Legal Services in Hong Kong
Our law firm in Hong Kong has extensive experience in commercial and business matters and has provided legal aid to many local and international companies. We specialize in business consultancy services for companies and entrepreneurs in Hong Kong. Our lawyers in Hong Kong specialize in a number of different areas that are important for any business owner, such as commercial law, banking and financial matters, real estate transactions, notary issues, immigration to Hong Kong and residency matters and also family law or criminal law.
|Commercial litigation assistance offered by our lawyers in Hong Kong||
Business disputes such as breach of contract, shareholder disputes, class-action lawsuits
Company formation in
|Assistance during the entire company incorporation phase, Hong Kong Companies Registry submissions, applications for special permits and licenses|
|Banking regulation compliance, assistance in loan transactions, specialized assistance for companies in the banking and financial sector|
Drafting employment agreements, assistance for employers who wish to know their duties and responsibilities, representation in disputes involving employees
|International investments in Hong Kong||Mergers and acquisitions in Hong Kong, assistance for branches, franchising matters|
Tax compliance in Hong Kong, legal counsel on the applicable tax laws and regulations
Assistance for bankrupt companies, assistance
|Intellectual property||Trademark verification and application, trademark opposition, other IP rights issues such as those concerning patents or designs|
|Debt recovery with the help of our lawyers in Hong Kong||Amicable debt recovery, negotiation, payment plans, court representation as needed|
|Real estate issues||Commercial and residential property sale and purchase, leases and tenancies, transfer of equity and others|
|Residential conveyancing||Individuals can sell and buy property with the help of our lawyers in Hong Kong|
|Individual employment||Legal guidance on workplace rights, unfair dismissal or harassment, assistance for foreign employees|
|Civil litigation assisted by our experts||Legal representation in court and legal counsel in all types of civil litigation cases|
|Divorce and family law||Applying for divorce in Hong Kong, making child arrangements, property division after separation, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, wills and probate|
|Immigration in Hong Kong||Assistance for observing the entry requirements, applying for the right type of residence permit, obtaining the right of abode in Hong Kong|
Hong Kong is an ideal location for investments in China, not only because of its geographical position, which has been a historic advantage but also due to a large number of inhabitants and consumers. Hong Kong is a key location on the international business map and many foreign investors choose to open companies in this city.
The table below highlights some of the most requested legal services provided by our team of experts:
The services highlighted above are directed towards specific corporate needs.
However, our team also specializes in Civil Law and Family Law matters and can assist any foreign investors living and working in Hong Kong. Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions about residency permits in Hong Kong, working or living as an expat here. Our immigration lawyers in Hong Kong are able to answer any questions.
Legal representation in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and this gives the city a special statute and large degree of autonomy from mainland China. The city’s political and judicial systems are independent of those in China and our attorneys in Hong Kong specialize in the legislation for foreign investments applicable in this special Chinese administrative region.
Hong Kong’s legal system has a Civil Law that resembles and follows the English Common Law system. The court system consists of a number of distinct courts and other adjudicative bodies. Our Hong Kong law firm offers legal representation in courts and administrative tribunals. According to each case, we can also offer our clients advice or referral information. Depending on your needs, our Hong Kong lawyers can offer you legal assistance.
Our team has a strong focus on corporate and commercial litigation, however, our litigation lawyers in Hong Kong provide adequate solutions in all matters related to civil and criminal litigation. When company owners are in need of legal advice or representation or when legal action has been taken against the company (as well as when their company is the one to be the first to take legal action), our team is able to help with court representation. We also offer special services for the enforcement of foreign judgments in Hong Kong.
As far as corporate liquidation is concerned, our team has experience in handling cases involving shareholder and director disputes, licensing and franchising agreement disputes, commercial or manufacturing agreement litigation as well as business transfer, merger and acquisition cases. A special division from our team is able to handle litigation involving intellectual property.
