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Setting up an NGO

Updated: Jul 18, 2023


Setting up an NGO | Bestar
Setting up an NGO | Bestar

What is NGO?


An NGO, or non-governmental organization, is a non-profit organization that is not affiliated with any government. NGOs can be involved in a wide range of activities, including social welfare, environmental protection, and human rights advocacy.


In Hong Kong, there are many NGOs that are working to improve the lives of people in the city. Some of the most well-known NGOs in Hong Kong include:

  • Hong Kong Red Cross

  • Hong Kong Christian Service

  • Hong Kong Caritas

  • Oxfam Hong Kong

  • Save the Children Hong Kong

These NGOs provide a wide range of services, including:

  • Social welfare services such as elderly care, youth services, and disability services

  • Environmental protection services such as recycling and waste management

  • Human rights advocacy such as fighting for the rights of refugees and migrants

NGOs play an important role in Hong Kong society. They provide much-needed services to people in need, and they help to raise awareness of important issues.


Here are some of the benefits of NGOs in Hong Kong:

  • They provide essential services to people in need. NGOs often provide services that the government is unable or unwilling to provide, such as social welfare services, environmental protection services, and human rights advocacy.

  • They help to raise awareness of important issues. NGOs often work to raise awareness of important issues, such as poverty, climate change, and human rights abuses. This can help to put pressure on the government to take action on these issues.

  • They promote civic engagement. NGOs can help to promote civic engagement by providing opportunities for people to get involved in their communities. This can help to build a more vibrant and democratic society.

Overall, NGOs play an important role in Hong Kong society. They provide essential services to people in need, they help to raise awareness of important issues, and they promote civic engagement.


Setting up an NGO


Here are the steps on how to set up a NGO in Hong Kong:

  1. Choose a name for your NGO. The name must be unique and not already in use by another organization. You can check the availability of a name by searching the Companies Registry database.

  2. Draft your Articles of Association. The Articles of Association are the governing document of your NGO. They will set out the purpose, objectives, and structure of your organization.

  3. Appoint directors and a company secretary. Directors are responsible for the overall management of your NGO. The company secretary is responsible for ensuring that your NGO complies with the law.

  4. File the necessary paperwork with the Companies Registry. This includes the Articles of Association, a copy of your passport, and a completed questionnaire.

  5. Obtain a Business Registration Certificate. This is a requirement for all businesses in Hong Kong, including NGOs.

  6. Apply for tax exemption. If your NGO is classified as a charity, you can apply for tax exemption from the Inland Revenue Department.

Here are some additional tips for setting up a NGO in Hong Kong:

  • Do your research. Before you start the process, it is important to do your research and understand the legal requirements for setting up an NGO in Hong Kong.

  • Get professional help. If you are not familiar with the legal process, it is a good idea to get professional help from a lawyer or accountant.

  • Start small. Don't try to do too much too soon. Start with a clear focus and a small team, and then gradually grow your organization as you gain experience.

  • Network with other NGOs. There are many other NGOs in Hong Kong that can provide support and advice. Networking with other NGOs can help you to learn from their experiences and to find partners for joint projects.

Why use a Guarantee Company as a Vehicle for an NGO


There are several reasons why a guarantee company is a good vehicle for an NGO in Hong Kong.

  • Limited liability: The members of a guarantee company have limited liability, which means that their personal assets are not at risk if the company is wound up. This can be a major advantage for NGOs, as it gives donors and volunteers peace of mind knowing that their money and time are not at risk.

  • Transparency: Guarantee companies are subject to the same legal requirements as other companies, which means that they must be transparent about their finances and operations. This can be helpful for NGOs, as it can help to build trust with donors and the public.

  • Flexibility: Guarantee companies are relatively flexible structures, which means that they can be adapted to meet the specific needs of an NGO. This can be a major advantage, as it allows NGOs to be more responsive to change.

  • Tax benefits: In some cases, NGOs that are incorporated as guarantee companies may be eligible for tax benefits. This can be a significant financial advantage, especially for small NGOs.

Overall, a guarantee company is a good vehicle for an NGO in Hong Kong because it offers limited liability, transparency, flexibility, and potential tax benefits.


Here are some additional benefits of using a guarantee company as a vehicle for an NGO in Hong Kong:

  • Ease of registration: The process of registering a guarantee company is relatively straightforward, which can save time and money.

