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How to launch your China business and avoid the most common mistakes

Starting a business in China can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you may have. It can also be daunting and challenging. However, the best way to reach your destination is to know where you are going and how to get there.

There are several ways to approach creating a business in China with many important considerations. Navigating the complex roads of the Chinese market takes more than just good intuition, it takes an effective roadmap.

To help take the guesswork out of the process and improve your chances of success, we have developed a comprehensive guide on how to launch your China business by avoiding the most common roadblocks and mistakes along the way.

In this session we will walk you through each step of the process, from defining your China business idea to registering, launching, and growing your business. Case studies will be highlighted throughout the presentation.

The presentation includes the following 14-step approach:

  1. Determine your business concept.

  2. Research your competitors and market.

  3. Create your business plan.

  4. Choose your business structure.

  5. Get your finances in order.

  6. Register your business and brand.

  7. Fund your business.

  8. Apply for business insurance.

  9. Get the right business tools.

  10. Create a management system.

  11. Build your team.

  12. Market your business.

  13. Scale your business.

  14. Choose the right location.

At Woodburn, we believe that you can design your own China roadmap, your own action plan, which will allow you to enter a highly competitive market and operate in it successfully.

No matter if you are new to China and looking for opportunities, a start up or an experienced professional with a decade in the country, everyone can benefit from fresh ideas and advice on how to improve their structures and business in China.

Your future success will depend on your motivation to learn and educate yourself, getting as much knowledge as possible to be able to help your company grow, and make fast and smart decisions, in an environment that is constantly changing and moving.

Our China roadmap methodology is a systematic approach, consisting of three milestones: opportunity, implementation, and growth.

How do you evaluate opportunity? You must educate yourself about China through research, design a strategy and establish a budget.

The second step is implementing your strategy. This does not necessarily mean establishing a structure on the ground. It's simply creating a structure to do business in China, whether it is direct from your head office, or generating something new on the ground.

To achieve that implementation stage, you will need an ecosystem. You must evaluate your assets and protect them by developing system processes and operational guidelines.

Once you have that background and knowledge level, and that network of individuals, you can move on to the third milestone, which is growth. This last step is about the numbers within your organization and analyzing those numbers.

Looking at the financial management reports, specific to your China business, understanding details such as customs duty and tax implications, and ultimately being able to evaluate them together with additional items, will allow you to make decisions such as, will you retract from the market or move forward, will you move sideways, up, or down?

Can Woodburn help you?

Ultimately, your goal should be to ensure that everything is done correctly. This will enable you to focus on what is critical for your business, and to make decisions swiftly, to maintain traction in the Chinese market. In this highly competitive environment, you do not want to be left behind.

In China, every industry and sector have their own specific data and regulations. Whether you are sourcing, producing, or selling or even providing a service locally; research and knowledge is king. You cannot go into this market making uninformed assumptions.

It is crucial to evaluate and protect your assets in China, as well as understand the regulations that directly impact your business. You must protect your brand and register it, not just with the China Trademark Office, but also with the Customs Bureau.

Cultural or language barriers, as well as different time zones cannot become an excuse for not staying on top of your organization. You must learn to identify warning signs and red flags, to have the ability to fix any problem in a timely fashion. Ultimately, you will avoid most common mistakes.

One of the biggest problems that companies face in China is the lack of communication with Chinese partners and their teams. It is important to know that rules have changed and doing transactions under the table can signify the end of your business. If you are asked to operate in such a way, you should immediately walk away.

Having no data readily available can also be problematic in China. You must do your research on a regular basis to guide your organization in the right direction.

Overnight success stories make for great headlines. However, not everyone knows about the intense work behind the scenes. Years of dreaming, building, and positioning before a big public launch are the engine behind a business successful existence.

Your business journey will be unique to you and cannot be compared to any other experience. Once the initial excitement wears off, and frustration accompanies your every step, that’s when your structured routine, your research and your perseverance will show you the way.

Don’t be the master of improvisation, but an informed and focused business professional. Some company owners make things up as they go along, or they get stuck in analysis paralysis and never start. Neither extreme is good. The best way to accomplish any business or personal goal is to determine every step it takes to achieve it.

Taking each step at a time will lead you in the right direction. Some may take longer than others, but every single one of them is an integral part of the process you are about to start.

Finally, you don’t have to do it alone. There are resources readily available and at your disposal. Do not hesitate to use them. They will be the best companions in the journey to success.


Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China’s most trusted business setup advisory firms.

Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is specialized in inbound investment to China and Hong Kong. We focus on eliminating the complexities of corporate services and compliance administration. We help clients with services ranging from trademark registration and company incorporation to the full outsourcing solution for accounting, tax, and human resource services. Our advisory services can be tailor-made based on the companies’ objectives, goals and needs which vary depending on the stage they are at on their journey.


Talk to an expert

Schedule a 30-mins complimentary, no-obligation call to see how Woodburn can help you. Book a call with our Head of Business Advisory - Kristina Koehler-Coluccia.

Topics we can advise on include:

  • Company Registration

  • Cloud Accounting & Financial Reporting

  • Cloud Payroll Services

  • Tax & Audit Services

  • Recruitment

  • Employer-of-Record

  • Visa Application

  • Trademark Registration

  • Switch to Woodburn

  • Partner with Woodburn (cross referral) 

Our calls are automatically scheduled via Zoom - or via Teams, WeChat or WhatsApp upon direct request. 

Our advisory calls are available from Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm CEST and Wednesday until 9pm CEST.



Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China and Hong Kong’s
most trusted business setup advisory firms

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