Hong Kong is a hotbed for international business as it has a solid economy with flourishing industries that are inviting for entrepreneurs.
It also has some of the lowest tax rates and other benefits such as its great infrastructure which is attractive to international companies.
However, because of the proliferation of criminal money laundering within the country, they have been forced to crack down on compliance and requirements, which can make it difficult for international companies to acquire banking services, including basic business accounts, due to strict management policies and auditing.
With the proper information and procedures, it is still possible to establish a business account in Hong Kong for global companies.
We will show you what you need to do if you are operating from Indonesia and need to open a business account in Hong Kong.
Register Your Company
To simplify the process, it is best to register your Indonesian company with the Hong Kong Company Registry.
Status with this registry offers a wide range of perks of which your company can take advantage.
Considering this registration process as getting your foot in the door with Hong Kong’s financial organizations.
Here are some benefits for registering:
- You do not have to be a Hong Kong resident
- Prompt and simple corporation
- They allow virtual office addresses
- Provides low corporate tax access
- Simplified accounting and taxation requirements
- Exceptional business banking opportunities
- Unrestricted capital flow
- Advanced infrastructure and communication capabilities
- Annual tax auditing
- You can register from abroad
How Can I Get Registered?
You can have your company registered within two weeks by following a four-step process:
- Name and Type - Determine the name of the company you are registering and whether it will function as a share-limited company or a guarantee-limited company.
- Submit Documentation Through E-Filing - You will need to complete the following documents for the application process.
- Receive Certificates Upon Approval - These will be a “Certificate of Incorporation” and “Business Registration Certificate” which you can choose to receive through the mail system as hard copies or digital forms through email.
- Acquire Other Licenses and Permits - Determine what other official documentation you will need related to certificates and approvals with importing, exporting, and other documentation per the Trade and Industry Department.
Opening a Hong Kong Bank Account from Indonesia
Now that you are officially registered, it’s time for the real challenge: opening a Hong Kong bank account with an appropriate bank for your business needs.
Hong Kong banks have a pretty strict set of guidelines due to restrictions to combat money laundering, and unfortunately, this can make it difficult for anyone else to get an account as well, especially if residing outside of the country.
Here are the main documents that are required when setting up a corporate account with a Hong Kong Bank:
- Proof of Identity - This may include your director’s ID, Hong Kong IDs, or viable passports.
- Address Verification - Proof of address typically requires a rental lease or property license under your name
- Formative Business Documents - Your Certificate of Incorporation, Business Registration, Register Books, M&A, and other documents to show that you are in legal compliance.
- Business Validity - If you are a new business, they will want to see a detailed and extensive business plan; if you’ve been around for at least six months, then contracts, supplier information, and payments received are appropriate to verify that your business is legitimate.
What Account Fees Are Involved?
Depending on the bank, there will be expectations as to your initial deposit, minimal balances, and potentially processing fees.
Here are some estimates you may face in this department:
- Initial Deposit - This is an early fee expected early in the process of account registration, which can range from HK $5000 up to $50,000. Make sure to research banks to find one which is suitable for your business and budget.
- Minimum Balance - Another expectation that can dramatically vary based on the bank you select, some minimum requirements expect anywhere in the $50,000 dollar neighborhood up to $500,000 in extreme cases.
- Processing Fee - If you find the right bank or negotiate properly, there are times when you can have the processing fee waived and not have to pay anything for the account registration services. However, if you are unable to do so, expect fees in the realm of $400 - $10,000 dollars, depending on the financial institution.
If you are struggling with the process or want professional advice before you begin, there are many companies that facilitate the creation of corporate bank accounts and can provide free consultations and advice to help your Indonesian company meet appropriate guidelines and provide required documentation.
These service providers can make the process even easier and can ensure that you have everything you need to be prepared beforehand.
Tips for Opening a Hong Kong Bank Account
- Dress Code - You may be required to visit the bank of choice or participate in a virtual conference. Make sure you look professional and are prepared so that you will be taken seriously.
- Appropriate Documents - Ensure that you know exactly which documents your chosen bank requires and have those completely prepared in advance so that you can produce them or provide them upon demand.
- Proof - Remember that due to high instances of money laundering, there are going to be stringent requirements for you to verify that you and your business are legitimate. Make sure to have a wide variety of financial reports for your business, personal, and legal data to demonstrate that your business is legitimate and trustworthy.
- Thoughtful Dialogue - Be prepared to present your business in an intelligent and well-prepared way, focusing on the core ideals that exemplify your company’s dynamics. Showing that your business is located in Asia and being able to explain the importance of having a Hong Kong account is beneficial, while you may want to avoid discourse about clients or suppliers which the bank may consider high risk for laundering efforts as a precaution.
- Service Providers - Just a reminder, if you are worried that the process is too complicated or could use a helping hand to get everything prepared and established, seek a professional who specializes in establishing Hong Kong accounts to help you out!
Need a more online way to bank in Hong Kong?
Open a Statrys account today entirely online and you'll get a full Hong Kong business account without having to go to Hong Kong.