  • Access to funding: Some donors and funders may prefer to give money to guarantee companies, as they perceive them to be more stable and reliable.

  • Good reputation: The reputation of guarantee companies is generally good, which can help to attract donors and volunteers.

If you are considering setting up an NGO in Hong Kong, it is recommend that you consider using a guarantee company as your legal structure. It is a good option that offers a number of advantages.


Registration of an NGO in the Form of a Guarantee Company


Here are the steps on how to register a NGO in the form of a guarantee company in Hong Kong:

  1. Choose a name for your NGO. The name must be unique and not already in use by another organization. You can check the availability of a name by searching the Companies Registry database.

  2. Draft your Articles of Association. The Articles of Association are the governing document of your NGO. They will set out the purpose, objectives, and structure of your organization.

  3. Appoint directors and a company secretary. Directors are responsible for the overall management of your NGO. The company secretary is responsible for ensuring that your NGO complies with the law.

  4. File the necessary paperwork with the Companies Registry. This includes the Articles of Association, a copy of your passport, and a completed questionnaire.

  5. Obtain a Business Registration Certificate. This is a requirement for all businesses in Hong Kong, including NGOs.

  6. Apply for tax exemption. If your NGO is classified as a charity, you can apply for tax exemption from the Inland Revenue Department.

Here are some additional tips for registering a NGO in the form of a guarantee company in Hong Kong:

  • Do your research. Before you start the process, it is important to do your research and understand the legal requirements for registering a NGO in Hong Kong.

  • Get professional help. If you are not familiar with the legal process, it is a good idea to get professional help from a lawyer or accountant.

  • Start small. Don't try to do too much too soon. Start with a clear focus and a small team, and then gradually grow your organization as you gain experience.

  • Network with other NGOs. There are many other NGOs in Hong Kong that can provide support and advice. Networking with other NGOs can help you to learn from their experiences and to find partners for joint projects.

Specific requirements for registering a NGO in the form of a guarantee company in Hong Kong:

  • The name of the NGO must end with "Limited by Guarantee" or "有限公司".

  • The NGO must have at least two directors, and all of its directors must be natural persons.

  • The NGO must have a company secretary.

  • The NGO must have a clear statement of its purpose and objectives in its Articles of Association.

  • The NGO must have a constitution that sets out its rules and procedures.

How Bestar can help in Setting up a NGO


Bestar is a company that provides a range of services to help NGOs in Hong Kong, including:

  • Setup advice: Bestar can provide advice on the process of setting up an NGO in Hong Kong, as well as on the legal requirements for NGOs in Hong Kong.

  • Accounting services: Bestar can provide accounting services to NGOs, including bookkeeping, tax filing, and financial reporting.


Bestar has a team of experienced professionals who can help NGOs in Hong Kong to achieve their goals. They have a deep understanding of the legal and regulatory environment in Hong Kong, and they have a proven track record of success in helping NGOs to grow and thrive.


Here are some of the specific ways that Bestar can help in setting up a NGO in Hong Kong:

  • Provide guidance on the legal requirements for setting up an NGO in Hong Kong.

  • Draft the Articles of Association for the NGO.

  • Assist with the appointment of directors and a company secretary.

  • File the necessary paperwork with the Companies Registry.

  • Obtain a Business Registration Certificate for the NGO.

  • Apply for tax exemption for the NGO, if applicable.


Fees

Incorporation

HK$

With 25 members or less

  • (if delivered in electronic form)

  • (if delivered in hard copy form)

155

170

​With number of members exceeding 25 but not exceeding 100

  • (if delivered in electronic form)

  • (if delivered in hard copy form)

305

340

​With number of members exceeding 100, for every additional 50 members (or less) after first 100 members

  • (if delivered in electronic form) (subject to a maximum fee of HK$925)

  • (if delivered in hard copy form) (subject to a maximum fee of HK$1,025)

18


20

​Business Registration

​​HK$

​1-year certificate

  • Fee

  • Levy

2,000

150

​​3-year certificate

  • Fee

  • Levy

​5,200

450


Connect with Us


If you are interested in setting up an NGO in Hong Kong, contact Bestar to discuss your needs. We can provide you with a free consultation and help you to get started on the right foot.




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