In the last few years, Hong Kong has made headlines in the international news for being one of the most expensive places in the world to buy a property. However, the real estate market in Hong Kong is so diversified that there are plenty of options available for the different needs of businesses and companies.
But before moving forward with your business idea in Hong Kong, a crucial step for incorporating your Hong Kong company is choosing a registered address. This is important, not only because it is a mandatory requirement by the Hong Kong authorities to have one, but it also could affect your business operations.
Having a proper working environment has become an essential element for business and currently there are many popular options such as a serviced office and a co-working space. However, having a hot desk or a single working unit is not enough for all types of businesses. In this article, we will focus on the scenario of having private offices for your Hong Kong businesses. More details will be shown below.
What it means to have a registered address in Hong Kong
As briefly mentioned above, by the law in Hong Kong, the Companies Ordinance specifically, it is necessary that most of the businesses in Hong Kong have an official address in Hong Kong. This address will help the government authorities to send official notifications about the company.
Although it is not mandatory to have a physical space, meaning renting an office space, certain businesses are required by law to have one, especially if the type of business to be operated needs certain standards or specialized facilities to operate properly. For example, businesses that need to prepare or serve meals, such as a restaurant, or food stores that need to store food, need to comply with certain standards of food safety and office space requirements, as well as waste disposal permits.
Places such as serviced offices, and places such as a business center, do not allow conducting such operations, since they do not comply with the requirements, and the licenses and they cannot adapt their facilities to the equipment needed for your operations.
Nonetheless, if your business does not fall in this category, and you still consider that a private office is what you need, the best option would be to consider renting a space in an office building. In the next section, we will explore the advantages of renting your own private office in Hong Kong.
There are plenty of options for choosing the best private office for your business. In this section, we will focus on a business that functions more on the corporate side and does not need any special equipment. For scenarios such as this, we will enlist a few advantages for choosing a business centre or service office as an option for your private office:
- Private workspace: contrary to the co-working spaces work units, you can choose your private small room for your business with all the perks and privacy.
- Facilities and exclusive access: some office spaces and service offices have specialized meeting rooms that are available on a pay-per-use basis, allowing you to save money. Moreover, with an all-inclusive pricing package, you will have a phone line, high-speed internet, and more, to cover your business needs.
- Flexible offices: there are many options for the layout of your private room that can adjust to the needs of your company and your staff number. Having the option of flexible office space will let you cover your business needs.
- Fully furnished office: normally, you will not need to buy any office furniture since your private room would be ready to use and even fully equipped.
- Reception services: a dedicated front desk is normally available if you choose this option. The receptionist will be in charge of your mail handling. Additionally, they can help you to solve any issue that comes up with the facilities and your private room.
- Different prices per area: rents can significantly change from the Central Business District to other areas such as Kowloon and the New Territories that are still well connected and close to busy business and commercial areas in Hong Kong.
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Now that we have discussed the advantages of having a private office over a serviced office, we need to consider the other side of using that option. In this section, we will list some of the disadvantages:
- Pricing: one of the biggest downsides of having a private office is the pricing for the space, which as we mention at the beginning of the article, in Hong Kong is not low, especially in famous locations that have privileged views such as the Victoria Harbour. Nevertheless, if your company is not limited on the budget, it will not be an issue.
- Small offices: for bigger companies, sometimes more space is needed for a bigger staff. For these cases, renting a whole floor or a bigger section can be negotiated with a real estate agency.
- Lease agreement: businesses dedicated to leasing an office space normally need that their tenants compromise to a longer-term lease of a minimum of 1 year. For some businesses, such as start-ups and individuals, this can prove to be a problem if their budget is limited.
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How to find private office space
Now that you have weighed your options and have decided that you want to move forward, you wonder how you can find the best private office for your business in Hong Kong. Here are our suggestions:
- Approaching a professional: finding a real estate agent or a real estate agency in Hong Kong can save you a lot of trouble since an agent or an agency is quite familiar with the Hong Kong market and can take you to take a look at the different options within your preferences. Nonetheless, you need to consider that they charge a fee for the service, adding up a few of your expenses.
- Exploring on your own: if you have previous experience with other centres in your own country that have international branches, and you know that it is what you need, you can try to find them in Hong Kong. Alternatively, talking with your business contacts can help you learn from them about their experiences and struggles to approach the best option for your case.
As we have presented various points in this article, there are many considerations before choosing the perfect space for your business. Nevertheless, as business needs change, the requirements in Hong Kong for a business address are not strict and allow the business to easily relocate. This is especially good in cases where businesses need to cut down on costs and the rent becomes too high.