Helping A US-Based Company Begin Operations in Shanghai Before Establishing a Legal Entity


Our client with headquarters in the US wanted to expand business operations in Hong Kong and mainland China. They identified and hired a Malaysian to be their sales rep in Hong Kong. Given that the man was a resident of Hong Kong, he did not need a work permit to operate within Hong Kong.

However, as part of the company’s ambitions to expand into mainland China, the sales rep was required to make business trips to Shanghai. Unfortunately, he had no Chinese business visa – which is a requirement for business trips to the mainland.

Given that the company was just planning to set up a legal entity in Shanghai, the sales rep could not get a Chinese business visa. This is because one of the requirements for a business visa is an invitation letter written by a business entity registered in China.

Our client couldn’t wait to have a legal entity set up in Shanghai. Their sales rep needed to begin making trips ASAP. They asked us to help them straighten out this problem.

Our Solution

We recommended employing the sales rep under the Global Employer of Record model. This would enable him to access Shanghai as an Acumen International employee.

Once the client agreed, we onboarded the sales rep in Hong Kong. As a temporary solution, we provided the employee with a business visa. This enabled the sales rep to begin making business trips to Shanghai.

As an extra measure, we provided insurance cover to the sales rep and his family (for 4 people). This was to ensure that the sales rep had everything needed to operate without any stress or worry.


Our solution enabled the company to start work in Hong Kong and begin operations in Shanghai without opening a legal entity. Still, the company is planning to set up a legal entity in Shanghai and send their sales rep there. In the meantime, they can conduct their business operations there without disruptions – thanks to Acumen International’s Global Employer of Record solution.

At Acumen International, we provide a risk-free, fast and reliable global employment solution. We are a Global Employer of Record serving in 190 countries and growing. We employ foreign workers on your behalf and take up the responsibility for their welfare. Our goal is to make it easy for businesses to expand to overseas markets by providing a hustle free, 100% compliant international employment service. Using our express service, you can have your foreign workforce up and running in as little as a couple of days. Call us for a free no-obligation consultation on our service and onboarding foreign workers.

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