Primasia is a Hong Kong based company incorporations services provider, that has been supporting our local client and overseas clients from across the world. With over three decades’ worth of experience and knowledge of our field, we have been able to successfully incorporate our clients in top business locations across Asia. So now it’s your turn; are you and your company considering setting up a business in Asia? Or perhaps you are interested in setting up an offshore a company in an offshore jurisdiction such as Seychelles, Samoa, Cayman Islands, and British Virgin Islands? Here at Primasia we can help you succeed. Since the late 1980s, Primasia has been a loyal member and a happy healthy contributor to our local community of Hong Kong, helping both local brands and international brand establish themselves in the Financial Technological Hub of Asia itself. Primasia is known for our highly qualified and experienced staff, offering tailor-made corporate solutions, and for handling and organizing all documents and establishment papers, including visa and more.
Whether you want to set up a completely new entity in Hong Kong or whether you want a set-up of a Hong Kong subsidiary; setting up a company in Hong Kong is fast, straightforward, and entirely inexpensive. In less than a week, your company can be up and running. The same rules apply to everyone, local and foreign alike.
Private Limited Company Set-up in Hong Kong
The set-up of a Hong Kong subsidiary is usually made through a private limited company (or a branch, or a representative office – there are three choices), and is very straightforward:
- There is no requirement for either a local director or a local shareholder
- There needs to be only one director, but there needs to be at least one individual director: other directors can be corporates
- There need be only one shareholder, which can also be a corporate
- Local requirements are only for a registered office address (including virtual office), a local, licensed company secretary, and a local “designated representative”. This latter role is a compliance requirement but can be filled by the company secretary
There are requirements to keep accounts, to file an annual tax return (audited), and to file corporate updates with the Companies Registry. The registration process takes about a week after the ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) software, but it can be quicker if needed. For a completely new entity, here are the steps in setting up a business in Hong Kong:
1. Selecting a Company Name and Structure
To form and register a local limited company in Hong Kong you need to choose a unique company name. The Hong Kong Companies Registry maintains an index of company names and which we can quickly check to see whether the company name you would like is available for you to use. All company structures have a different set of requirements for each structure.
The most used structure is a ‘Private Limited Company’. This type of company must be incorporated at the Companies Registry and registered with the Business Registration Office. This process takes around a week to complete.
Another company structure used is the representative office. Such an office use often used by our client as to ‘dip their toe’ in the Asian market before deciding to make a larger investment later down the line. This office is never intended (and is not permitted) to derive sales and therefore is maintained as a marketing office only. The main function of a representative office is to fulfil functions of promotion and liaison work. If the company needs to enter a transaction, this office will change its structure into either a limited company or a branch office of the parent company.
If the company is incorporated outside of Hong Kong but establishes a place of business in Hong Kong it is required by law to register with the Companies Registry within one month of establishment as a place of business as an overseas company. This has a processing time taking up to 4 weeks.
2. Company Incorporation
As mentioned, most of the set-ups in Hong Kond are of (private) limited companies. The company incorporation aspect of the process takes up to four working days from date of submission. Incorporation could also be done online. A private limited company listed in Hong Kong must have the follow position in the company:
- Individual Director 1 person
- Shareholder (either individual or corporate) 1 person
- Company Secretary that is based in Hong Kong (If the individual is already the director, he cannot also be the secretary)
From 2014, all new Hong Kong private companies has had have to have at least one natural person as a director. To comply with this, in exceptional cases, this Primasia may offer directorial services, subject to certain conditions being met. The registered office location must also be situated in Hong Kong but there is no requirement for shareholders to be residence.
3. Business Registration
All businesses whether they are private limited companies, sole proprietorship, representative offices, or partnerships must register with the Business Registration Office of the Inland revenue Department (IRD). This must be done within one month of commencing business.
4. Opening a Business Bank Account
Before you can open a business bank account, you must complete business registration and company incorporation. Banks may also require due diligence documents to be provided or certified as originals. This could also involve a fee from the bank.
5. Choosing Business Premises
Hong Kong has a wide variety of business areas even with a close distance to its central business district. Offices are normally arranged through an agent and procedures are usually straight forward with renovations and refurbishments carried out as quickly as possible. Our clients have chosen numerous different types of offices such as
- Leased offices (Rent for 2-3 years with option of renewal).
- Serviced or Virtual Offices.
- Specialized centres.
6. Hiring Staff and applying for work visas.
All Hong Kong Staff either sponsored from overseas and locally employed must follow the Employment Ordinance of Hong Kong. This includes the main legal main frame for employment in Hong Kong covering the follow allowances:
- Paid Annual Leave
- Rest Days
- Sickness Allowance
- Severance Payment
- Long Service Payment
- Offset of long service
These are the main Visa categories:
- employment visa
- investment visa
- capital investment
- entrant scheme
- dependent visa
Every adult, as well as every child aged 11 or above who enters and is a permitted to stay in Hong Kong for more than 180 days must apply for a Hong Kong identity card within 30 days of arrival. Applying for the card from the Immigration Department is simple and free of Charge. By Hong Kong Law, you should carry your identity card with you at all times. If you want to learn more about Hong Kong Employee rights and visa applications please click here for a more detail article of explanation.
7. Business Licences
Depending on your business industry, some (but only a few) businesses will require licences and registrations to complete certain business activities. This includes Food & Beverage, Travel agencies, employment agencies, banks, fund managers, insurance brokers and even law firms. Every business has their own unique needs and requirements. If you are interested in learning more about the requirements your business needs Primasia will happily assist you with contact our contacts at ‘InvestHK’ gain a better understanding on what your business needs.
In summary these are the steps businesses need to take to incorporate their company into Hong Kong. If you and your business, whether it is foreign or local, are interested in creating an Entity, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information or to initiate your start to incorporation. For more information about us, Please click here to visit the Primasia Corporate Services website and learn more about company incorporation in Asia, as well as the wide range of services we offer.
Connect with Primasia Corporate Services Limited
Hong Kong Headquarters: Suite 1106-08, 11/F., Tai Yau Building, No. 181 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong