Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, an ideal location to access Chinese manufacturers to trade worldwide or set up a company with a beneficial tax regime and excellent business environment. This country is ranked as the 3rd country for ease of doing business (according to the World Bank Report). Well-known among businessmen, Hong Kong is a home of successful startups of all sizes and specializations. Hong Kong provides low tax rates and no taxes on dividends on offshore income.
Is it possible to register a company in Hong Kong online?
Company incorporation in Hong Kong can be done online without the necessity to visit the country. Registration in Hong Kong is hassle-free and is done quickly. When setting up your business in Hong Kong, you need to think about these essential issues:
Think about whether you want to be a sole shareholder or you will partner with another individual or entity. Hong Kong companies are required to have a minimum of one shareholder of any nationality or residency. The maximum of 49 shareholders can be in private limited company which is the most popular form of legal formation. Every individual shareholder should prepare certified copies of the passport with certified translation. Corporate shareholders should prepare certified copies of corporate documents.
A minimum of one individual is required to be appointed as a director. Any shareholder can be appointed as a director, or it can be a third party individual. There is no restriction on residency or nationality.
Hong Kong is one of a few countries where a company secretary is required. A company secretary should be a resident of Hong Kong. If you do not have anyone that is eligible for this requirement, then you need to apply for this service with your agent.
It is the cornerstone of your business and the essential part in company formation. Company name should be unique, for which purpose you can search online to make sure that your desired name is free to be used.
Please note that you can use our website search for company names in Hong Kong.
At least one ordinary issued share is required, but you can issue any amount of share at the formation or further in the future.
It is essential to have a registered address in Hong Kong. When you arrange for a registered address, make sure that it is not a PO box. The latter is not allowed for registration.
These are only a few things that you need to arrange before you file documents to the Companies Registry. However, we strongly advise to think about post-incorporation matters, including taxation, accounting, bank account, regulatory compliance, etc. All these matters should be reviewed by your advisor on a case by case basis.
What kind of documents do I need to provide my agent with to register a company in Hong Kong?
Both shareholder and director are required to provide a full set of documents for registration.
For individuals these documents are:
- Copy of passport certified with a notary;
- Proof of address which can be an utility bill or bank statement;
For legal entities these documents include:
- Certificate of incorporation;
- Personal details and phone numbers of all shareholders and directors.
Do I need to rent an office in Hong Kong?
Similar to other jurisdictions, you need to have a registered address for your company formation in Hong Kong. However, there is no requirement that it should be a physical office. You may not need to have an office in the country, as you probably plan to manage your business online and reside in another country. So, in this case you only need a business address of your company in Hong Kong.
Business address or registered address will act as the official local address. It would be used for official correspondence. Professional agents can provide you with the registered address that will be shown in all corporate documents and public company details.
Additionally, you can set up a virtual office with a local phone number. Your clients will call you on Hong Kong phone number and it will be redirected to your designated phone number.
Please contact us, if you need to have a registered address in Hong Kong or you want to enquiry more details about virtual office options.
How long does it take to incorporate a company in Hong Kong?
Considering that you prepared all documents and filed them to the HK Companies Registry for approval, it takes 1-2 working days for approval. Once your company is registered, you will get the certificate of incorporation and business registration certificate. Currently, these documents are provided in a downloadable form. Upon request, these documents can be issued in paper.
How do I maintain my company in Hong Kong?
To properly maintain your company, you will need to open a bank account and appoint an accountant to deal with your finances. Your company will be required to submit tax reports on an annual basis. Audit is compulsory.
If you do not plan to be based in Hong Kong, you can delegate accounting and audit issues to service providers. While audit should be made by Hong Kong certified auditors, accounting can be made by any professional firm or individual. Currently, there are many online accounting services. You can pay a small fee and get professional solutions for your business.
What is a minimum investment for company formation in Hong Kong?
The official fee for incorporation of a Hong Kong company having a share capital is HK$1,720. It is possible to apply for a refund of HK$1,425, if the incorporation is unsuccessful. However, it is difficult to calculate an exact fee, as it depends on whether you will prepare and file all documents by yourself, or whether you hire an agent. Additionally, you may need to pay for such services as online search of company names and trademarks, registered address fee, nominal services, secretary fee, notary fee, etc.
Ecompany.ltd specializes in company formation in several countries across the globe, including Hong Kong. Our key benefit is that we provide online business solutions: company formation and company management, accounting and legal services, translation and certification of documents. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.