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A guide to starting a business in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the major financial hubs of the Asia Pacific and attracts many businessmen of the world to get started because Hong Kong provides all the facilities which are required to start a new business. If you are planning for setting up a company in Hong Kong then you are on the right page because this article will provide you basic information required to make an enterprise in Hong Kong.

Before starting anything, you should know that the government of Hong Kong allows the person above the age of 18 only for the setup of the company. Private Limited Liability Company is the most common business registered in Hong Kong.

No matter you are a local or foreign resident, here are some things you must know before setting up a company in hong kong:

  • You must know how to engage the services of a professional firm.
  • Able to manage finances properly.
  • You will need to communicate effectively and verbally.
  • To promote your services or products you must know how to flourish your marketing skills and provide good customer service.
  • You must have the skill of leadership.
  • Basic requirements of setting up a company in Hong Kong:

Company name

You need to get your company name approved before you take any other step for the incorporation of a Hong Kong company. You can get information about registering a company from the official website of the Hong Kong Registry office. You can choose either the English or Chinese name of the company but Both Chinese and English words in a single company are not allowed.

Company ordinance:

Except for the companies who are listed in the Hong Kong stock exchange, every incorporated company in Hong Kong is required to create and arrange a well-maintained register of all people who have control of the company. Also, hire one Designated Representative (DR) who can report the SCR about all the relations when demanded.

Directors:

There are no such requirements for the director. Here are some important things you need to keep in mind:

  • The minimum limit of having directors of one company is one and the maximum limit is unlimited.
  • There’s no rule for the residency of the director. He or she can be a resident of Hong Kong or a foreigner of any nationality.
  • He or she must not be bankrupt or involved in any illegal activity.
  • The board meeting of directors can be held anywhere in the world.
  • The minimum age limit required is 18 or above.
  • Directors can also be the shareholders of the company.

Shareholders:

  • A private limited company in Hong Kong can have one to fifty shareholders at a time.
  • The shareholder can be of any nationality holder.
  • Shareholder and director can be the same person. There’s no rule.
  • The age limit allowed for the shareholder is 18 years or above.
  • Not only a person but a company can also be the shareholder of any private limited company.

Just like the board meeting of directors, shareholders’ meetings can also be held anywhere in the world.

Company secretary:

The private limited company must hire a company secretary to set up a company in Hong Kong. If the secretary is a person, then he or she must have a private living space in Hong Kong and if the secretary is a body corporate then a working space or office in Hong Kong. If the director and shareholder are the same people then he or she can’t be the company secretary. The role of a company secretary is to maintain a proper record and statutory books of the company and also take care of the statutory requirements of the company.

Capital share:

There’s no minimum share capital required in Hong Kong. Minimum capital share HKD 1and maximum unlimited and bearer shares unallowed.

Apply for a company in Hong Kong

Following documents are needed to submit in the CR Office.

  1. Hong kong application form
  2. Copies of companies documents for corporate shareholders
  3. Copy of article of association
  4. A copy of each Hong Kong ID card for Hong Kong Residents
  5. A copy of each passport and residential address for foreigners

In the CR office, 2 types of applications are submitted. These are given below.

  • An Application for the approval of company name
  • Submission of all required documents in CR office

Application for business license and certificates

In Hong Kong, licenses and certificates are not required for most business activities. But some types of business activities require such licenses or permits issued by the Corresponding department of the Hong Kong Government. After setting up the company, this license/permit should be registered within one month after setting the company. This license takes 2-4 weeks after registration to be issued.

Open a bank account

Following documents are required to open a bank account in Hong Kong.

  1. Account application form
  2. Corporate registration documents
  3. Copies of Passports
  4. Proof of business like agreements/contracts/invoices of the current company.
  5. Bank statement of each member and or any other corporate
  6. A bank reference letter of each major member
  7. Personal resume

This is not the complete list of the documents required to open a bank account in Hong Kong. Ank also asks for some additional documents. for the compliance check.

Annual maintenance filing

Following is the requirement of filing.

  1. Renewal of business registration certificate. The application should be submitted one month before the expiry date.
  2. Holding of the annual general meeting
  3. Annual return with the CR, filing in CR 42 days before the completion of one year of incorporation
  4. Annual tax return with the IRD a profit tax return with the audited account should be submitted.
  5. Employ return with ERD

Conclusion

Hong Kong offers one of the best financial markets with an attractive tax regime. So, set up a business in Hong Kong and enjoy your business. A piece of detailed information is also provided by the Hong Kong Government about the registration of the new company.

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