Legal services in China


Legal services can be a headache when you don't have the relevant and necessary information, especially upon moving to a new country. Please share some tips regarding legal services in China.

What types of legal services might an expat need in China?

Are legal services easily accessible?

What are the best ways to go about finding a professional for your legal needs in China? (e.g. online, yellow pages, word of mouth)?

What are the most affordable options for legal services (private, public, etc.)? Is there a range regarding fees?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Hello, Priscilla!

I guess it's important to get assistance in the following spheres: tax regulations, rules of renting an apartment, visa regulations, labour legislation.

Kind regards,

If a foreigner first comes to China, or intends to work and live in China, he will face problems such as visas, funds and employment laws and regulations in China.

All foreigners wishing to enter China are required to apply for a visa, usually issuing diplomacy, courtesy, business, work or ordinary visas. Individuals should apply for a visa at a Chinese diplomatic mission, embassy, consulate or foreign representative authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before leaving the country.

If you want to work in China for a long time, you must obtain certificates such as "Foreigner Employment Permit", "Foreign Expert Certificate",and Foreigner Residence Permit Certificate issued by the local labor bureaus in China. The Foreigner Residence Permit is valid for one to five years and can be extended.

If you want to start a company in China, you need to prepare various materials to apply for registration at the local industry and commerce bureau; After getting the company license, you need to collect a tax registration certificate at the local tax bureau within the specified time. In order to operate a company normally, in addition to daily business affairs, the company also needs to pay taxes to the local tax bureau on time, and pass annual inspection. For a new company, I suggest that you should ask a part-time accountant or find a professional agent bookkeeping company to help you.

Mandarin is the official standard language in China Mainland. In Hong Kong, the main languages used are English and Cantonese. English is not used widely in Mainland China. Most of staffs in the government departments speak Chinese, and online application systems are all in Chinese. It may be difficult for foreigners to go to various government departments to handle affairs themselves because of language communication problems and unfamiliarity with local application procedures.

It is recommended to find a Chinese authoritative business services agency with Chinese-English speaking services if you need help. You can search for business agency services by Google or Baidu (China's most powerful and widely-covered search engine). It is better to interview in the company you choose, then you can decide whether to cooperate with them by negotiating and observing the office environment and their services.

I suggest you follow the excellent advice of Abby above.

The kinds of legal hassles you would expect are quite low compared to the West. So you need not get too hung up on them.

The best advice that I can give is to get your visa in order, and then when you arrive, obey the law.

You will need legal services if you want to get married, get a divorce, set up a business, or want to sue someone. Other than that, you need not worry about it.

yes, there are  many kinds of legal services,including criminal law, civil law, security,commercial businiss and so on. u have many ways to contract ur lawyer, for example, by the web, ur friends introduction, and  so on.most of time u may need a private lawyer.of course ,u should pay to them .different lawyers has different the end, don't forget that I am a lawyer .
best wishes.

I'm an attorney-at-law located in Tianjin of China.
The attorney fees may differ a lot depending on the specific cases.

One thing to mention, if you rent an apartment(not hotel) in Chengdu, it  is important to register at local police station within 24 hours after you moved in. Also you need to renew the registration every time you travel back Chengdu from other countries with 24 hours.

New topic