We are able to assist company owners in Hong Kong, both foreign and local ones, in minimizing their risks as well as protecting their corporate interests.
Our team includes a separate division that specializes in arbitration in Hong Kong. This alternative dispute resolution method can be faster and more cost-effective both in case of local and international disputes. We can help represent clients who initiate the arbitration proceedings in commercial cases or for international trade disputes. We can also help clients draw up arbitration clauses and include them in their commercial contracts, either business agreements or employment contracts.
Company incorporation in Hong Kong
Because Hong Kong is a world-renowned business destination, some of the most frequent requests from our clients include company incorporation procedures or specialized counseling for business investments in Hong Kong. Our law firm in HK also specializes in business incorporation and can help you open a company in Hong Kong by guiding you every step of the way.
The services we provide for entrepreneurs in Hong Kong include business counseling for choosing the right type of company followed by preparing and drafting any and all necessary incorporation documents and finally, submitting all the documentation and registering the requested company. Our lawyer in Hong Kong will make sure that the business observes all the legal requirements and that it is incorporated according to the legislation for foreign investments in Hong Kong.
Our attorneys in Hong Kong can also supervise and offer you counseling in any company merger or acquisition in Hong Kong. Accordingly, we can help you obtain any special permits and licenses that may be required to perform special business activities in Hong Kong. If your company is experiencing any financial difficulty, our attorneys in Hong Kong can also handle the liquidation procedure.
Our corporate and commercial team is highly specialized and provides complete services, as needed by companies in Hong Kong. We offer complete company formation services as well as assist in company mergers but can also help investors with the following services:
- Insolvency: we can assist companies throughout the liquidation procedure, whether it is compulsory or voluntary; in those cases in which the company is no longer able to satisfy the claims of the creditors, a lawyer in Hong Kong from our team can provide the needed legal aid for filing for bankruptcy; when the company can be saved, our team can also assist with the legal aspects of business reorganization.
- Tax planning: companies in Hong Kong can employ a set of measures aiming at reducing (not illegally avoiding) their tax burden; the tax minimization practices can be implemented in some cases and our lawyers who specialize in the relevant tax laws can help foreign investors with tax consultancy.
- Estate planning: succession planning for business owners in Hong Kong is handled by our team of lawyers who specialize in the creation of trusts and also in drawing up wills; this can be an important process and it can cover both the personal and the business assets of a company owner in Hong Kong.
Part of our team also specializes in merger and acquisition issues. Company mergers may be a preferred manner in which some foreign entrepreneurs will choose to invest in Hong Kong, as opposed to starting a new business. Working with a team of professionals who are well aware of the laws in force for this matter will help simplify the transfers that need to take place and will also allow the investor to rest assured that the company purchase is a safe one. In M&A cases, our team will assist in the pre-purchase due diligence as well as for drafting the legal documents and reviewing any existing ones.
We invite you to watch the following video about our services:
Specialized services offered by our lawyers in Hong Kong
The services we can provide for you and your company in Hong Kong are varied and personalized for the requirements and preferences of each of our clients. Our Hong Kong attorneys can also offer you personalized tax advice and planning.
We can also handle any cases involving employees in Hong Kong and making the necessary arrangements for obtaining any necessary residency permits for working or living here.
One of the most important aspects of Hong Kong legislation refers to the Maritime Law. Our professional team also includes specialized attorneys in this area that can help clients with a variety of matters, ranging from boat registration to court litigation in international disputes.
Import and export assistance can be offered as needed for investors who wish to engage in trading in Hong Kong and need to know more about the local laws.
LawFirmHongKong.com is a full-service law firm and our team of attorneys specialize in all areas of law. Below, we describe some of the additional services we offer, according to their corresponding law:
- Employment: our lawyers who specialize in the Hong Kong Employment Ordinance can provide complete legal services to those business owners interested in knowing more about their duties and liabilities as employers; we can help draw up employment contracts for hiring employees or handle the matter of dismissals and even the dismissal of more than several employees in case of company restructuring or mergers.
