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Setting Up an Import and Export Trade Company in Hong Kong

Updated: May 18

Setting Up an Import and Export Trade Company in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a prime location to set up an import and export trade company due to its strategic position, business-friendly environment, and efficient trade infrastructure. Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started:

1. Company Incorporation:

  • Choose a Business Structure: Decide whether a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC) best suits your needs. LLCs offer limited liability protection, making them preferable for most trading businesses.

  • Register Your Company: Register your chosen business structure with the Hong Kong Companies Registry. You'll need a company name, registered office address, directors' and shareholders' information, and share capital details.

2. Obtain Licenses and Permits:

  • Business Registration Certificate: Apply for a Business Registration Certificate from the Inland Revenue Department. This allows you to operate legally and pay taxes.

  • Import/Export License: Depending on the goods you trade, you may need an import/export license from the Customs and Excise Department.

3. Set Up Trading Operations:

  • Open a Business Bank Account: Choose a bank familiar with import/export businesses to facilitate smooth financial transactions.

  • Find Suppliers and Buyers: Research and establish relationships with reliable suppliers and buyers for your target products.

  • Arrange Logistics: Partner with freight forwarders and shipping companies to handle the movement of goods.

  • Obtain Insurance: Consider trade credit insurance and cargo insurance to protect your business from financial risks.

4. Import and Export Clearance:

  • Declare Imports and Exports: File import/export declarations with the Customs and Excise Department within 14 days of arrival or departure.

  • Clear Customs: Prepare necessary documents like invoices, bills of lading, and packing lists to facilitate customs clearance.

  • Pay Customs Duties and Taxes: Understand and comply with relevant customs duties and taxes based on the goods you trade.

5. Additional Considerations:

  • Marketing and Branding: Develop a strong marketing strategy to attract customers and build brand awareness.

  • Compliance: Stay updated on import/export regulations and ensure your business complies with all applicable laws.


Remember, setting up a successful import/export business requires careful planning, execution, and ongoing adaptation. By following these steps and utilizing available resources, you can increase your chances of establishing a thriving trade company in Hong Kong.

How Bestar can Help

Company Incorporation:

  • Guide you through the registration process: Bestar can take care of the paperwork and formalities involved in registering your company with the Hong Kong Companies Registry.

  • Advise on the best business structure: We can help you choose the most suitable structure for your trade company, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or Limited Liability Company (LLC).

  • Assist with opening a corporate bank account: Bestar can connect you with banks familiar with import/export businesses and facilitate the account opening process.

Licenses and Permits:

  • Identify necessary licenses and permits: Depending on the products you trade, Bestar can advise on the licenses and permits required from the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department or other relevant authorities.

  • Assist with application process: We can help you prepare and submit the necessary documentation for license and permit applications.

Tax Planning and Compliance:

  • Advise on import/export tax regulations: Bestar can help you understand the tax implications of your import and export activities and ensure compliance with Hong Kong tax laws.

  • Develop tax-efficient strategies: We can advise on strategies to minimize your tax liability and optimize your tax position.

Accounting and Bookkeeping:

  • Set up your accounting system: Bestar can help you establish a proper accounting system for your trade company, ensuring accurate recordkeeping and financial reporting.

  • Prepare financial statements: We can prepare various financial statements like balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.

  • Manage payroll and bookkeeping: Bestar can handle your payroll processing and maintain your business ledgers for efficient financial management.

Benefits of using Bestar:

  • Experience: We have experience assisting numerous businesses with setting up and operating in Hong Kong, including import/export companies.

  • Local expertise: Our Hong Kong office team understands the local regulations, tax laws, and business practices specific to import/export activities.

  • Comprehensive services: We offer a wide range of services under one roof, saving you time and effort.

  • Convenience: Our Hong Kong office location makes it easy to meet with us and discuss your needs directly.

Overall, Bestar can be a valuable resource for setting up and managing your import/export trade company in Hong Kong. We can provide expert guidance, handle essential tasks, and help you navigate the intricacies of the local business environment.

Contact Bestar directly to discuss your specific needs and see how we can best assist you with your import/export trade company in Hong Kong.

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