Category Corporate Services

Incorporating a company in Hong-Kong

It is estimated that close to 150,000 companies are incorporated annually in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is undoubtedly one of the major financial centers in the world. Hong Kong is very attractive to international investors and business persons. This accounts for the large influx of foreign owned companies in Hong Kong.

Register with the Hong-Kong company registry

In order to reap the benefits of doing business in Hong Kong, it is imperative that you have a company, or other type of formal business association, registered and domiciled in Hong Kong. Companies (except for sole proprietorships or partnerships) are required by law to apply for a corporate status within one month of commencing business in Hong Kong. All local limited liability companies or non-Hong Kong companies with business concerns in Hong Kong are required to register with the Hong Kong company registry.

There are a lot of benefits of having your company registered in Hong Kong. For example, dividends of a Hong Kong limited liability company are not taxed. Only where profits earned from Hong Kong are equal to or greater than 16.5% of the net profits of the company will a company’s profits be taxed. Also, as a foreigner, you’re free to either be a principal shareholder and/or director of the company. Having a Hong Kong company certainly gives you freedom of entrepreneurship and legal certainty.

Shelf company or new company?

In choosing to get yourself a Hong Kong company, you can either choose to buy a shelf company or have a fresh company registered from scratch. Shelf companies are companies that are registered, but are passive or inactive. After buying the shelf company, you will have to alter the objects clause of the company and change the directors, shareholders and company secretary to the ones of your own choosing.

You may also decide to change the name of your new company, increase the share capital and the registered address of the company to match your preferences.  Using our corporate services is a wise choice to get you a list of great shelf companies that will match your business goals and aspirations. We can also help you carry out necessary filings and documentations to personalize the shelf company for you.

Alternatively, you can decide to form a new company from scratch. An advantage of choosing to form a new company includes the ability to imprint your own unique identity on the company. In all circumstances, you should weigh the advantages of buying a shelf company to incorporating a company from scratch. For personalized advice please contact us and we will connect you with one of our specialists to guide you in making the right choice.

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A 7-days process

As an investor or business looking to incorporate a new company in Hong Kong, you may be confused as to what steps to take to get this done. Registering your company in Hong Kong isn’t as complex as it seems, especially when you have a reliable agency like us helping you handle the process.

The process of incorporating a private limited company in Hong Kong usually takes about 7 business days to complete, barring any unforeseen circumstance. It starts with choosing the name of your company and getting it approved and ends with getting your incorporation certificate.

If you need us to help you incorporate your Hong Kong Company, you will have to provide 3 company names (in English, in Chinese or both) in order of preference in order for us to get started with your company registration.

You will also need to provide the following details

  • The address of at least one director and one shareholder (one address will suffice when the director is the sole shareholder). You will have to attach evidence of these addresses, such as a utility bill or a driving license.
  • A copy of your passport
  • Which business activities you wish to engage in with your new company. You can lift this out of your business plan. We can help you package a great business plan if you don’t have previous experience creating a business plan.
  • A copy of document evidencing payment of assessed fees by bank transfer to our bank account.

Once you’ve provided the documents above, we’ll commence your company incorporation process through the following steps.

1.  Name Availability (1 business day)

Once we receive your payment, we will check the availability of the company name. Thereafter, if the name is available, we’ll send to you the documents that you need to complete and sign to get the company incorporated by the Hong Kong company registry.

2. Return of original incorporation documents to us (1-5 business days)

Once you’ve completed and signed the incorporation documents, you should return them to us either through email or courier service (whichever is possible). You should endeavor to do this as fast as possible as this will enable us commence the approval process with the company registry.

3. Incorporation of the company (7 business days)

Upon receipt of the documents and confirmation of your payment, we will start the procedures of getting your new company registered with the Hong Kong company registry. The certificate of incorporation and other incorporation documents should be issued within a 7 working days period.

A company bank account has to be opened within a month of registering your company. We have experts of bank account opening in Hong-Kong. There are also certain demands that a company involved in certain businesses must comply before commencing business in Hong Kong. A company intending to engage in financial services must register with the Ministry of Finance.

Operating a commercial enterprise, retail shop, a travel agency, a restaurant, an employment agency, business training, a financial services agency require you to obtain a license or permit from the appropriate authorities, so it is important to contact the competent authorities before you set out on any of these types of businesses.

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Our 14 years experience can help you

It is recommended to take the help of a lawyer or a qualified business consultant in Hong Kong for professional advice. Our corporate services include providing you assistance in this regard. Contact us and we’ll help you sort out all the paperwork you need to get the necessary licenses and permits to commence your business.

