How To Open A Restaurant in Beijing - Business - Entrepreneurship

How To Open A Restaurant in Beijing   by Harvey McEwan

in Business / Entrepreneurship    (submitted 2011-11-21)

With a booming economy and plenty of opportunities, China is enjoying a financial upswing at the moment, making it a popular choice for anyone hoping to set up a new business. What's more, many of the larger cities welcome restaurants selling food from around the globe, which add an international flavour to their food industries. If you're thinking about opening a restaurant in Beijing, this could be the ideal time to do it, but make sure you're prepared for all of the paperwork and planning to follow.

Starting a business in China requires a lot of paperwork and attention to detail, due to the number of procedures you need to follow and permits you must obtain. You also need to begin by deciding on an entity to own your business. In China, you won't be able to own your business as an individual, instead you must create a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) (owned by a company or individual) or a Joint Venture (JV) (if partnering up with a Chinese national).

Next, you will need to choose a name for your company and obtain approval for it from the Beijing Administration of Industry and Commerce (BAIC). It's wise to select three alternate names when applying, in case of limited availability. Choosing the Chinese name for your restaurant means following an established convention, with the first part being the area you are in, the second your name, the third what type of business you are (in this case a restaurant) and the fourth the type of organization you are.

Selecting your location will be one of your most important business decisions, but you must bear in mind that if you choose an area within 50 meters of residential areas, the residents will have to approve your plans. Before you're able to establish your restaurant you'll also have to apply for a Health and Food Hygiene License from the Municipal Health Bureau, and you'll need to be able to provide a site map and list of the health and safety rules of your restaurant to obtain one of these.

You'll also want to decide whether you serve alcohol in your restaurant or not, and if you do, you'll need an Alcohol Permit and to mention your intentions when you apply for your hygiene license. Once you have all of the approvals you need, you will be able to apply for the Letter of Approval with the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce. You will need to include your articles of incorporation as well as a feasibility report and supporting documentation.

Once you are finally granted the ability to set up a restaurant, you will want to move quickly. Don't waste any time in establishing your restaurant and start advertising as soon as you can. You may want to think about generator rental as a fast and easy way to supply power to your premises, allowing you to start trading promptly.

There are many obstacles facing foreigners who want to set up restaurants in Beijing, but the rewards for those who are successful can be great.