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Q: How can you obtain a food and beverage license in Beijing for a startup cafe/bar?

8 years 40 weeks ago in  Business & Jobs - Beijing

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It is not only the food and beverage licenses the whole process is more complicated and one depends on the previous,must follow an established order.

You must decide first if you want a Chinese partner to have a domestic company, or a Whole Own Foreign Company.  Set that one up, then must get a legal name for business
approved.  Name must start with city of WFOE, then name intended, then what the business does, and type of organization last.  For example, "Beijing Happy Ex-Pat Bar and Restaurant Ltd."  It is recommended you submit more than one name for approval in case one is already taken.
Then open a bank account and deposit the capital to be invested in the name of the business.

Then, after you got the location assured, get the remodeling and installation of fixtures going on, and start requesting licenses as areas are completed. 

The exact steps and the order of them is below :

1.-  Apply and Obtain Health and Food Hygiene License with the Municipal Health Bureau

Various documentation must be furnished, including but not limited to the location and site map of the restaurant and the restaurant’s internal health and safety rules. Within 10 days of the documents submission, the Health Bureau will notify applicant and arrange the on-site inspection. The primary areas of inspection will include the hygiene and safety of; 1) raw foods preparation area; 2) kitchen area; 3) employee changing area; 4) faucet and sink area; and 5) waste disposal area. Inspectors should provide an on-the-spot list of non-compliance and recommendations to remedy the situation. For certain minor problems, a submission of a photo by the applicant of the modified area should suffice, so as to not require a second visit by the inspector. Notification of approval, assuming all areas of inspection do not require repeat visits, should be within 20 days.

2.-  Alcohol Permit Registration

Though the registration of Alcohol Permit will not be completed until after issuance of the business license, Tax Registration Permit, and Health and Food Hygiene License, the applicant will need to reflect its intent to sell alcohol in the Health and Hygiene application. The Health and Food Hygiene License application will need to include the approved wording in the business scope to note that it will sell alcohol.

3.- Environmental Protections (EP) Examination and Approval (District Level)

Restaurant applications do not require a separate EP Impact Report. The two forms required include: 1) Environmental Impact Application form – to be completed by the applicant; and 2) Environmental Impact Report Form – to be completed and stamped by an authorized environmental evaluation entity.
The Report Form shall primarily examine, among others, the following: an environmental evaluation of the indoor and outdoor surroundings and near by building, an environmental analysis of the site, potential and future environmental impact of the surroundings, and recommendations for environmental protection. The primary focus of the environmental impact application is to assess potential and actual noise and water pollution, fire protection, and waste disposal of the site.
In selecting a restaurant location (see above) it is important to note that the outdoor smoke ventilation exhaust fixture shall be located at least 20 meters from any residence or above any residential area.

4.-  No Tobacco Permits

As of March 2007, the laws state that foreign commercial enterprises are not allowed to sell tobacco related products. Those foreign enterprises currently selling tobacco will not be permitted to sell these products after their permits expire in late 2008.

5.-. Establishing the Entity: WFOE or JV

i) Apply for Approval Certificate

Once all the above approvals are obtained, they shall be submitted with the articles of incorporation, and feasibility report (along with supporting documentation) in order to obtain the Letter of Approval with the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce.

ii) Registered Capital

The registered capital is the stated amount of capital that will be invested in the business. The registered capital will be reflected in the company’s articles of association, and recorded with the relevant government authorities. Since the entire amount of the registered capital must be invested (subject to cancellation), it is a very important legal and business decision.
Though the minimum amount of registered capital, based on the Company Law, may be as low as RMB 30,000, this will definitely not be applicable for restaurant companies.
Note that the investor is allowed to contribute non-monetary registered capital, among other things, in the form of technology/intellectual property rights. Cash contribution to registered capital may not be less than 30%.

iii) Capital Contribution

Capital contribution may be made through a lump sum payment or by installments. The lump sum shall be paid within 90 days from the issuance of the temporary business license. If paying by installments, a minimum 20% shall be paid within 90 days. The total amount shall be paid off within 1 year from the date of the establishment of the company.

iv) Apply and Obtain Temporary Business License with Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce

With the Certificate of Approval, the applicant may apply and obtain the temporary business license. The restaurant cannot begin operations at this point.

v) Additional Certificates to obtain Permanent business License

Once the temporary business license is issued, the applicant may apply for the various approval certificates and the injection of capital. Before the permanent business license the applicant must obtain the following certificates, reports, and take care of the following banking issues:
• Organization Code Registration Certificate with the Organization Code Bureau;
• Tax Registration Certificate with the Taxation Bureau;
• Statistics Registration Certificate with the Statistics Bureau;
• Foreign Exchange Registration Certificate with the Foreign Exchange Supervision Bureau;
• Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of the Public Security Bureau registration
• Open RMB Basic Bank Account with the Designated Bank;
• Open Foreign Currency Capital Bank Account with a Designated Bank;
• Inject capital after the opening of Foreign exchange capital bank account by the client; and
• Capital Verification Report with a Chinese CPA firm.

vi) Permanent Business License with the BAIC

With the permanent business license issued the restaurant will be legally established and can fully operate within the business scope.

Good luck to you !

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8 years 40 weeks ago
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china and hong kong in particular is considered to have the easiest ease to entry of any country  
and is vastly outranking America and most of Europe 

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8 years 40 weeks ago
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