A consultant friend of mine is leading a very large group of American businesses to China for a big exhibition. He is putting together a short manual for these businesses and he asked me to help put the bug into the ear of these businesses that they should not be ignoring China legal issues.  

I came up with the following:

Here are my thoughts regarding the legal issues companies face in China. Please let me know if this will work or if you want more. 

Nearly every company that does business with China needs to face and resolve the following four issues: 

1. Is my company operating in China legally? Is my company able to operate as a foreign company or must it form a Chinese entity (such as WFOE, Rep Office or Joint Venture) to comply with Chinese law?

2. Is my company’s intellectual property (such as trademark, copyright, patent or trade secret) in China going to be protected? Should I register my company’s intellectual property in China so as to give it protection in China? Should I require the Chinese companies with whom my company does business sign contracts mandating they protect my company’s trade secrets? 

3. Does my company need to hire employees in China and, if so, what sorts of agreements does it need with them? 

4. What should I put in my company’s China contracts? In what language should they be? In particular, how should my company’s contracts provide for resolution of any future disputes so as to provide the most protection? 

What do you think?