- Intellectual property: brand protection can be very important for some types of companies in Hong Kong and our team is ready to provide the needed legal counseling on the practices for registering copyrights, trademarks, and patents as well as concluding nondisclosure agreements with employees and other third parties for the purpose of protecting company secrets.
- Real estate: we provide services tailored to the needs of investors in real estate by drafting sale and purchase agreements as well as with due diligence upon the purchase sale of property; we can help represent our clients throughout the course of a real estate transaction and in real estate litigation.
Our lawyers specializing in immigration can answer any questions concerning residency in Hong Kong, how you can initially apply for a permit that will allow you to remain in the HKSAR for long-term purposes. We will also offer guidance on the additional conditions for remaining in Hong Kong, such as the adequate residence permit renewal and your option if your situation changes.
Our team is able to provide complete corporate advisory services, however, we also specialize in regulatory compliance. We will assist investors who are in need of specialized legal assistance for listing on the Stock Exchange or who need to apply for licenses for dealing in securities. Our specialized lawyers are able to answer any questions concerning the regulatory regime in selected business fields. For many investors in the financial sector, personalized assistance is crucial, especially at the beginning of the business. Our agents can help investors not only understand the local compliance requirements but can also assist in various communications and submissions with the authorities, such as the Securities and Futures Commission, the agency responsible for regulating the securities and futures market in Hong Kong.
General conditions for entry in Hong Kong
Individuals generally require a visa or an entry permit for a particular purpose in order to enter Hong Kong (unless they have the right of abode). Visas are not required for all foreign nationals and in many cases foreigners may remain in the Special Administrative Region visa-free for a limited time (90 days for France and 180 days for British citizens, for example).
Persons who are interested in immigration to Hong Kong need to apply for a visa or an entry permit (for purposes other than visits) before traveling to the Special Administrative Region. Separate conditions apply for residences of Mainland China and for Chinese residents in Taiwan.
Our attorneys in Hong Kong can provide you with detailed information according to nationality and the conditions for obtaining a visa solely for transit purposes.
Entry permits for immigration in Hong Kong can be awarded for the following purposes:
- Employment: individuals may enter the Special Administrative region for employment purposes when the employment offer is one that complies with the general labor conditions and when the applicant has a background that recommends him/her for the position;
- Quality Migrant: for applicants who wish to come to Hong Kong under a special admission scheme that is based on an achievement points test with a minimum passing mark;
- Investment: for entrepreneurs who have the ability to make a substantial contribution to the economy in terms of investment value, number of jobs created and the introduction of new technology;
- Study: individuals who are interested in immigration to Hong Kong can enter based on a study permit once they have been admitted to a school, post-secondary programme, local programme, full-time course, etc.;
- Dependants: the spouse of the unmarried dependent children under the age of 18 of an individual (sponsor) who has been admitted into Hong Kong for employment purposes can apply for a dependants permit.
Please keep in mind that the special employment or investment categories are in place (for example, for training purposes as well as according to the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme). The immigration experts at our law firm in Hong Kong can provide more details.
FAQ on our legal services in Hong Kong
1. What are the steps of business litigation cases in Hong Kong?
Business litigation cases in Hong Kong are brought in front of the Court of First Instance of the High Court. Commercial disputes start when a writ of summons is filed together with a statement of claim. These will be served to the defendant and each party will prepare their evidence during the discovery phase. The trial hearing is the stage where both the defendant and the plaintiff present their cases. Apart from litigation, mediation and arbitration are also used in Hong Kong.
2. What are the most important legal aspects I should know about company formation?
The company formation process is a straightforward one in Hong Kong. With professional assistance, a new company is set up in just three days and investors have a wide variety of types of companies to choose from.
