From Hong Kong to Singapore: Incorporation Services with Spring Discounts!Explore Today!

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Statrys offers an all-in-one company registration service in Hong Kong. You can can also apply to open a Statrys business account, all done remotely within 48 hours. 

If you’re considering registering your company in Hong Kong, this step-by-step guide is for you. 

Hong Kong was recently ranked 7th in the latest edition of the Global Competitiveness Booklet, and there are many reasons for its high ranking, such as its favourable tax system,  business-friendly environment, stable legal and political environment, and intellectual property protection. 

In this guide, I’ll share the steps required to register your company and discuss the benefits and things to consider before setting up a company in Hong Kong. 

Let’s get started.

Benefits of Registering Your Company in Hong Kong

There are many benefits to registering a company in Hong Kong. Here are some of the biggest benefits:

Global Operations

Incorporating a Hong Kong limited company enables you to operate your business from anywhere in the world. Whether you have a physical presence in Thailand or an online store in Singapore, your business can effortlessly reach a global audience without needing a physical presence in Hong Kong.

Access to Global Markets

Hong Kong is a strategic gateway to Mainland China, offering access to a vast market of over 1.3 billion consumers. This facilitates seamless selling, marketing, and distribution of your products or services to a diverse and expansive customer base.

International Talent

Hong Kong's multicultural environment and flexible work arrangements provide access to a pool of highly skilled and diverse talent from around the globe. This diverse workforce brings unique expertise and perspectives, enriching your company's capabilities and fostering innovation.

Intellectual Property Protection

Hong Kong's government places a high emphasis on intellectual property (IP) protection, providing a comprehensive framework to safeguard businesses' innovative ideas, creations, and assets. This commitment ensures that your intellectual properties, innovations, and other valuable assets are adequately protected, fostering a conducive business growth and innovation environment.

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Things You Should Know Before Registering a Company in Hong Kong

Before we jump into how to register your business in Hong Kong, let's understand some key points.

When you start a business in Hong Kong, you'll have to work with three main groups:

Your company secretary will be the main person managing and setting up your company.

The Companies Registry and the Inland Revenue Department work together to ensure your business follows Hong Kong laws and keeps accurate records. They also oversee things like filing your annual return on time.

Insight: Learn what a company secretary is and why they are important in Hong Kong.

Additionally, Hong Kong is known for having one of the world's simplest and most business-friendly tax systems, making the city a preferred choice for conducting international business in Asia.

Hong Kong's corporate tax system offers two profit tax rates for companies, the single-tier and the two-tier.  

Single-Tier

  • This option gives a rate of 16.5% based on assessable profits for companies.
  • However, for unincorporated companies, the rate is 15%.

Double-Tier

  • For incorporated and unincorporated companies, the second option lowers the tax rate for assessable profits within the first $2 million Hong Kong Dollars.
  • This rate can be helpful for small and medium-sized enterprises, as it reduces the amount of taxes to pay, starting the year of assessment 2018/2019. To consult the tax rates in Hong Kong, please see the following link from the tax authority. 
  • Companies with profits under the first $2 million cap get a concessionary tax rate of 8.25%. Any remaining profits above $2 million will be taxed at 16.5%.
  • Unincorporated businesses with profits under the first $2 million are taxed at 7.5%, while all other profits above the first $2 million will be taxed at 15%.

If you’ve just started your company, and it has yet to reach profits of more than $2 million Hong Kong Dollars, it is recommended to use the Double-Tier tax system to enjoy lower tax rates.

Now, let's look at how to register your business in Hong Kong.

Step-By-Step Guide to Registering a Company in Hong Kong

Step 1: Decide on Your Company’s Name

The first step in registering a company in Hong Kong is choosing a name. With over 1.3 million registered companies, finding a unique name can be challenging. Conducting a thorough name search and considering important factors when brainstorming name ideas is important. Ensure that the name is original and doesn't infringe on intellectual property rights.

You can register your company with an English or Chinese name, but it can't be a mix of both. If you choose an English name, it must end with "Limited" instead of "Ltd." If you find similar names to yours, consider adding extensions like "Asia Pacific" or "HK" to make it unique.
You can check the availability of a name on the Companies Registry website before you decide on a particular name.

Tip: Check out our guide on the “Do’s and Don’ts” for company names in Hong Kong.

Step 2: Decide on the Company’s Legal Entity

The next important step is selecting your company's legal structure, which will impact various aspects such as tax filing and business operations. In Hong Kong, the leading legal entities to choose from include:

It's essential to understand the features of each structure, as the choice depends on your business's nature. However, private limited liability companies, also known as "limited companies" or "LLCs," are the most common choice. Registering a private limited liability company is likely the best option unless you have specific objectives that you would like to achieve with the other options available.

Step 3: Appoint a Company Secretary

Appointing a local company secretary is mandatory for establishing a business in Hong Kong. Non-compliance can lead to fines or legal action.

The role of a company secretary in Hong Kong is distinct from that of an office secretary. Instead, think of a company secretary as a "compliance manager" for your business. They ensure your company operates according to local laws under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance, regardless of size or listing status. Company secretaries handle legal and administrative matters, informing the company about legislative changes, necessary paperwork, and legal obligations. They are the primary contact with government bodies like the Inland Revenue Department, the Companies Registry, and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company secretary will typically act as the designated representative of the company’s significant controllers’ register. Moreover, the company secretary organises and prepares the agendas and takes minutes of your board and annual general meetings.

The company secretary will typically act as the designated representative of the company’s significant controllers’ register.

Due to the complexity and importance of the role, many companies opt to outsource the position to specialised agencies for guaranteed expertise and compliance.