Only when you have completed the steps above, you can you start business activities and enjoy the benefits of having an offshore company in Hong Kong.

What you should know about International Business Companies (IBC)

International Business Companies (IBCs) are offshore corporations (companies that are incorporated outside the parent country of the owners/shareholders) established under the laws of a country as a tax neutral establishment.

There is still “real” privacy in Hong-Kong

Many Northern American and European countries have stringent privacy, financial, fiscal and regulatory laws that severely limit the ease of doing business. However, there are a few countries (for example, Hong Kong, Singapore, Gibraltar, Macau etc…) that have less restrictive regulatory environments that make doing business much easier. Savvy investors and businessmen (especially the ones engaging in international or offshore businesses) prefer to base their companies in these more business-friendly countries and operate out of them.

One way to identify International Business Ccompanies is that, even if their activities are taxable in other countries, they are generally not taxable in the country where they were incorporated. For example, the profits of IBCs in Hong Kong are not taxed except they earn up to 16.5% of their net profits from doing business in Hong Kong.

Another unique characteristic of an IBC is that the identity and confidentiality of the beneficial owners of the company can be protected. In many of the countries allowing incorporation of IBCs, a beneficial owner can appoint a nominee director and/or shareholder to act as the ‘figurehead’ of the company, while the beneficial owner retains the power to run the company and manage its day to day activities.

IBCs also have extensive corporate powers to carry out a wide range of business activities with minimal restrictions. In Hong Kong, IBCs are allowed to have wide object clauses which can include many unrelated businesses. However, there are some businesses that require a company to have permits or licenses. In Hong Kong, with the right permits and licenses, where necessary, IBCs are free to engage in most lawful businesses. 

Another characteristic of IBCs is that there is no requirement to show corporate benefit before incorporating the company or doing business. It is also not mandatory for IBCs to issue shares (whether bearer or registered shares) to other persons or to the general public. IBCs are also not required to appoint local shareholders, directors or other officers to the company. Foreigners are free to wholly own an IBC without local input. However, it is noteworthy that IBCs in Hong Kong are mandated to have a local registered office address and appoint a company secretary who is resident in Hong Kong.

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IBC is polymorphous

IBCs can be used for a lot of purposes. They can be operated as special purpose entities, assets protection tools and avenues to deliver professional services. You can use your IBC to buy and sell goods and services, open a bank account and carry out many different business transactions.

Your IBC can also be used to hold real property, shares, bonds and other investments. As a professional, you can register your intellectual property and franchises using an IBC. IBCs also allow you to carry out online businesses and deliver personal services to your clients while working offshore.

Again, having an IBC allows you to open an offshore corporate bank account in Hong Kong. Having a corporate offshore bank account easily allows you to carry out international trade and investment transactions. IBCs also help to avoid limitations (for example sanctions and embargoes) that make international business difficult.

Pros of establishing an International Business Company in Hong Kong (IBC)

Reduced Taxation

IBCs in Hong Kong are not required to pay tax on income, provided they don’t earn up to 16.5% of their net profits from doing business in Hong Kong.

Minimal Business Restriction

Having an IBC in Hong Kong allows you to freely operate your business with minimal regulation from the government. You are free to engage in most business activities without having a license or permit. The ability to conduct your business with minimal regulation gives you the needed flexibility and freedom to grow your business.

Fast Incorporation Process

Incorporating an IBC in Hong Kong could be done within 7 days. You only need to provide relevant documents, pay necessary fees and take the appropriate steps to register your Hong Kong Company.

The KYC procedures required by the Company Registry in Hong Kong are not as stringent as that of many other countries. With a reliable and efficient business set up consultant, incorporating your Hong Kong IBC is a relatively easy process. 

Top Notch Financial Services

Hong Kong is a major international financial center with some of the world’s biggest banks offering financial services. You have a wide range of options in opening an offshore bank account in Hong Kong and opening an offshore bank account in Hong Kong is relatively easier than in most countries. Having a Hong Kong based IBC allows you take better advantage of the top notch financial services rendered by Hong Kong banks. Your financial assets are also protected in Hong Kong and you are free to own high-end assets like yachts, real estate and gold without inquisition from the authorities.

In today’s business world, IBCs are becoming the safe and reliable option in doing international business

They are becoming increasingly popular with entrepreneurs and investors who are looking for the opportunity to maximize the potential of their businesses.

Setting up an IBC in Hong Kong can be a complex and intimidating process for a foreigner. However, using the services of a competent business set up consultant makes it much easier. Contact us if you need assistance in establishing an International Business Company in Hong Kong.

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