How to start a business in Hong Kong – company formation, banking, accountancy & audits

Hong Kong has always been a destination of choice for entrepreneurs who want to enter the Asian and Chinese business markets. This small territory is one of the world's leading international financial centres. Hong Kong has a major liberal service economy characterized by low taxation and free trade. The currency is the Hong Kong dollar.

What is the main type of company in Hong Kong?

The most popular type of company in Hong Kong is the Limited Company. This type of company can be used for any activity such as trading, import/export, consulting or holding assets.

What are the requirements for company formation in Hong Kong?

  • Minimum share capital requirement:  HK $10.000.
  • Minimum of one shareholder, who can be a non-resident - either a private person or a corporate entity.
  • Minimum of one director, who can be a non-resident – either a private person or corporate entity.
  • Director / shareholder information is a matter of public record.
  • A local company secretary is required.
  • For business bank accounts in Hong Kong, the directors have to be English-speakers to communicate directly with the bank manager and staff.
  • A minimum deposit will be asked when the account is opened.
  • There is an auditing requirement only if the company has Hong Kong sourced income.
  • The registered name of a company must end with the word ``Limited'' or “Ltd.” to denote limited liability.
  • There is no VAT in Hong Kong.

What is the regulatory environment like?

Although Hong Kong has had a reputation of an offshore destination, the regulations are now quite strict. Every company has to provide accounts and audit those accounts on an annual basis. Even if you are not trading in Hong Kong but for instance in mainland China, you still have to provide accounts and pay taxes.

What about banking facilities?

Hong Kong has always been an important international centre for the banking community and most major financial institutions have a presence in Hong Kong. Local banks are also capable of competing strongly and effectively to provide facilities for foreign investors, but opening a bank account requires specialist advice which we can provide thanks to our Hong Kong banking contacts.It is also now compulsory to speak English and provide a business plan in order to do the banking introduction.

For more information on how to open a bank account in Hong Kong or for any further issues regarding company incorporation in Hong Kong, including tax advice, accountants, serviced offices, please contact us on 0033 (0)1 53 57 49 10 or email us from our contact page and we’ll be happy to help.