Tip: Read this guide to understand more about what company secretaries do and why they are so important in a company

Step 4: Appointing Legal Representatives

Any Hong Kong company has two key legal representatives: directors and shareholders.

For directors:

  • Every company must have at least one director, who can be an individual.
  • Directors aren't required to live in Hong Kong or be shareholders.
  • Their role involves managing the company's affairs, ensuring compliance, and acting in its best interests.
  • Directors don't have to be employed or paid by the company; they're appointed by the shareholders.

For shareholders:

  • A company must have at least one shareholder, with a maximum of 50.
  • Shareholders can be individuals or companies without nationality restrictions.
  • They don't need to reside in Hong Kong.
  • Shareholders own the company and make key decisions, including approving annual financial statements and appointing directors.

Tip: Read this guide to understand more about the role of a director and his/her responsibilities.

Step 5: Deciding on the Amount of Share Capital

In Hong Kong, every company must have a share capital, but the jurisdiction offers maximum flexibility in this regard:

  • There's no minimum or maximum requirement for the share capital.
  • The capital can be in any major currency, although the Hong Kong dollar (HKD), US dollar (USD), or Euro (EUR) are commonly used. 
  • It's advisable to start with a modest amount of registered capital, such as 100 shares for 100 HKD.

Notably, there's no specific timeline for paying the share capital, nor is there a requirement to deposit it in a bank account before registering the company. If you're setting up your company remotely, you can explore options for obtaining a registered address in Hong Kong remotely.

Step 6: Preparing and Submitting Incorporation Documents

When setting up a company in Hong Kong, you'll need to prepare several incorporation documents for approval before commencing business operations. Here's a breakdown of the required documents and how to prepare them:

  • NNC1 Incorporation Form: This form, provided by the Companies Registry of Hong Kong, must be signed by at least one shareholder of your company.
  • Identification documents: Copies of HK ID cards or passports of at least one shareholder and one director.
  • Articles of Association: This legal document outlines the internal rules of your company, including share transfers, director appointments, and compliance with relevant ordinances.

Once you have these documents ready, you can submit them to the Companies Registry through various channels:

Alongside document submission, you'll need to pay the applicable government fees. These fees are typically paid annually, but it's essential to stay updated on any changes made by the HK government regarding fee structures.

Step 7: Obtaining a Business Registration Certificate and Certificate of Incorporation

Once all necessary documents are submitted, you can expect to receive your business registration and incorporation certificates within two to six business days, which can be collected at the Companies Registry office. These certificates confirm your company's existence and good standing in Hong Kong.

These documents are essential for opening a bank account, with the Business Registration Certificate (BRC) needing annual renewal from the Business Registration Office. On the other hand, the Certificate of Incorporation is valid indefinitely.

These documents contain basic company information like name, registration date, and address and do not disclose confidential details such as director or shareholder identities. It's crucial to safeguard these documents by entrusting the originals to your company secretary.

Read more: Find out more about the Business Registration Certificate and Certificate of Incorporation.

Step 8: Opening a Hong Kong Bank Account

After your company is established, you can promptly apply for a bank account for your business in Hong Kong.

Here, you can find the full list of banks in Hong Kong.

List of documents you need to open a corporate bank account:

  • Business Registration Certificate
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Articles of Association
  • Record of Registration
  • Beneficial Owner ID
  • Certificate of Incumbency
  • Proof of Address
  • Partnership Agreement
  • Miscellaneous details of directors and shareholders, business plans, an organisational chart, bank statements from the past six months, bank reference letter dated in 3 months, etc.
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Best Company Registration Service in Hong Kong

Statrys is a one-stop company registration service provider in Hong Kong and Singapore. What makes Statrys different is that we also provide a business account service for companies incorporated in Hong Kong, Singapore, or the BVI. 

Therefore, companies that register a company using Statrys’ services can immediately apply to open a business account in Hong Kong. 

Here is what’s included if you choose to register your Hong Kong company with Statrys:

Incorporation Services

• Verification of the company name availability
• Preparation and filing of incorporation documents
• Articles of Association
• Government fees (HKD3,970 - included in our price)
• Certificate of Incorporation
• Business Registration Certificate (for 1 year) Annual Renewal
• Company chops (corporate seals)
• 24/7 access to company documents on our online platform

Company Secretary Services

• Provision of a Secretary Company (1 year)
• Provision of a Designated Representative (1 year)
• Filing of Annual Return (NAR1)
• Automated reminders of filing deadlines
• Maintenance of the significant controller register
• Maintenance of the statutory records
• Preparation of the Annual General Meeting (AGM)
• All of your statutory records and compliance documents are in one place, accessible online 24/7

Registered Address in Hong Kong

• Registered address for one year Annual Renewal
• Scanning and forwarding of mail

Business Account

• Assistance with online business account opening
• Certification of documents for business account opening

Did you know? You can open your new company in Hong Kong and open a business account in less than 5 days with Statrys. (Subject to applicable requirements and regulations)

A spring promo for company creation pricing of Statrys

Final Thoughts

In summary, setting up a company in Hong Kong benefits entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses. The company registration process is straightforward, and once established, your company can operate globally without needing a physical presence in Hong Kong. You'll have access to a vast market in China and beyond and can tap into a diverse pool of talented individuals. Plus, Hong Kong protects your intellectual property, safeguarding your ideas and creations. Registering your company in Hong Kong opens doors to new opportunities and sets you up for success in the global marketplace.

FAQs

Can a foreigner register a company in Hong Kong?

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Yes, Hong Kong’s law accepts 100% foreign-owned companies. Thus, as a foreigner, you can register a business in Hong Kong.

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