Company Incorporation Process
Hong Kong is the one of the best places to establish your business internationally.
Hong Kong is the one of the best places to establish your business internationally as it has been ranked the 3rd easiest place for doing business worldwide. It is a major attraction for entrepreneurs who are looking forward to enhancing their business. You don’t have to be a Hong Kong citizen or resident for starting a company in Hong Kong. You are not even required to be physically present in Hong Kong for running a business here; you can operate your business anywhere in the world!
If you are planning to set up a company in Hong Kong, then it is recommended to know all about the norms and regulations in place before you incorporate your company. Hong Kong has very simple rules and regulations for new entrepreneurs to follow if they have any plans of setting up their business in Hong Kong. It can be any kind of business: such as a service-based company, high-tech company or one trading actual physical goods.
For new business owners, at first it can be a bit daunting to incorporate a company in Hong Kong. That’s why we suggest you should find a good local agency that are experienced with guiding new business owners in setting up and running a company in Hong Kong. You can go through their package rates and the services that they provide, and hire them for your whichever ones you need. Some even offer tailored packages for people looking for something extra, such as help with opening a bank account, accounting and taxation services and set up of a business address.
Documents You Need To Register a Company in Hong Kong
Like anywhere else in the world, there are some documents that are required to register a company in Hong Kong. These documents will help the government offices in keeping your personal records and details, and these also act as a proof of you being the owner of the company.
Other things to consider are choosing a name for your new company, and applying for the “profits tax exemption” if your business activities are conducted outside of Hong Kong, so as to make sure that your company is subjected to 0% corporate tax rate.
Here is a list of the basic documents that you would need to register your company in Hong Kong:
- A copy of your passport
- A copy of an official document for the proof of residence, such as a driver’s license, utility bill, bank statement, etc.
- A questionnaire containing standard questions like the company name, business nature, company structure (directors and shareholders) directors address, passport number, and name of the director and shareholders.
Also, there are no restrictions on nationalities for business owners in Hong Kong, and that is why so many people are attracted to starting a business here; unlike other Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and Mainland China. You can be from any country to open a company in Hong Kong, along with a proof of residence to verify your residential address in the government records.
Keep in mind that no matter what the agent does for you, only you will be the owner of the company. The agency that you hire will only provide you with its registered address and provide you with a secretary to represent your business if you don’t live in Hong Kong. You are given the liberty to access your business from elsewhere in the world. So it means that you can easily set up your business in Hong Kong and don’t have to be physically present there.
Procedure to Incorporating a Company
The process for setting up a company in Hong Kong is quite straightforward, and easy for most. With the documents prepared to register a company and a suitable name, you’re on your way to start a company. If you’re unsure about the name, you can easily do a quick name search to double check that the name you want is still available. Once your name is chosen and documents all ready, you can send these to your agent for them to process.
Just follow these steps to setup your company.
- You would need to contact the agency that you have decided is right for you (which you can determine after reading the tips here), and discuss the details.
- After that, choose the name of the company using the agency’s website.
- The next step is to send the necessary documents to them and pay them for the services. Most agents should offer payments through PayPal, bank transfer or through credit card. Choose the Hong
- Kong agency that has a customizable package for the services so that you can choose as per your needs.
- You would need to send in your passport copy, official document as a proof of residence like the driver’s license, and a questionnaire to let the agency know about the number of directors and the other essential parts of the business you want to open in Hong Kong.
- Let them process and fill the form to obtain the required documents from the government.
- The process should take a few days to register your company. If you’re in a hurry, some agencies offer fast or expedited incorporation services (Possibly for those who are on a time restraint due to flight times or busy schedules)
- The company documents that you get are the certificate of incorporation, business registration certificate, Articles of Association and incorporation form (NNC1), which means that you have opened a business in Hong Kong.
- You may now choose to schedule a meeting for a corporate bank account, or conduct business under your company’s name!
Once your business company gets registered in Hong Kong, you will be given your documents that allow you to easily conduct your business and open bank accounts outside Hong Kong. You don’t need any kind of capital investment for the company incorporation (though you may need a deposit to open a corporate bank account). All you need are at least one director, one shareholder, a company secretary and also a registered company address in Hong Kong (you can use your agency’s address as your business address if it allows).
In a nutshell, the procedure to incorporate a company is quite straightforward and is easy when you hire a local agency that can make it hassle-free for you. You only have to provide the local agency with your details and they can use them for the rest of the procedure.
Company Formation Documents
Incorporating a company is not an easy job but once it has been done, you can enjoy the benefits of having your own company and working for yourself.
However, doing all the tasks related to the company formation documents and other formalities can be time-consuming and long winding. You need an accountant or an agent that will help you in all the tasks. It is also very important for any new entrepreneur to apply for the offshore status so that the company is at a 0% tax rate.
