How to start a new bank account

Keeping in mind the need of a bank account for a business.

Order – Incorporation & Open bank account

Deciding to incorporate a Hong Kong business? Have you planned out the important company details like a bank account opening, the company papers, etc.? Even though you incorporate a company in Hong Kong, you may still need a bank account. Just like any other business needs a bank account to operate their finances, your company also needs a business bank account for saving all the revenues and profits.

Keeping in mind the need of a bank account for a business, it is a must to understand that this process should not be easily overlooked. To make sure that all the needs are met for both the business and yourself, it is crucial to select the bank that suits your requirements.

There are three options for the international banking for the Hong Kong company, and they have been explained briefly below:

International Bank Account (online opening)

Crucial for an international diversification strategy, an international bank account is opened in a country that is different from one in which the company has been incorporated. Due to the various benefits to protect you from potential political and economic risks as well as capital control, it is highly recommended by Startupr for your new HK business.

Advantages

The advantages & benefits of the international bank account are:

  • Online process & no physical visit required.
  • High approval rate & multilingual support team.
  • Run the account with multi-currencies efficiently without high conversion fees.
  • Get credit or debit cards connected with different currencies easily.
  • International exclusive investment possibilities & discounted payments.
  • Online banking for an uninterrupted access.

Disadvantages

  • Some banks have a higher minimum deposit that varies from each bank.
  • There is a minimum balance required at all times, and the amount varies as well.

Startupr Introduces Your Company (10 – 15 working days)

An account application in many international banks is usually addressed through the company formation provider. If you choose the service where Startupr is your company secretary, we can assist you in this case. And since all the required documents are already with us, we would be able to support the bank with the requests.

Startupr would introduce your business to the banks and assist in seeing your application through. The documents in this process are:

  • Company documents
  • The business description like the nature of the business, the number of employees, etc.
  • Due Diligence documents that include the certified copies of passports of all beneficiaries and their proof of residence.

Bank Account in Your Own Country (do it yourself)

It is beneficial to open the international bank account in a country according to your choice for the HK business. For this, you would need to apply for it and attach the true certified and the Apostilled documents of your business. These include the following documents:

  • Business Registration Certificate
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Articles of Association
  • NNC1 Incorporation form

If you are not sure about where to get these documents, Startupr has a service that offers this at the cost of $465, and it would be couriered to you through DHL with an extra fee of $95. Once the documents get to you, you can just go or call the bank up where you decided to open the offshore bank account for your business.

Banks we work with

This is a table of the banks that are connected with us and the ones that you can choose from to open an offshore bank account:

BankFeeType of Account Initial Deposit Maintenance DepositTime to Open Bank Account (if the compliance is
completed)
Fees & Charges
CIM Banque – Switzerland
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentMonthly Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
$15,00$3,50$40,00EUR 150,00
Multiple Currencies$10 000,00$1000,0015-20 working daysPrice List
ABC Banking – Mauritius
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentMonthly Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
$-$75 + overseas bank chargesCHF 50 + Deposit Facility Fee of 1% p.a. on credit balance$-
Multiple Currencies$5000,00Not required15-20 working daysPrice List
Europacbank – Puerto Rico
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentMonthly Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
$16-$103$30-$110$30,00$-
Multiple Currencies$500,00$360,0015-20 working days Price List
Atlantic International Bank – Belize
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentAnnual Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
$35,00$100,00$180,00$1000,00
Multiple Currencies$1000,00Not required15-20 working daysPrice List 
OCBC – Singapore***
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentMonthly Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
$7,50$43-$125$100,00$372,00
Multiple Currencies$30 000,00$30 000,0015-20 working days Price List

***Personal visit required – Singapore

Due to our healthy relationship with the CIM Banque, Startupr often recommends the clients to open an account there. The process is straightforward, fast and all online.

Offshore Bank Account Opening

Disclaimer: Please note that we only provide about services to our existing client.

Bank Account in Hong Kong (meeting in Hong Kong required)

It has recently become more limiting for opening a Hong Kong bank account remotely, and this is due to the specific requirements of the Know Your Customer responsibilities and the Hong Kong Bank Ordinances.

To open a bank account in Hong Kong, the person would have to be physically available in the bank for the meeting along with the beneficial owners, directors, and the shareholders with 10% or more shares of the company.

Advantages

  • This account is needed for a PayPal account or similar payment gateways
  • A relaxed and comfortable RMB trade settlement.
  • You would not need a significant amount to keep the account working, but just a little for the minimum account balance.

Disadvantages

  • You cannot open the account completely online.
  • The approval is less certain for this account type.

Requirements

In case you wish to open a Hong Kong bank account at any of the banks that are connected with us (check the list of banks linked with Startupr), you need to meet at least one of the conditions mentioned below to increase the possibility of bank account opened:

  • The business has to be connected in a trade with Asia or China.
  • The business has to have an office in Hong Kong and give a proof of the rental agreement with the company’s name on it.
  • The director of the business needs to have the HK visa or an HK ID card.

In case you do not meet any of the above conditions, you can still attempt to open a Hong Kong bank account. But in this case, you would need substantial proof and justification for this.

Startupr can assist in arranging the meeting with the bank and also with the process. But you would even need to prepare yourself. You can read this for the tips: Proven Tips on How to Get Ready for Bank Appointment in Hong Kong.

