Business China

How to Hire Locals For Your Representative Office in China

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Business in China

Representative offices play an integral role for foreign companies who want a steady market presence in China but are also looking to avoid the long registration process.

ROs can’t directly hire staff to oversee their Chinese company. There are multiple rules and regulations you need to be aware of if you’re planning to establish a representative office in China. 

Let’s start by understanding the hiring process and regulations.

Hiring Laws For ROs

Acquaint yourself with Chinese labour law to avoid problems in running business operations. There is limit on the number of foreign employees your RO can hire. Generally, only 4 foreign employees can be employed. However, they can’t directly work in their overseas office. The parent company must hire a third-part Chinese agency to manage their overseas business. The local company can easily hire locals and provide them with relevant work permits. 

An RO must have a Chief Representative looking after its operations. The Chief Representative can be an employee of the parent company and doesn’t need to be a local. 

Credentials and documents of the Chief Representative are submitted to the authorities, during the registration process.
Local Chinese staff for foreign companies is hired by an local HR agency . It handles all the hiring, payroll management and administration work for ROs. Some companies find the 4-employee cap limiting. You can ask a HR agency to bring on board local employees in your company. 

How Can These HR Agencies Help?

These HR agencies are government-approved third-party entities that help foreign companies in accessing local labour force. 


ROs are established without any significant capital investment and can’t take part in any profit-making activity. Since an RO isn’t dealing with any sort of revenue-generating activity, the Chinese government needs to safeguard the interest of the local labour. These human resource agencies can be exclusively owned by private companies or in collaboration with the government. 

They can tap into the local labour market, hire staff, manage payroll and develop employment contract. In addition to this, they can help foreign companies understand complex Chinese labour law.

Business China can help you set up a representative office in China. Our experts know all the tips and tricks to make the registration process simple and convenient. So, whether you want to set up a WFOE or a Representative Office, we can manage all your business setup needs. 

Our experts are fluent in English; there is no need to worry about the language barrier. We facilitate you every step of the registration process. Just email us your business plan and let the process begin. 

Call +86-020-2917 9715 to make your Chinese company a huge success.

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