With Hong Kong’s coveted geographic location –-neighbours with China and a short-distance flight from key Asian markets-– it’s undoubtedly a desired metropolitan for many to set up shop.
However, as with most things requiring governmental approval, the process of setting up a business can be difficult if you’re not familiar with the process. The benefits of getting a business visa is multifold. If you’re struggling with getting a visa or employ someone from overseas, having an established company rids you of those concerns.
Here are some general credentials you’ll need to set up a limited company in Hong Kong:
1. Corporate bank account and/or capital
You will need to register and incorporate your business. Banks in Hong Kong normally require a minimum deposit –-this varies depending on the bank. If you have existing company overseas, you can submit proof of your business for an account. Banks may charge between HK$10,000 to HK$15,000 (US$1,200 to US$1,900) to process the account and will require that you maintain a minimum balance of around HK$20,000 (US$2,500).
Please bear in mind that there are nationals, from a number of countries that might experience tighter restrictions in setting up account.
2. A registered office address in Hong Kong
While it’s necessary to see proof of a registered office address, it doesn’t need to be the permanent office location. There’s no need to rush and rent out a space immediately –-just have an address to send your formal documents to (that is not a residential address).
You can also look into renting a virtual office that will not only provide you with a business address but also a professional team to help with your administrative tasks!
3. Show evidence that you will employ Hong Kong locals in your business plan
This is to ensure that local jobs are being accounted for and that your business will contribute to Hong Kong’s economy and job market. Naturally, it would be a good idea anyway to employ a Hong Kong local.
4. Have a polished CV that shows that you are established
Like applying for a job, you’ll want to make sure that you sound both credible and qualified. The CV should be up-to-date, and should list all your academic credentials. Make sure to photocopy of all graduation certificates or proof of academic qualifications.
5. Employ a company secretary –-this can be anyone who is a Hong Kong permanent resident
You will also need a shareholder and director, though the same person can fulfill all three roles (though the sole director of a company cannot also be the secretary of the company).
Alternatively, if your goal is just to start with entrepreneurship in Hong Kong, there is a relatively new scheme set up by the government called the Entrepreneur visa. To be considered, you will need to apply and be accepted into one of the sponsored programs:
- StartmeupHK Venture Programme (InvestHK)
- Incu-App, Incu-Bio and Incu-Tech programmes administered by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
- Cyberport Incubation Programme
- Enterprise Support Scheme administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission
- Design Incubation Programme administered by the Hong Kong Design Centre.
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