Of all the countries in South East Asia, Hong Kong is probably the strongest capitalist economy and this can be an exciting marketplace for the forward-thinking entrepreneur. If you are already doing well in your home country, why not seek out lucrative markets and enter a new arena?
In this article, we offer some basic information about setting up a business in Hong Kong, with the aim of helping you to make the right choices.
Business Registration Options
There are three main types of business you can register in Hong Kong:
- RO – Representative Office – If you are as of yet uncertain about the Hong Kong market, you can open an RO, which allows you to carry out market research. This non-trading entity requires zero minimum capital and is not compliant with local regulations. This is the favoured option for a business that wishes to research further into the domestic market; visiting trade fairs and conducting surveys are typical activities and you can have one authorised representative. When registering a new business in Hong Kong it is important to hire a local legal firm to facilitate the business registration, as they are fully aware of what is required and can help you to prepare all the correct documentation.
- Private Limited Company – This trading entity offers limited liability and supports a working visa, which is essential if you are going to manage your business in Hong Kong. The entity requires at least 1 shareholder and 1 director and is unrestricted regarding business activities, usually taking about 10 days to set up. The entity is subject to local laws and when you source a good legal firm, they will facilitate the business registration process and advise you accordingly; they can also provide you essential accounting & bookkeeping services and notify you of important deadlines. When setting up a new business, it is important to have a solid business plan that covers every aspect of the organisation and its aims and goals.
- Foreign Branch Office – Ideal for businesses that wish to expand by opening a regional office in Hong Kong; there is no minimum share capital with this trading entity, which is completely unrestricted in business activities. You can have 1 branch manager at your local office and the registration process takes 3-4 weeks, while the legal firm will instruct you regarding the opening of bank accounts and ensure that all the documentation is in order. This is the best way for an international company or corporation to open a branch office in Hong Kong and is therefore a very popular choice.
When you seek out the services of a company that specialises in foreign business registration in Hong Kong, the process is streamlined and you get the very best advice, plus a range of essential business services. The provider would be happy to have a video meeting with you to discuss your needs and should you be ready to proceed, your legal partner will handle everything on your behalf and you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your business is fully compliant with local laws and regulations.