Hong Kong continues to be one of the best places for expats to set up business. Technology, commerce, and finance are the top industries that have successfully thrived for 2016. Usual practice for expats is to hire an agency to handle all the paperwork. This is easy and convenient for expats since they won’t need to be in the country while processing everything.
Below is updated information on how to open your business in the country.
If you’re hiring an agency, you’ll need to pay the agency’s fee and submit the name of your company. The agency will then check whether the name is available in Hong Kong or is already taken.
Next, send a copy of your passport, a copy of an official document as a proof of your residence (for instance, a driver’s license) and a questionnaire with standard questions such as your address, your passport number and the name of the director and shareholders (if you plan to open the company alone, you can be both director and unique shareholder) to Hong Kong.
For a simple company structure, which unless you have special requirements shall be enough, your agency will setup your company via E-registration, which takes less than two hours, to get the brand new company’s certificate of incorporation and business registration certificate upon certified the relevant parties’ passport online, for instance via Skype
Note that in the past, expats were allowed to open a Sole Trader Company in Hong Kong without owning a resident permit. This is no longer allowed unless you’re planning to stay in Hong Kong or have the option of opening can a Limited Company.
The incorporation documents and company kit (seal, stamp and so on): about 2,070 HKD (if planning to approach an agency
The Company Registration (Government fee): 1,730 HKD.
The Business Registration Certificate (Government fee): 250 HKD.
The Provision for the Company Secretary: 3,500 HKD
The Provision for the Registered Office Address: 2,000 HKD.
You will also need to open a Hong Kong bank account which is fairly easy to do on your own once you get in the country. HSBC and Hang Seng Bank are the popular choices among international businesses.
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES:
Hong Kong has a straightforward tax system: your company will pay 16.5% of taxes on any profit generated in Hong Kong and nothing otherwise (as long as you apply for off-shore status).
The required registered capital in Hong Kong is much smaller than in the majority of countries (only 10,000 HKD). This makes it ideal for start-ups who have smaller margins to work with.
We also recommend subscribing to Liability Insurance as well as other crucial covers such as Employee Compensation and Office Insurance. Village Insurance Direct is one of the go-to agencies that helps expats find affordable and comprehensive insurance for business.