After all has been done smoothly, you will be given the company formation document that is a proof of you having a company established in Hong Kong. It is very important to have these documents, as they act as your identity for setting up business in Hong Kong and also as a proof of your ownership.
You should received the following documents once your company is formed:
Documents issued by the government
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business Registration Certificate
- Articles of Association
- Incorporation form (NNC1)
The Certificate of Incorporation is a document which states the date of incorporation for your company.
The Business Registration Certificate is a government certificate which states your company’s certificate number and when your business registration expires. Be sure to mark down this date, as if the company is not renewed in time, the Hong Kong government may issue a late penalty for the company.
The Articles of Association states the company’s owners and shares, and also outlines all the laws and regulations for limited companies.
The Incorporation form (NNC1) details all the information about your company, including the name, address, company secretary, directors, shareholders and number of shares. This is a sort of summary of all the important information for your company.
Documents that may be issued for the company
- Register of members
- Share certificates
- Minutes of the first meeting
- Company Organization Chart
- Register of Director and Company Secretary
These documents are extra documents that may be issued by the company secretary for the company. These documents help with stating your claim as the company, and may help when provided to a bank for a bank account opening.
Different agencies have different packages that they offer to their customers. The packages generally include all the important procedures of establishing a company business in Hong Kong. From the company registration to bank account opening, the packages generally include all the features. You can go through the plans of the agency you are going to hire and select the best plan for you.
Let us say that you decide and choose a Hong Kong agency, and hire them to provide you with all the services from forming the company to acting as the company secretary and providing their registered address as your company’s official address. The total things that you would need to pay in a year is:
- Company formation & Incorporation documents
- Business Registration Certificate (Government fee)
- Company Registration (Government fee)
- Provision of the Registered Office Address
- Provision for the Company Secretary
- Business Bank Account Opening (If they offer this service)
As mentioned above, these services are the normal services that people normally pay to an agency. All in all, the normal rates for setting up a business would be around $1,000 to 1,500.
You might come across a better one that would offer you with a much lower price. But, be sure to check the agency as not all of them are honest, as later on they might come up with stories and even charge you more than the amount that has to be paid. Did they provide you a company secretary? Did they offer you the registered address? Will they assist you in opening a bank account? You can find out how to determine the honesty of an agency in our other guide.
This can vary based on your requirements, but the essentials would be the company formation, business registration and government fees, and a company secretary. Having a company secretary registered for the company is required by law, so we suggest you use the agency that helped you to create your company, as they probably know more about the company and the process will be done seamlessly.
If you don’t have an address is Hong Kong, then you would need to arrange a registered address for the company. If you live in Hong Kong then you can use your business address, but if you are outside of Hong Kong, then we would suggest to use the registered address of the agent. But you should know that this is merely a registered address for the government, mostly for any official forms the government sends you in the future, but it does not act as your business address for your daily business use or for invoicing purposes.
For the second year, you would need to pay:
- Renewal of the Business Registration Certificate (Government fee)
- Provision of the Registered Office Address
- Provision for the Company Secretary
- Annual Return (Government fee)
In the second year, you would be spending relatively less in maintaining the company. Note that the business certificate renewing process is a straightforward one and there is no need to sign any documents. When you choose a Hong Kong agency, they would take care of all the paperwork and send the new certificate to you after you have submitted the fee.
After all this, 18 months later you would have to fill the profits tax return where some agencies also provide the accounting and auditing services to you. Check the agency to know about this, and since nothing comes for free, the prices may vary based on the number of transactions your company has. Also inquire if they offer taxation services for offshore clients, and if they are experienced with handling these clients, if you do not reside in Hong Kong.
New entrepreneurs can choose from the packages suitable for them and contact the agency regarding the same. Startupr will provide you with a hassle-free incorporation process for your company so that everything runs smoothly, and you don’t miss any important company filings. All you have to do is let the company know about the package that you are going to choose and it will make the incorporation much easier for you.
Other Things to Keep In Mind
The costs of the packages have been decided after a lot of research so that it proves to be beneficial for both the company and the customers. Once you contact the company, it will let you know about all the benefits of each plan so that it gets easier for you to choose the most appropriate plan for you. Our company believes in no surprises so that means you will get only what you ask for, nothing more or nothing less.
The plans are generally for one year and after that, they will need renewal. So, it becomes important to renew your plans after one year to have the benefits of the company’s outstanding services. You can contact the company for the renewal fees and enjoy the endless benefits of having your company successfully established and running in Hong Kong.
Also, you would only need to email the bank statements and the invoices for the agency to fill the profits tax return if they are offering the service to you. This might be something that many are scared of since you are not a professional tax expert, so it is better to check the agency before letting them take care of the accounts. The upcoming sections would help you out for determining the honest of an agency.