Quicker approval for business startups
State Council says process will take no more than four days by end of year
China will work to cut the time needed for approval to start a business to no more than four working days by the end of this year, and better regulate charges imposed on businesses by industry bodies and associations, a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.
"Facing mounting economic challenges, we need both fiscal policy measures and deeper reform of government functions for a more enabling business environment to effectively support market players," Li said. "This way, we can spur greater market vitality."
To advance the six priorities－employment, people's livelihoods, development of market entities, food and energy security, stable operation of industrial and supply chains and the smooth functioning of society－and the six areas where stability is key－employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and market expectations－the meeting urged giving higher priority to supporting market players.
Procedures and services for starting a businesses will be optimized. A unified online platform for accessing such services will be established in every province by the end of the year, allowing applications to be filed online in a single form.
With strict oversight and security protection put in place, electronic business licenses will be promoted as a legal and valid form of identification, allowing e-signatures to be used for online business registration, tax-related services and the opening of bank accounts.
Efforts will be made to reduce the time needed to process applications to start a new business from five working days to no more than four.
The move is both an institutional arrangement and a measure to facilitate business operations during efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Council said in a statement released after the meeting. It will help more businesses emerge and keep employment stable.
The meeting also adopted measures to better regulate fees charged by industry bodies and associations, and specified instances where the unauthorized levying of fees is prohibited.
Industry bodies and associations must not force enterprises to enroll with them and pay fees on the basis of their links to government departments or their sectoral influence.
No unwarranted charges should be introduced on the grounds of a body's statutory mandate, and no charges will be allowed in relation to contests, performance evaluations or commendations.
"Arbitrary levying of fees must be resolutely dealt with," Li said. "Some industry bodies and associations are monopolistic in nature and cover a wide range of sectors. The fees they charge are not all reasonable, which has undercut fair competition in the market. Such problems must be promptly addressed."