How to choose an honest agency
To begin with, Hong Kong is an excellent base to incorporate your business and open a bank account.
After you have discovered the benefits of the Hong Kong economy and its business environment, you might decide to incorporate a business in Hong Kong right away.
To begin with, Hong Kong is an excellent base to incorporate your business and open a bank account. The reason is that the frameworks and tax laws are quite simple and straightforward, it is easy to use multiple currencies, and you have a chance to connect and do business easily with other Asian countries.
Also, the tax rates are comparatively low and there is no corporation tax on offshore profits, making it a great place to operate a limited company even as you sit in your home country. However, you need to consider that there are many dishonest agencies out there that just want to make quick profits, and won’t give you the best service you deserve!
Need to check an agency’s honesty and reliability?
Well, you are here since you want to know all about how to choose a Hong Kong agency that is reliable, honest and the right one without ripping you off. Keeping this in mind, you deserve the best advice for the right decisions in choosing the right professional agency to help you to open a business in Hong Kong.
Along with this, it is crucial to know all essential details on what is exactly required for registering a company in Hong Kong, so that you do not get fooled by a scam agency, knowing what has to be done to open a business in Hong Kong.
If you go to Google and check for an agency, you would find many claiming to help you out in opening and managing a Hong Kong company. While many are honest, there are a lot of scammers mixed in the crowd. There are also some agencies that are in the grey zone, which means that they may work as an intermediary for a real agency.
This does not mean that they are stealing your money, they are just charging you more and taking a percentage out of it while they slow down the whole process for you with company in Hong Kong. There are some that do worse, where they might claim about the services that they are able to offer and once you have paid them with the fees, they would come up with a much more expensive counter offer or adjustment on their prices. These agencies are most likely appear a lot cheaper than most others, and for obvious reasons.
One trick to find out if the agency is a fake one is by asking if it is possible to open a sole proprietorship for a foreigner in Hong Kong. This is a cheaper option as compared to the limited company, but it is not open for foreigners anymore (was possible until 2010). If the agency says that it is possible, you have got the hint that something is not right.
And if you still go ahead to apply for it, after a week you would get a message from them stating that the law has just changed, and you would get a request for sending in additional pay so that they can get the additional paperwork for the company.
Do you want this to happen to you? No, right? Well, here are some steps to follow while you choose a Hong Kong agency that is honest and not a scammer.
Step 1. Check the agency’s website
Suppose you did proper research and found three to five agencies that could offer you the company incorporation service in Hong Kong. Ask these questions and if you get positive answers, you should considering using them to help you start your company:
Do they have a professional looking website and is their English good?
This is something very obvious, since a company that is honest and a real one would spend enough to get a highly professional look on their website. Along with this, the website that has everything clear and everything explained properly for the audience to refer from, is actually the right agency for you.
Other than this, would you be able to communicate if a company doesn’t know English and you do not know Chinese? Good, nor would any sensible person! Moreover, a company with English as the main language with no errors on their website would give you enough hints that they are genuine ones. Choose this Hong Kong agency as they would be able to communicate with you easily.
Moreover, you would not have to miss out on anything or get confused since the communication gap would not exist. Professionalism is the main key in the agency that is genuine and honest.
Are you able to comprehend what they are offering to you?
This answers comes after you have checked if the website is a professional one. Where you can check an agency’s honesty by going through the website and figuring out if all the information that is needed to open a company in Hong Kong has been shared on it.
The agency that has got nothing to hide would share all the information and even break down each process and its costs, so that you know exactly what you are paying for and how much you are paying for it. Isn’t this what you want?
Well, sorry to say that many agencies lack in this point where all you get to see on the services page is the complete package and the total amount you need to pay. Some even do not offer any prices or explanation, and want you to message them with all your questions. This is the type of agency that you have to maintain a distance from.
How old exactly is the website?
The age of the agency or website is not always determined at the bottom of the web page of that website. Many companies frequently update their layout after some time to stay up to date and some not at all. Also, content on the website is usually updated to let you know about the latest laws so that you have nothing to miss out on. You should choose the Hong Kong agency that does this since they are the ones that are actually honest and providing the best service.
Moreover, if you want to check the age of the website, you can search for the domain age checker on Google to get a free website that allows you to check the age of the domain. Another popular website that many use for this is the Who.is which can be a great help to you as well.
Do you want to hire a company that started about a month ago? Didn’t think so! Nor would any other person do this since they are not reliable unless you have met these people in person or know them personally. Ensure that the website is established before you decide to hire them for their services. Many people start up new websites everyday, with starting costs as low as $10. So, do not just focus on the design of the website and the content, but also check the agency’s age before hiring them.
Do they have a physical address in Hong Kong mentioned on the website, a phone number and an email address?
Another thing that has to be checked about the agency is if they have shared their working phone number and an email address that you get replies from. Along with this, the agency that is not a scammer would happily share their official registered address for those who might want to visit them at some point of time.
In case you come across an agency’s website where you are not able to find any contact information to reach them, then take the hint that this is a red flag. Also, there are many websites that share just a form on the contact page along with an email address. Beware of these agencies as well. They may also be acting as a Hong Kong agent, but really located elsewhere in the world, such as Mainland China. The right agency would share each detail along with a valid registered address, phone number and an email ID.
