With a population of over 7.4 million people and easy access to more than 4.4 billion in Asia-Pacific (APAC), Hong Kong is a business paradise that attracts new investors like a magnet. The jurisdiction also boasts of liberal business policies that have won it the "freest economy" tag globally. These are only a few pointers indicating why you should consider Hong Kong the first choice when selecting an offshore destination for your business. To take advantage of these benefits, plus a lot more, you need to take the first step: register your company in Hong Kong.
So, how exactly do you go about incorporating your company in Hong Kong? This is a comprehensive guide on the three main phases of company incorporation in Hong Kong:
Company registration in Hong Kong is guided by the Companies Ordinance, which defines all the processes to follow and documents to prepare. During the pre-registration phase, here is what you need to do:
Select a business structure: You can select a company limited by guarantee, a company limited by shares, partnership, or branch office.
Select a company name: This is also very important because it helps to make your business unique and avoid conflict of interest. The name can be in Chinese, English, or both.
Decide the company’s shareholders: Every company in Hong Kong should have a minimum of one shareholder and a maximum of 50. These can be natural people or corporations. Again, 100% foreign shareholding is allowed in Hong Kong.
Other requirements: Once you have selected the shareholders, you will also need to have a resident company secretary, share capital, and address.
This phase follows the pre-registration stage, and it involves gathering all the documents required for company registration in Hong Kong. Then, you need to submit the documents to the Companies Registry. So, here are the documents you need:
A duly filled NNCI form for a company that is limited by shares or NNCIG form for a company limited by guarantee.
Articles of association.
Registered business office.
Details of directors, shareholders, and company secretary.
Business name and its registered address.
Post Registration Phase
Once you receive your certificate of incorporation in Hong Kong, the process of company formation shifts to getting the enterprise on its feet. This is the time to get everything ready for entry into the new market. So, what exactly do you need in the third phase?
Business Registration Certificate (BRC): This is a certificate issued by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) indicating the details of the company. You can apply for BRC 30 days after commencing operations.
Open a Bank Account: To get your business up and running, you will need to have a system of getting paid and paying dues. This is why you have to open a bank account in Hong Kong for the business.
Get the Necessary Permits and Licences for Your Business: If your company requires additional permits, it is important to acquire them before commencing operations. Also, you need to determine your business tax obligations, including the current corporate tax rate of 8.25% for the first taxable profit of HKD2 million. Anything else after that is charged 16.5%.
Hong Kong offers everything you would want for your company to grow rapidly. By following the three phases we have listed above, you can register and set your company on the road to success. But many are those who find the process lengthy and complex. Instead of following the long raft of steps, preparing multiple documents, and reviewing related policies, it will be an excellent idea to let a professional help you. Experts in company registration are ready to hold your hand, helping with both company registration and cutting down the costs. They will also assist with executive functions, from filing tax returns to payroll management and accounting. You can never go wrong with experts on your side!