Hong Kong Companies
Hong Kong is the traditional gateway to China and arguably the logical choice as a regional base for Asia Pacific. Hong Kong has developed into an international financial centre and is well served by local banks and branches of international banks. Hong Kong can be summarized as reputable, business friendly and importantly a jurisdiction with a very attractive system of taxation including low rates of business tax (most international business can be legally transacted tax - free in Hong Kong), no value added tax, no capital gains tax and no withholding taxes.
Hong Kong is often criticized as being an offshore tax haven. In reality, it is not a tax haven but simply a low tax jurisdiction. Hong Kong is also one of the jurisdictions that has committed itself to the international standard on tax information and exchange. As a result, an offshore company in Hong Kong is not viewed negatively or with suspicion.
Ease of offshore company setup
Hong Kong is ranked as one of the easiest places to do business in the world. Setting up a Hong Kong company is simple and easy, devoid of unnecessary bureaucracy or red-tape. Moreover, Hong Kong adopts a favorable foreign ownership policy by entitling the shares of a company to be 100% foreign-owned. There are no special authorizations that are required from government authorities prior to a Hong Kong company setup.
Advantages of the Hong Kong company formation
- One of the major advantages of Hong Kong company incorporation is that it will not be perceived as a tax avoidance vehicle, as Hong Kong is a major trading entity in its own right. There is no capital gains tax and exchange control. The basic law of Hong Kong guarantees free trade as well as low taxes for a Hong Kong company.
- Although Hong Kong does not have any specific law that governs offshore company formation, it is one of the most popular jurisdictions for setting up an offshore company owing to its low tax regime, absence of foreign exchange controls, political and economic stability, ease of offshore company setup, etc. Setting up an offshore company in Hong Kong is the perfect vehicle for conducting offshore banking activities, international trade, investment activities, and for asset protection.
- Hong Kong has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Asia and internationally, at 16.5%. Combined with low personal income tax, HK’s tax system helps to attract capital investment.
- A properly structured Hong Kong company enjoys legal tax exemption on profits sourced from outside Hong Kong, as outlined by the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department.
- Hong Kong has been added to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) white list after complying with OECD guidelines. In this way Hong Kong provides a reputable image for your company in a respected jurisdiction.
Directors & Shareholders
By statute Hong Kong companies must have a minimum of one director and one shareholder. One person can be both a director and a shareholder. There is no statutory requirement that the shareholders or directors be residents of Hong Kong. They can be individual persons or corporations.
Hong Kong company incorporation requires a registered office in Hong Kong and a Hong Kong resident individual or Hong Kong corporation to act as the secretary. We can provide a registered office address and secretary to comply with these statutory requirements for Hong Kong company registration.
Hong Kong companies (including the "shelf" ones) are usually incorporated with the authorized share capital of HK$10,000 divided into 10,000 shares of HK$1.00 each.
Forming a company in Hong Kong
Our associates in Hong Kong focus on professional company formation and related corporate services. Our office’s formation services cover companies with jurisdictions in Hong Kong and more than 20 other tax free offshore countries such as, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, Seychelles, Samoa, Belize, Mauritius, Panama, Cyprus and many others. Clients can place their companies in our Hong Kong office and absolute confidentiality is ensured.
Documents needed for forming a Hong Kong Company
- A valid full passport,
- A copy of a utility bill for example electricity, telephone bill (not older than three months) showing the home address and party name,
- A copy of a bank statement or credit card statement showing the home address and party name.
Requirements for opening a bank account in Hong Kong for a company established in Hong Kong
- Certificate of Incorporation,
- Business Registration Certificate,
- Memorandum and Articles of Association,
- Latest Annual Return with subsequent statutory forms and share transfer documents (if the company does not have the latest Annual Return, all the statutory forms are required).
For Hong Kong Companies, filing of audited annual accounts to the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department is required. We can assist clients with accounting and audit service arrangements in Hong Kong. Profits derived outside of Hong Kong are not taxable in Hong Kong but filing of audited annual accounts are still required.
- Accounting, auditing and tax services,
- Bank account opening and related supporting services,
- Credit and debit card application advisory services,
- Trade support services,
- Tax advisory services,
- Mainland China company formation services,
- Virtual office services and other business support services.
Non-Hong Kong Companies
Opening a bank account in Hong Kong without visiting Hong Kong in person
Opening a bank account in Hong Kong for a company established overseas without visiting Hong Kong in person
Our associates in Hong Kong have been granted the “Qualified Intermediary (QI)” a qualification by HSBC and Hang Seng Bank Hong Kong. Through this programme we can help overseas clients to open company bank accounts with HSBC and Hang Seng Bank, Hong Kong without the normal requirement of the clients coming to Hong Kong to meet with the bank manager.
Clients can operate their HSBC bank accounts in their home countries through HSBC’s internet banking system.
Required documents for opening a bank account with HSBC Hong Kong for non-Hong Kong companies
- Certificate of Incorporation and subsequent certificate of change of name (if any),
- Business License (if any),
- Memorandum and Article of Association and any amending resolutions,
- Certificate of Incumbency (COI) issued within 6 months,
- For company with nominee shareholders-details of ultimate beneficial owner(s),
- All Directors’/Shareholders’/authorized signatories/beneficial owners’ passport copies and residential address proof (utility bill issued within 3 months),
- For Directors or authorized signatories are corporate entities, Certificate of Incorporation, Business License, M&A of these corporate entities,
- A simple (about 2 pages) business plan.
Once the bank account is opened our clients can access to HSBC’s various investment services which include international fund investments.
Upon receiving all required documents the time frame for opening bank accounts is about 5 days.
The HSBC, Hong Kong bank account includes the following features
- Multi-currencies saving account for 11 currencies (i.e. HKD, THB, JPY, USD, EURO, CAD, GBP, AUD, NZD, CHF, SGD),
- Hong Kong Dollar current account,
- ATM card (debit card) which can be used worldwide (maximum cash withdrawal per day is equivalent HKD 25,000),
- Internet banking,
- Phone banking (Clients must go to Hong Kong to apply for phone banking service).
For completing the HSBC bank account opening the following information will be needed:
- Country where the head office is located,
- Number of employees of the company,
- Estimated annual turnover,
- For Directors-how many years of relevant business experience they possess,
- Reason of opening bank account in Hong Kong,
- Country of source of funds,
- Business address,
- Office telephone number, mobile phone number and email address of directors.