You should also check the agency’s honesty by calling them up and even sending them an email. Does anyone answer your call and how is the English that the person used to communicate with you? Do your emails bounce back or go unanswered? An honest agency would try to email you sooner rather than later, and write an email longer than just a few sentences. These are other points to determine if you should choose this Hong Kong agency.
Also, the agency who responds to your emails in 24 hour to 48 hours time during the working days with a professional English content, you know that they are the right choice for assisting you to register your company in Hong Kong.
What payment options do they offer?
Many websites have come up where your credit card details are stolen and there are many as well who just take your money and vanish into thin air. As much as the other points are important, you need to check the agency about this as well.
If they have the SSL secure payment option with them, then they are right. Give it a try where you would have to pay through your credit card. Click on the option for the payment to reach the page where you would need to fill in the credit card details.
Now pay attention to this. Check the link of the URL at the top part of the browse to see if you are directed to a protected page by the SSL certificate which starts with – https://. And if the link begins with – http:// You need to run away as fast as you can without giving any details.
These websites are the ones that are there to steal your credit card information. Keep an eye open for every detail to make sure that you stay safe from the scammers.
Does the Company have any software or application for their clients?
This is a bonus point, but a valuable one. Software on their website not only shows that they are genuine, but also that they invest the money and time to give the clients the best product. All the major companies out there, such as Apple, Amazon, Paypal, Ebay, have software for their clients to use and for everything to process smoothly. Imagine if they had to enter in everything manually!
An agency that has software or an application in place allows you to contact them smoothly and for everything to be processed easily. A valid agency would share all about the services, including the good and bad points, and opening up through every medium possible so that it can reach the audience.
Therefore, if you see one like this, choose that Hong Kong agency since this bonus point would just give you a better guarantee about the amount you are about to spend through them for registering a company in Hong Kong.
These questions can help you a bit to check an agency’s honesty and reality, but they are still not sufficient. That is why there is the next step shared below.
Step 2. Research about the agency
Suppose that the name of the company that you are searching is “ABC Incorp Limited,” then go to Google and search for the ABC Incorp Limited scam, or ABC Incorp Limited problems, etc. This would help you find if there has ever been any scam about the company cheating other customers as well.
Another option you can try is, ABC Incorp Limited fraud. With this, many options would come up right in front of you related to the company and if the company is a fraud. Moreover, if there isn’t anything about the company online, you can then be sure that it is an honest agency. You can then choose this Hong Kong agency for your requirements to open a company in Hong Kong. But before you get hasty to choose that agency, there is one last step that is equally important to determine the genuinity of the agency, which has been mentioned below.
Step 3. Get in contact with the agency
Suppose you have done the check on the agency as per the steps above and it came out clean. The next step is to contact them and find out everything they offer and their price. While doing so, keep the following points in mind:
When you call them during business hours, do they answer you?
An agency that is a genuine one would always be ready to answer any customer’s queries through the phone calls and even through emails. If an agency is taking too much time to pick up your call each time you call them, that is if you need to keep calling them again and again before they answer your call, move to the next option.
Do they speak English fluently?
This is important as your communication and understanding is essential plus the right company would know English properly. This is important as you need an agency that would be able to communicate in the right way with you so that you do not misunderstand anything or lose money due to some miscommunication.
Moreover, if the English as well as the communication technique are bad, you are dealing with an intermediary or not such a great company. The agency also might be a scammer trying to rip you off by offering services that they do not know how to offer as well. Stay clear in these cases.
Do they allow you to pay through PayPal or are they using the Western Union?
PayPal is now something that many companies use since the payment process is very clear and secure. Moreover, for any transactions in PayPal, the complete history remains for a long time in case of a misunderstanding regarding the payment.
If the agency is asking for the payment only via Western Union, run away! One, it is obvious that they do not have an official bank account which means that they are fake. And two, you would not be able to track any transaction made through Western Union, which can leave you with no proof.
To make this point much clearer, the reason why transactions are suppose to be saved is so that you can give a payment proof for any troubles that might come up due to it. Also, you can use it against the company if they do not provide the services that were supposed to be offered under the package you paid for.
If you email the agency with an inquiry, do you get a response in proper English within 24 to 48 hours and without them urging you to pay as soon as possible?
As mentioned above, proper English is a must since it not only lets you know about the genuinity of the agency, but is also a good point for you since there wouldn’t be any miscommunications in the future.
Also, check the agency’s genuinity by the language they use and the way of communication. The right agency would be clear to you about the services, and all the decisions are completely up to you. Some might not follow up on your questions, and they may not try to make you their customer. This is since they have enough clients already! Make your choice keeping this in mind as well.
When you request for quotations, is the answer clear with a proper break down of the services?
Agencies should give you a proper break down of all the services that are offered by them, along with the costs at each point. With this, you know how much you are going to spend and where you would be spending it.
If the agency just has a package that doesn’t show you a break down to let you know about the services and the costs, ask them for it! In case, they are not clear about the services, it is better to move on to another agency.
It is not always essential to just spot the scammer while you choose a Hong Kong agency to help you incorporate a Hong Kong company. It is also vital to see how efficient the company is for you right now and even for the future. Hence, communications skills are one of the leading points that have to be seen.
Plus, they also need to be clear about the entire process where they should let you know about both the good points as well as the bad points about the service you are about to use. With all the information shared above, you can now be clear about what you need to check in an agency when choosing one to help you start your business in Hong Kong and to avoid any scammers. Be careful & choose wisely!