To acquire a commercial ICP license for your website in China, your business need to meet many requirements and it will take around 60 business days.
If you are unsure what ICP is? Read our previous article Untold facts about ICP for China and why you should get it. first, it will give you an overall idea of what it is and why you need it.
In this article, we will show you step-by-step guidance on how to apply for an ICP commercial license.
What is a Commercial ICP License?
An ICP License allows a company to publish a website, platform, or software in China that generates revenue or provides a platform for others to generate revenue. It is also known as an ICP Zheng, ICP Commercial License, or a B25 ICP License, as it is regulated under category B25 in the Value-Added Telecommunication Services (VATS) licensing system.
Commercial Internet information services refer to the provision of paid information to Internet users or the creation of web pages through the Internet, for example, e-commerce websites, membership sites, etc.
Who needs a Commercial ICP License?
An ICP License is required for any website that generates revenue directly from it, such as:
- any commercial website (a website that is not purely informational)
- paid games or games that have in-app payments and/or in-app advertising
- apps that have in-app payments and/or in-app advertising
- SaaS platforms
- app stores or game stores
- online marketplace for goods, services, or information
- live streaming platforms (although an additional, separate license is also required for this) etc.
Thus, if you generate revenue from advertising or online sales and perform business that requires payments using your platform, you will need this ICP license. If your business collects membership and click fees, it is strongly recommended to have an ICP license to avoid unnecessary risks.
Also, an ICP License is issued on a per-company basis. You will still need to submit an ICP Filing for each top-level domain you use.
What are the requirements to get a commercial ICP license?
Individuals are not qualified to apply for a Commercial ICP license. To apply for a Commercial ICP license, there are some challenging requirements:
- The registered capital of the enterprise must be more than 1 million yuan.
- Proof that the company has paid three consecutive months of social security for the three employees
- A Chinese-owned business entity or sino-foreign joint venture where the proportion of foreign investment cannot exceed 49%. (If there is foreign capital, it needs to be applied according to the foreign capital process. Foreign companies will also need to apply for a “Foreign (Regional) Enterprises Resident Representative Registration Certificate” before filing.)
- The content and form of the enterprise website meet the requirements for applying for an ICP business license.
- The domain name applied for by the enterprise has been filed through the domain name filing system.
- The server of the enterprise website must be located in the province area.
How long does it take?
You need to submit all required documents to the telecommunications management agency of the province your company is registered, online and offline. Your application shall be reviewed within 60 business days from the date of receipt. If it is approved, an ICP license shall be issued; if it is not approved, the applicant shall be notified in writing, and the reasons required to be explained.
ICP license is subject to annual review every year. If you fail to participate in the annual inspection on time every year, you will be punished accordingly.
The license is valid for 5 years. Before the date it is about to expire, you must apply for renewal in advance. If you do not renew it on time, you will be punished accordingly, or it will be canceled.
In addition, if other items of the business license are changed, your ICP license must also be changed accordingly; otherwise, you will be punished.
If you are not sure whether you need a commercial ICP license, Contact us today, and our experts will explain all the secrets of making your website operates legitimately in China!
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