The easiest way to get your new office in Hong Kong up and running, is of course to get someone with local experience and expertise to help you out. The following of our members are specializing in enabling new business and aid new companies setting up in Hong Kong, please visit their pages in our member directory and see how they can help you:
Every person who carries on any form of business activity in Hong Kong must register his or her business with the Inland Revenue Department within one month of commencement of business.
A Hong Kong-registered company’s “Business Registration Certificate” is required to be displayed prominently at the address where business is carried on.
Contact : Business Registration office,
Inland Revenue Department
4/F., Revenue Tower
5 Gloucester Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2594 3146
Fax: (852) 2824 1482
The most common form of business structure in Hong Kong is the limited liability company. To incorporate a limited company, the following documents are required to be filed with the Registrar of Companies:
- The Memorandum of Association for setting out the objectives of the company and its share capital and must be signed by at least two subscribers;
- The Articles of Association which prescribe the regulations for the company’s administration, and which must be signed by each subscriber of the memorandum, and;
- A Statutory Declaration of Compliance with the Company ordinance.
The documents lodged for the incorporation of a new company must be accompanied by a covering letter showing the proposed company name along with the presenter’s name, contact telephone number and address. For more immediate company establishment, it is straightforward in Hong Kong to choose to purchase a shelf company — a service offered by many professional business consultants and solicitors.
A shelf company is one which has already satisfied all legal formalities connected with incorporation and is ready to commence business. The name of the company can be easily changed at a later date if required.
Contact: The Registrar of Companies,
14th Floor, Queensway Government Offices
Tel: (852) 2234 9933
Fax: (852) 2596 0585
Straightforward registration procedures apply to a company incorporated outside Hong Kong seeking to open a branch office in Hong Kong. The following documents must be delivered to the Companies Registry for registration within one month of the establishment of the place of business:
- A certified copy of the Charter, Statutes or Memorandum and Articles of the parent company and, if the documents are not in English, a certified translation of documents should be submitted;
- A list of the directors and secretary of the company;
- The name and address of one or more authorised persons resident in Hong Kong to accept the service of notices on behalf of the company;
- The respective addresses of the principal place of business in Hong Kong and the registered office of place of incorporation;
- A memorandum of appointment or power of attorney, and;
- A certified copy of the company’s Certificate of Incorporation and the latest audited annual accounts.
If a foreign company chooses to establish a representative office in Hong Kong under which there is no intention of carrying out legally binding business transactions, there is no need to register with the Registrar of Companies. However, a representative office is still required to obtain a Business Registration Certificate.
Sole Proprietorships or Partnerships
A business can be freely and legally operated as a sole proprietorship or partnership in Hong Kong. Other than the business registration requirement there are few regulations governing this form of business. A partnership generally cannot consist of more than 20 partners, with the exception of certain categories of professional partnerships, and the partners are personally liable for all of the partnership’s debts.
Partnerships are usually governed by a partnership agreement in the absence of which the Partnership ordinance regulates the obligations of and relationship between the partners. A limited partnership, (in which the partners are liable for obligations or debts equal to their capital contribution), must be formed according to the Limited Partnership Ordinance and be registered with the Registrar of Companies.
An overseas company may choose to appoint a Hong Kong agent to act as its representative. This form of business arrangement is common among overseas companies exploring opportunities in Hong Kong and the region.
Support For Trade And Industry
An extensive network of support organisations in Hong Kong offers a comprehensive range of services to assist companies from around the world to establish business ties and to carry out and expand business.