Enterprise Support Scheme administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission
The Enterprise Support Scheme (ESS) is a funding programme administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of the Hong Kong Government. The ESS provides financial support to Hong Kong companies for their research and development (R&D) projects. The scheme aims to promote technological advancement and innovation in Hong Kong's industries.
The ESS offers two types of funding:
Cash Rebate Scheme (CRS): The CRS provides a cash rebate of up to 50% of eligible R&D expenditure, with a maximum rebate of HK$10 million per project and HK$20 million per company per year.
Matching Grant Scheme (MGS): The MGS provides a matching grant of up to 80% of eligible R&D expenditure, with a maximum grant of HK$40 million per project.
To be eligible for ESS funding, companies must:
Be incorporated in Hong Kong;
Have a current business registration certificate;
Not be a government subvented organisation;
Be engaged in R&D activities that are relevant to the development of new or improved products, processes or technologies;
Have a clear and achievable R&D plan;
Have a strong track record of innovation;
Have the financial resources to carry out the R&D project;
Be committed to commercializing the results of the R&D project.
The ESS is a competitive funding programme, and companies are encouraged to submit high-quality applications. The ITC will assess applications based on the following criteria:
Technical merit of the R&D project: The project should be innovative, technically feasible and have a clear potential for commercial success.
Impact of the R&D project on Hong Kong's economy: The project should contribute to the development of new or improved products, processes or technologies that will benefit Hong Kong's industries.
Applicant's capabilities: The applicant should have the necessary expertise and resources to carry out the R&D project.
The deadline for the next round of ESS applications is 19 February 2024. For more information on the ESS, please visit the ITC website.
Why Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a global business hub and Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China. It is renowned for its pro-business environment, free market economy, and strategic location in Asia. Here are some compelling reasons why Hong Kong is an attractive destination for businesses and entrepreneurs:
Strategic Location and Connectivity: Hong Kong is situated ideally at the crossroads of Asia, providing easy access to mainland China and other Asian markets. It boasts world-class transportation infrastructure, including a sophisticated airport, deep-water port, and extensive rail network.
Ease of Doing Business: Hong Kong consistently ranks among the top economies in the world for ease of doing business. The government has implemented various initiatives to streamline business registration, taxation, and regulatory compliance.
Free Market Economy: Hong Kong adheres to a free market economic system, characterized by low taxes, minimal government intervention, and open competition. This fosters a dynamic and entrepreneurial environment.
Low Tax Regime: Hong Kong has a simple and competitive tax system with one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world, at only 16.5%. There are no capital gains taxes, dividends taxes, or withholding taxes.
Skilled and Talented Workforce: Hong Kong has a highly educated and skilled workforce with a strong work ethic. The city is also home to a large expatriate community, providing access to diverse expertise and global perspectives.
Financial Hub and Capital Markets: Hong Kong is a leading international financial center with a sophisticated banking system, robust capital markets, and a strong presence of financial institutions.
Legal and Regulatory Framework: Hong Kong has a well-established and respected legal system based on common law. The regulatory framework is transparent and predictable, providing businesses with a stable and secure environment.
Technology Infrastructure: Hong Kong has a well-developed technology infrastructure, including high-speed internet access, advanced telecommunications networks, and a supportive ecosystem for technology startups.
Quality of Life: Hong Kong offers a high quality of life, with a vibrant cosmopolitan culture, excellent healthcare, and world-class educational institutions.
Gateway to China: Hong Kong provides a unique gateway to mainland China, offering access to its vast market, manufacturing capabilities, and supply chains.
In summary, Hong Kong's strategic location, business-friendly environment, free market economy, low tax regime, skilled workforce, financial hub status, strong legal framework, advanced technology infrastructure, high quality of life, and gateway to China make it an attractive destination for businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to expand into Asia and beyond.
How Bestar can Help
Bestar can provide valuable assistance to companies seeking to apply for and manage funding under the Enterprise Support Scheme (ESS) administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of Hong Kong. Here are some specific ways Bestar Accounting can help:
Assess ESS Eligibility: Bestar can carefully review your company's profile and financial situation to determine if it meets the ESS eligibility criteria. This includes verifying your company's incorporation status, business registration, R&D activities, financial resources, and commitment to commercializing the results of the R&D project.
Prepare ESS Applications: Bestar can assist in preparing comprehensive and well-structured ESS applications that adhere to the ITC's guidelines and requirements. This involves gathering and organizing relevant documents, drafting compelling proposals, and ensuring all necessary information is accurately presented.
Manage ESS Funding: Bestar can help manage the ESS funding process, including tracking expenditures, preparing financial statements, and submitting required reports to the ITC. This ensures proper accountability and compliance with the ESS funding terms and conditions.
Provide Tax and Accounting Advice: Bestar can provide expert tax and accounting advice related to the ESS, such as addressing tax implications, handling financial records, and ensuring tax compliance throughout the R&D project and funding period.
Offer Ongoing Support: Bestar can offer ongoing support and guidance throughout the ESS application and funding process, addressing any questions or concerns that may arise. This includes providing timely updates on the status of the application and addressing any challenges that may occur.
By leveraging Bestar's expertise in financial management, taxation, and regulatory compliance, companies can increase their chances of successfully securing ESS funding and effectively managing the project finances. This can ultimately contribute to the successful completion of the R&D project and the advancement of technological innovation in Hong Kong.
Contact Bestar today!
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