall be determined according to their specific conditions.
Resident taxpayer: An individual who has or does not have a residence within Chinese territory but has resided in China for 183 days or more within a tax year, is a “resident individual”. Resident individuals shall pay individual income tax in accordance with the provisions of the Law for incomes derived both within and outside the territory of China. An individual who does not have a residence within Chinese territory and has not resided in China, or does not have a residence within Chinese territory and has resided in China for less than 183 days within a tax year, is a “non-resident individual”. Non-resident individuals shall pay individual income tax for incomes derived within the territory of China in accordance with the provisions of the Law.
Tax liabilities of individuals without residence: For a person who has no domicile within the territory of China, if the person resides within Chinese territory for 183 days or more per year for less than six consecutive years, the person shall be exempted from individual income tax for incomes derived from outside Chinese territory and paid by entities or individuals outside Chinese territory after filing with the competent tax authorities; if the person is absent from China for more than 30 days in any year in which he/she resides in China for 183 days or more, the consecutive years when he/she has resided in China for 183 days or more shall be counted anew. For an individual without residence within Chinese territory, if he/she has resided within China for no more than 90 days in a tax year, his/her income that is derived within the territory of China and paid by an employer outside Chinese territory but not borne by the employer’s establishments or sites within the territory of China shall be exempted from individual income tax.
Q9 Do foreign nationals working in overseas branches registered in Tianjin need to pay social insurance？
A In accordance with the Interim Measures for Social Insurance System Coverage of Foreigners Working within the Territory of China (Decree No. 16 of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China) (hereinafter referred to as “the Interim Measures) and the Notice of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on the Relevant Issues Concerning the Participation in Social Insurance by Foreigners Employed in China (RSTF  No. 113) (hereinafter referred to as “the Notice”), foreign nationals employed within the territory of China shall pay social insurance.
Q10 How should the number of years of payment be calculated if foreign nationals who participated in China’s social insurance return to their countries and then come to China for employment again？
A In accordance with the Interim Measures and the Notice, if foreign national returns to his/her country after stopping social insurance payment (his/her personal account is not settled) and then come to China and pay social insurance again, the number of years of payment shall be counted in an accumulative manner.