The easiest way to get your new office in Hong Kong up and running, is of course to get someone with local experience and expertise to help you out. The following of our members are specializing in enabling new business and aid new companies setting up in Hong Kong, please visit their pages in our member directory and see how they can help you:
Every person who carries on any form of business activity in Hong Kong must register his or her business with the Inland Revenue Department within one month of commencement of business.
A Hong Kong-registered company’s “Business Registration Certificate” is required to be displayed prominently at the address where business is carried on.
Contact : Business Registration office,
Inland Revenue Department,
4/F., Revenue Tower
5 Gloucester Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2594 3146
Fax: (852) 2824 1482
The most common form of business structure in Hong Kong is the limited liability company. To incorporate a limited company, the following documents are required to be filed with the Registrar of Companies:
- The Memorandum of Association for setting out the objectives of the company and its share capital and must be signed by at least two subscribers;
- The Articles of Association which prescribe the regulations for the company’s administration, and which must be signed by each subscriber of the memorandum, and;
- A Statutory Declaration of Compliance with the Company ordinance.
The documents lodged for the incorporation of a new company must be accompanied by a covering letter showing the proposed company name along with the presenter’s name, contact telephone number and address. For more immediate company establishment, it is straightforward in Hong Kong to choose to purchase a shelf company — a service offered by many professional business consultants and solicitors.
A shelf company is one which has already satisfied all legal formalities connected with incorporation and is ready to commence business. The name of the company can be easily changed at a later date if required.
Contact: The Registrar of Companies,
14th Floor, Queensway Government Offices
Tel: (852) 2234 9933
Fax: (852) 2596 0585
Straightforward registration procedures apply to a company incorporated outside Hong Kong seeking to open a branch office in Hong Kong. The following documents must be delivered to the Companies Registry for registration within one month of the establishment of the place of business:
- A certified copy of the Charter, Statutes or Memorandum and Articles of the parent company and, if the documents are not in English, a certified translation of documents should be submitted;
- A list of the directors and secretary of the company;
- The name and address of one or more authorised persons resident in Hong Kong to accept the service of notices on behalf of the company;
- The respective addresses of the principal place of business in Hong Kong and the registered office of place of incorporation;
- A memorandum of appointment or power of attorney, and;
- A certified copy of the company’s Certificate of Incorporation and the latest audited annual accounts.
If a foreign company chooses to establish a representative office in Hong Kong under which there is no intention of carrying out legally binding business transactions, there is no need to register with the Registrar of Companies. However, a representative office is still required to obtain a Business Registration Certificate.
Sole Proprietorships or Partnerships
A business can be freely and legally operated as a sole proprietorship or partnership in Hong Kong. Other than the business registration requirement there are few regulations governing this form of business. A partnership generally cannot consist of more than 20 partners, with the exception of certain categories of professional partnerships, and the partners are personally liable for all of the partnership’s debts.
Partnerships are usually governed by a partnership agreement in the absence of which the Partnership ordinance regulates the obligations of and relationship between the partners. A limited partnership, (in which the partners are liable for obligations or debts equal to their capital contribution), must be formed according to the Limited Partnership Ordinance and be registered with the Registrar of Companies.
An overseas company may choose to appoint a Hong Kong agent to act as its representative. This form of business arrangement is common among overseas companies exploring opportunities in Hong Kong and the region.
Support For Trade And Industry
An extensive network of support organisations in Hong Kong offers a comprehensive range of services to assist companies from around the world to establish business ties and to carry out and expand business.
Invest Hong Kong
InvestHK was established in July 2000 for the purpose to promote Hong Kong as a trade, investment and business hub in Asia. It provides assistance to corporations and individuals looking for direct investment opportunities in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)
The HKTDC was set up by statute in 1966 to promote and expand Hong Kong’s external trade. As the international marketing arm for local manufacturers and traders, the HKTDC plays a vanguard role in opening new or difficult markets for Hong Kong companies.
The HKTDC also plays an important role in promoting Hong Kong as the trade fair capital of Asia by organising some of the largest trade fairs in the region.
Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC)
A statutory body promoting industry productivity in Hong Kong, the HKPC offers a wide range of support services and facilities to industry — from training, design, engineering, demonstration and consultancy to strategic alliances for technology transfer and joint product development with industry. It also supervises three subsidiary companies which specialise in design innovation, clothing technology demonstration and productive heat treatment services.
It is committed to helping Hong Kong manufacturers move upmarket and to facilitating the transformation of Hong Kong industry to high value-added activities. HKPC is the Hong Kong Government’s agent for all matters involving the Asian Productivity Organisation.
Contact :Hong Kong Productivity Council
78 Tat Chee Avenue
Yau Yat Chuen
Tel: (852) 2788 5678
Fax: (852) 2788 5900
Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC)
The ECIC is a statutory corporation formed to help Hong Kong exporters minimise risks by providing insurance coverage on goods exported and services rendered on credit, particularly for shipments not normally covered by commercial insurers. The ECIC offers credit advisory services to its policy-holders by investigating the credit worthiness of prospective buyers. When a policy-holder encounters payment problems, the ECIC also provides a risk management service and advice on possible courses of action to prevent or minimise potential loss.
The ECIC is a member of the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers (the Berne Union) and has an international network of contacts. It has ready access to confidential and updated economic and market information on other countries, and can provide credit reports on overseas buyers.
Contact :Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation
2/F, Tower I, South Seas Centre
75 Mody Road
Tsim Sha Tsui East
Tel: (852) 2732 9988
Fax: (852) 2722 6277
Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks (HKSTP)
HKSTP was inaugurated on May 7, 2001 following a three-way merger among the Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation, Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation and the Provisional Hong Kong Science Park Company Limited.
This Corporation is a government statutory body established to bring the world-class technology and the most highly skilled workforce together in a purpose built environment so as to create co-operatiive, clustering and synergy effects.
They provide quality infrastructure and support facilities conducive to innovation and technology development.
Contact :Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks
8/F., Bio-Informatics Centre
No.2, Science Park West Avenue
Hong Kong Science Park
Tel: (852) 2629 1818
Fax: (852) 2629 1833
More useful information can be found from the Interenet web site of the Hong Kong SAR government at http://www.gov.hk/en/business/.