Map Data: Guangzhou, China
Google Earth, Google Maxar Technologies
The Chinese market is the second largest economy in the world and continues to grow at a rapid pace. If working through an organization like BYG Advantage, foreign organizations that seek to do business in China can often strike deals directly with Chinese client firms. The process of establishing an official independent presence in China, however, is a bit more complicated. Candy Guo, a brilliant behind-the-scenes contributor to the BYG Advantage team, has become a master of helping clients set up and run what China calls Wholly Owned Foreign Entities known as WOFEs (pronounced “Woof-ey”). If a foreign entity, whether person or business, wants to bring its own people to China and have them operate a subsidiary (or entirely new firm) based there, often the only way to legally do so is through the establishment of a WOFE.
The process is complex, requiring paperwork that depends on the sector, location, and type of firm. The submission itself of the WOFE application materials is also rather complex, as to whom the application is submitted and using what means can often determine the speed or success of the outcome. Further, despite the implications of the acronym, establishment of a WOFE often requires materials that are hard to come by without access to a local Chinese partner firm that can bear some risk on behalf of the would-be new firm. Through extensive experience operating in China, BYG Advantage has established itself as more than just such a partner.
Candy begins her process by reviewing the goals of the client to ensure that a WOFE is truly the right path. If so, she helps to collect the proper materials from the firm, including making suggestions wherever alternative routes are possible. Prior to submitting, Candy likes to reverse the roles and “submit” the application back to the client firm. This allows them to get a comprehensive sense of how their application will be perceived by the Chinese authorities. Candy includes an estimated time-line, a list of recommended contingency plans if the application is unsuccessful, and an assessment breaking down the risks associated with the application and matching them against the progress and success of other similar applications. If all is in order, Candy submits the application through the expedited channels that BYG Advantage has cultivated and keeps the client informed of their progress.
Once the application has been approved, BYG Advantage then moves to help set up and staff the company. This includes finding a physical location if necessary, ensuring that all legal and HR practices are in order, recruiting any required local help, and advising on branding and marketing. BYG Advantage also leverages its experience to advise on the setting of appropriate goals for the WOFE and ensures that appropriate communication channels are stood up between the WOFE and the client to track pursuit of those goals.
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