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Can foreigners set up company in Hong Kong?



Can foreigners set up company in Hong Kong?


Foreigners absolutely can set up companies in Hong Kong. In fact, Hong Kong is known for being a business-friendly environment for foreign investors. Here are some of the key points:


  • Foreign ownership: There is no restriction on foreign ownership of companies in Hong Kong. This means you can own 100% of your company.

  • Minimums: There is no minimum capital requirement to set up a company in Hong Kong. You also don't need to have a local director, although there is a requirement to appoint a Hong Kong resident as a company representative.

  • Process: The process of registering a company in Hong Kong can be done online.


Hong Kong company registration for foreigners


Hong Kong is a well-established international financial center and a popular destination for foreign entrepreneurs. The process of registering a company in Hong Kong is relatively straightforward, especially for foreigners. Here's a breakdown of the key steps involved:


Preparation


  • Research: Familiarize yourself with the Companies Registry (https://www.cr.gov.hk/) and Inland Revenue Department (IRD) to understand the requirements and regulations.

  • Company Structure:

  • Choose a unique and available company name by conducting a name search through the Companies Registry.

  • Decide on a company structure, with a private limited company being the most common choice for foreigners.

  • Determine the initial share capital (there is no minimum requirement).

  • Appoint at least one director (you can be your own director and there is no residency requirement) and a company secretary (usually a Hong Kong resident).

  • Secure a local business address for your company.


Registration Documents


  • Prepare the incorporation form (NNC1), Articles of Association, and Notice to Business Registration Office (IRBR1). These documents can be found on the Companies Registry website.


Submission & Fees


  • Submit the completed documents along with the registration fee to the Companies Registry. You can submit electronically or in person. The fee varies depending on the filing method, but typically ranges from HKD 1,500 to HKD 1,700.


Business Registration


  • After successful incorporation, register your business with the IRD to obtain a Business Registration Certificate. This certificate is required for opening a corporate bank account and other business activities.


Post-Registration


  • Open a corporate bank account.

  • Obtain a company seal.

  • Maintain statutory records as required by the Companies Registry.


Additional Tips


  • Consider using a formation agent to assist you with the process, especially if you are unfamiliar with Hong Kong regulations or don't have time to handle the paperwork yourself.

  • There are many resources available online and in libraries to help you learn more about company registration in Hong Kong.

  • Consult with a professional advisor, such as a lawyer or accountant, for personalized advice on your specific situation.


By following these steps, you can successfully register your company in Hong Kong and start doing business in this dynamic and exciting market.


How do I set up a limited company in HK?


Setting up a limited company in Hong Kong involves several steps:


  1. Preparation:

  • Research: Familiarize yourself with relevant organizations like the Companies Registry and Inland Revenue Department (IRD).

  1. Company Structure:

  • Name: Choose a unique and available company name (https://www.cr.gov.hk/).

  • Structure: Decide on a company structure (private limited company is most common).

  • Share Capital: Determine the initial share capital (no minimum required).

  • Director & Secretary: Appoint at least one director (no residency requirement) and a company secretary (usually a Hong Kong resident).

  • Registered Address: Secure a local business address for your company.

  1. Registration Documents:

  • Prepare the incorporation form (NNC1), Articles of Association, and Notice to Business Registration Office (IRBR1).

  1. Submission & Fees:

  • Submit the documents along with the registration fee to the Companies Registry (online or in person).

  1. Business Registration:

  • After incorporation, register your business with the IRD to obtain a Business Registration Certificate.

  1. Post-Registration:

  • Open a corporate bank account, obtain a company seal, and maintain statutory records.


Who can be company secretary in Hong Kong?


The company secretary in Hong Kong can be either of two options:


  1. Individual:

  • A natural person with the necessary skills and experience. There's no age restriction.

  • Importantly, they must be a Hong Kong resident (ordinarily residing there).

  1. Corporate Body:

  • A firm specializing in providing company secretarial services.

  • This company must be registered in Hong Kong and hold a valid Trust and Company Service Provider (TCSP) License (since March 2018).


Additional points to consider:


  • The sole director of a private company cannot also be the company secretary (unless there's more than one director).

  • For public companies, the company secretary needs to have a specific qualification like being a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) or a Solicitor or Certified Public Accountant (CPA).


How much does it cost to set up a limited company in Hong Kong?


The cost of setting up a limited company in Hong Kong can vary depending on several factors, but here's a breakdown of the main cost components:


  • Mandatory Government Fees:

  • Company Registration Fee: Around HKD 1,500 - 1,700 (depending on filing method).

  • Business Registration Certificate: Around HKD 2,200 (for a 1-year certificate).

  • Additional Services:

  • Formation Agent Fees: Range from HKD 8,500 to HKD 30,000 or more, depending on the services included.

  • Company Secretary Services: Can vary based on the chosen service provider and level of support. Expect a range of HKD 7,773 (digital) to HKD 10,703 (traditional).

  • Registered Address Service: Costs can vary depending on location and service type.


Here are some ballpark figures:


  • Minimum Cost (DIY): As low as HKD 3,700 (government fees + electronic filing) if you handle everything yourself and don't need a company secretary or registered address service.

  • Average Cost (Formation Agent): Around HKD 9,000 - 12,000 which typically includes government fees, basic formation services, and a registered address.

  • Full-Service Package: Can reach HKD 30,000 or more and may include additional services like opening a corporate bank account or ongoing compliance support.


Tips for saving on costs:


  • Consider a DIY approach if you have the time and expertise to handle the registration process yourself.

  • Compare quotes from different formation agents to find the best value.

  • Look for packages that bundle essential services at a discounted rate.


How Bestar HK can Help


Here's how Bestar HK can can help foreigners set up a company in Hong Kong:


Bestar HK might offer services to help foreigners with company setup in a few ways:


  • Guiding Through the Process: The process can involve complexities for foreigners unfamiliar with Hong Kong regulations. Bestar HK provides guidance on the steps involved, ensuring everything is done correctly.

  • Documentation Assistance: We help with preparing and filing the necessary registration documents (NNC1 form, Articles of Association, etc.)

  • Liaison with Government Agencies: Interaction with the Companies Registry or Inland Revenue Department (IRD) might be involved. Bestar HK could act as a liaison, facilitating communication.

  • Company Secretary Services: As mentioned earlier, a Hong Kong resident secretary is often required. Bestar HK acts as the company secretary.

  • Registered Address Service: Providing a local business address can be a requirement. Bestar HK offers a registered address service for your company.


Check with Bestar HK:


  • Our website has a dedicated section outlining our Hong Kong company formation services for foreigners.

  • We offer various service packages. Knowing exactly what's included and the costs will help you decide which fits your needs and budget.


Bestar HK is the right choice for your company setup needs in Hong Kong.






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