Hong Kong is a flourishing economic hub in Asia. Starting a business there offers you the chance to grow rapidly and get access to the global market by establishing contacts with the leading enterprises in the entire world that have representation in Hong Kong. But, how easy is it to incorporate a company in Hong Kong? Being recognized as one of the most business-friendly cities in the world, setting up a company in Hong Kong is relatively easy. Read on to make yourself familiar with the basic requirements of registering a company in one of the main trading hubs in Asia.
Come up with a unique name
It is important to name your company in a unique way. To ensure the name you choose isn’t identical to any other company residing in Hong Kong, consult the Registrar of Companies to see what names are still not used by anybody.
Choose the company structure
Before initiating the Hong Kong company formation procedure, you have to decide on which structure your company will have. You can choose the “Branch Office” structure which features a parent company residing outside Honk Kong and its daughter office operating inside Hong Kong. The daughter office isn’t perceived as a separate business entity, and can only use the funds of its parent company. This structure allows them to engage in activities oriented on making profit, but the companies can’t fully benefit from the economic partnership with Mainland China.
A Representative Office is also created by a non-Hong Kong company, but it can’t conduct profit-bringing operations. Activities it can carry out include administration, monitoring and customer consulting. The third structure, Private Companies Limited by Shares is the most common one and it allows it to be fully integrated in the Hong Kong business scene and benefit from the free trade agreement with Mainland China.
PCLB companies have to establish a permanent office inside Hong Kong, have a secretary who must be a resident of the Special Administrative Region. Along with that comes at least one director who is not necessary to be a Hong Kong resident. Speaking of shareholding, everybody can hold shares in the company no matter their place of residence. A sole shareholder is also allowed. If there is only one director, he or she can hold all shares, but can’t assume the role of the secretary at the same time.
Once you’ve decided on the name and structure of the company, you can proceed with its incorporation. You have to make two applications with the Companies Registry – one for company incorporation and one for business registration certificate. The applications can be made both online and with physical presence. Note that each application is charged with a fee. If your incorporation request is denied, you can benefit from a refund. In case of the incorporation fee, the refund is partial, while for the registration certificate, you will get all money back. Once you receive both the incorporation certificate and the registration certificate, you must display the latter in the company’s office.