China / Government

Efforts aim to make business easier

By Zhang Yue and Yu Ran (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-19 08:48

Efforts to reform business registration procedures in China are to be stepped up to reduce administrative costs and enhance economic restructuring from the supply side.

Several such measures were adopted at a State Council executive meeting on Wednesday, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

"Business system reform is crucial this year to achieve stable economic growth and maintain employment," Li said. "Noticeable achievement has been made in recent years, but there are still problems to be solved."

The reform drive, launched in March 2014, aims to simplify administrative procedures and lower the requirements for business registration.

The government also plans to adopt more measures to deepen the reform, such as establishing negative lists on which certain types of business registration are banned and streamlining different documents previously required for business registration into a single certificate.

During the country's attempts to cut excess capacity, measures including policy support and reduction of taxes and administration fees, will be introduced to help workers in industries affected by the process.

The integration of multiple certificates will be further expanded to individual businessmen, with their taxation certificates and business licenses being integrated into a single document this year.

The meeting also called for more efforts to build a fair market environment and to build a comprehensive market exit mechanism.

Li said: "Only when the government can regulate the market can we guarantee freedom to the market. And when such regulation works effectively, we can have a smooth delegation of power and help enterprises to grow faster."

An improved system has been launched to help businesses leave the market.

Trial runs have started in Pudong in Shanghai, Yancheng in Jiangsu province, Ningbo in Zhejiang province, and Shenzhen in Guangdong province. Less documentation is now required from enterprises if they want to leave the market, creating room for new businesses to enter.

Easier registration

Detailed requirements for business sites have also been lowered, with the site registration procedure being streamlined based on field research. In some cities, such as Shanghai, some residential buildings are being allowed to be refurbished for use as business venues.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce will keep promoting the replacement of paper business certificates with e-certificates, with all registration completed online. Trial runs will be carried out in areas including Jiangsu and Hebei provinces before the online registration process is applied nationwide.

Efforts will be continued to integrate business licenses, certificates of organization and tax certificates. By the end of last month, 8.89 million new single certificates had been issued.

"Governments at all levels should keep working hard to integrate business certificates when possible and reduce institutional costs for enterprises," Li said.

From January to April, 4.6 million new businesses were registered, a 13.1 percent year-on-year increase. Registered capital reached 12.3 trillion yuan ($1.8 trillion), year-on-year growth of 66 percent.

At a news conference in February, Zhang Mao, head of the administration-the ministry that leads the reform-said 12,000 new enterprises were registered every day last year, a 20 percent increase on 2014.

Before the reform started in 2014, anyone wanting to start a new business had to obtain a series of approvals before getting a business license, a process that usually took months.

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