Documents required

The documents that you require to open a bank account in Hong Kong are:

  • Bank Reference letter – In case your business already has a bank account, get the bank reference letter issued with the company details. It must be stamped and signed by the bank officer.
  • Experience Proof – The relevant experience for each director like the former employment contracts.
  • Supporting documents – The brief overview of the company, the business description, the nature of the business and the owner’s experience in the industry.
  • Proof of the Business – Documents that confirm the engagement of the business like business licenses, invoice from the suppliers, or the sales contracts.
  • KYC Personal Certificates – Passport copies that are certified for all the shareholders who have 10% or above shares, beneficial owners, and all the directors. Directors need to share the bank references as well.
  • Proof of Address that is certified (Proof of the source of the wealth or fund for the business) – All the proofs of residency for all the shareholders, directors, nominees and beneficial owners like the electricity bills, credit card or any other bill for the last 60 days. You can also share any business operating address.
  • Company documents – This includes the NNC1 Incorporation form, AA, BRC, and the Certificate of Incorporation.

In case you have controlled or owned a company before this, you would need to provide this with the company’s business certificates.

Startupr recommends that you give a brief overview of the Hong Kong Company, printed on paper and ready to provide the officer in the bank.

100% preparation

It is better to be 100% prepared since the bank favors that customer who is well-prepared. Here are some points that would help you out:

Choosing a bank

There are many banks in Hong Kong, but if you are worried about how to make an appointment with the Hong Kong bank, Startupr will help you out there for the following banks (where you need to contact 10 to 15 days before for the process to get done):

  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • OCBC Wing Hang Bank
  • HSBC
  • China CITIC Bank

Gather all documents

The documents that are required have been mentioned above and they need to be collected when you are going for the meeting with the bank.

In case you want to shift the appointment with the bank, you would need to call them directly 5 to 10 days before. You would be asked some basic questions by the bank about your company. Also, make sure you confirm the appointment before booking the ticket for your flight to Hong Kong.

Be ready with answers

Do not underestimate the bank officials and due diligence regulations, so keep the following answers ready:

  • What is your anticipated annual turnover?
  • What is your client base?
  • In which countries will you sell your products?
  • What is or would be the trading currency?
  • How many employees do you have currently?
  • What is your business address?
  • How long has your firm existed?
  • What is the nature of your business?

Startupr recommends that you need to follow the business dress code and be punctual. Also, you need to beware that the due diligence of the Hong Kong banks is very difficult due to their strict requirements. The tip here is that you need to have all the right documents and be prepared. That is how some our clients enjoy the bank opening.

Bank Account Opening Appointment

The appointments of a bank take about 30 minutes to 1 hour, and this is the time where the officer in the bank asks questions and monitors all the documents. After this, you and the officer would need to sign a printed electronic application that would then be forwarded to the bank.

In case the application is accepted by the bank, you would have the account open in 10 to 15 business days. Also, keep in mind that the approval is the bank’s decision only. Startupr can only assist you in the process and not make them help you with the account.

PayPal

You can also enjoy the free PayPal business account consultation and set up. It is an excellent package that many customers enjoy, which includes:

  • Discounted PayPal transaction fee
  • PayPal integration consultation
  • PayPal merchant welcome kit
  • Bank Account linkage
  • Express PayPal Business account setup
  • Support before, during and after the account has been open on PayPal by a Dedicated Business Consultant.

Keep in mind that the PayPal account set up would need a Hong Kong bank account.

Advantages

  • 100% guarantee against unapproved payments.
  • Get everything done fast online.
  • Open an account easily.
  • Lower fees for transferring money abroad.

Disadvantages

  • It is a private company that is not regulated by any banking rules. And it can freeze an account without approval if there are any fraudulent activities suspected.

Any documents that are submitted to the bank must be properly certified. It also needs to include the name and the contact details of the certifier. You can get assistance in this case from Startupr where they would provide with the certifications from a public notary or a CPA.

Moreover, the documents that are presented in the bank have to be in the English language. And if there is any translation made, it has to be done by a certified translator. With the help of Startupr, you can get the assistance in most of the tasks mentioned above, unless and until it is a thing that you need to do yourself.

Open bank account

Fee – USD 1 335

You can choose from the following banks (no need to travel): CIM Banque (Switzerland), ABC Banking (Mauritius), Europacbank (Puerto Rico), Atlantic International Bank (Belize). Personal meeting is required: OCBC Singapore (meeting in Singapore). For offshore bank account openings, no need to be physical present in the country (except specified above). Application will be made through e-mail and / or registered mail. We make sure that the application is filled out correctly and will do a proper bank introduction as banks usually cooperate through their agents such as Startupr. BANK ACCOUNT OPENING DISCLAIMER: Be aware that banks reserve the right to decide whether to open a specific company account. Startupr itself is neither responsible nor liable for any bank’s decision. Although customers may succeed in opening certain bank accounts within 15 working days, most of our clients normally enjoy company account opening within 15-20 working days once the banks receive full due diligence. In some cases, if a bank requires further information, or a local holiday occurs, there can be several days’ delay. If you hire Startupr services to assist you with the bank compliance, please be aware that we spend time on consulting and preparation for your particular case. As we are not responsible nor liable for any of the bank’s decisions, all fees paid shall not be refundable under any circumstances once the introduction is made. Startupr reserves the right of the final decision in case of any dispute. Please note again that all bank account opening and decisions are made solely by the banks, and Startupr does not take responsibility for the bank’s decisions.