3. What are the basic legal requirements for foreign investors wanting to invest in Hong Kong?
Foreign investors in Hong Kong have the same right for company formation as local entrepreneurs. They will need to choose a type of company and observe the requirements for taxation, financial reporting, and auditing. The experts at our law firm in Hong Kong can tell you more about the legislation for foreign investments.
4. Will I need special permits or licenses for my new company in Hong Kong?
Yes. Hong Kong laws require companies that operate in certain business fields to have special permits and licenses, apart from those usually needed for company registration.
Immigration to Hong Kong is not mandatory for investment purposes.
5. What is the procedure of debt collection?
One of our lawyers in Hong Kong can help you with debt recovery. Depending on the situation and relationship with the debtor you can start with an amicable phase during which a lawyer will inform the debtor of his due payments. If he refuses to pay the lawyer will then take the necessary steps to initiate court proceedings.
6. Do I need a visa to enter Hong Kong? How can I obtain it?
A visa is not necessary to enter Hong Kong and individuals can use an identification document to travel to the city. However, special visas exist for lengthier stays, like work, study or periods longer than three months.
7. What are the steps I must follow in order to obtain citizenship in Hong Kong?
Citizenship in Hong Kong can be obtained:
- after having lived in the city for 7 years and if Hong Kong is the permanent place of residence;
- if Chinese nationals are born in Hong Kong and fulfill certain criteria;
- if foreign residents have a Hong Kong parent (only for individuals under the age of 21) and in other cases.
One of our immigration lawyers in Hong Kong can help you obtain citizenship in the city.
8. What are the requirements regarding employment?
The relationship between the employer and the employee is expressed in a written employment agreement. This document must contain essential information about the type of work and duties, the work hours, remuneration and any benefits. Both parties must observe the requirements for the notice of leave. If you want to hire employees in Hong Kong our legal experts can help you.
9. Are there any special requirements for marriage and/or divorce in Hong Kong?
Foreign couples can get married in Hong Kong under certain circumstances and if they provide a set of relevant documents. During a divorce, a lawyer in Hong Kong can help you with issues like the equitable distribution of property or child custody.
10. How are individuals and companies taxed in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong imposes a corporate tax of 16.5% for companies. There is no withholding tax on dividends or interest. Individuals are taxed on all their income derived from or produced in Hong Kong.
Legal assistance for investments in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is often used by investors as a gateway to Mainland China. By setting up a company in the Special Administrative Region, they benefit from an international business climate, low taxes, the fact that English is a recognized language, all while still remaining very close to Mainland China, making it very convenient to expand to the clients base on the Mainland or even basing a storage or production facility there, as needed. For those investors for which working between Hong Kong and Shanghai is a common practice, our lawyers in Hong Kong can provide specialized services and they will take into consideration the nature of the business as well as the fact that any litigation that may arise is to be treated in a transnational manner. You can reach out to our agents if you have a business that also expands to China and our team will be able to help you as needed.
Our team is able to assist foreign companies interested in entering the Hong Kong market. We provide services to foreign investors and have experience in understanding the needs of a foreign company on the market as well as the common requirements set forth by foreign investors who are opening a company in Hong Kong for the first time. We are able to assist with branch and subsidiary formation as part of our general company formation packages.
On a separate note, our lawyer in Hong Kong is also able to assist investors who are interested in opening a franchise in Hong Kong. Our team can successfully handle reviewing the franchise agreement as well as drafting any other contracts and handling the intellectual property issues and the employment process. A franchise can be a suitable option for an investor who is ready to enter the Hong Kong market by using an already tested and implemented business concept.
As a financial and business center, Hong Kong naturally records a large annual number of newly incorporated companies, as highlighted by the following statistics:
- the total number of companies incorporated in January 2019 was 10,784;
- in April this year, the number of companies incorporated as per the Companies Ordinance was higher, at 13,816.
- in September, 9,662 private companies were incorporated.
The number of companies has been growing steadily over the years. According to statistics from the Companies Registry, while in 2014 there were 141,659 total companies incorporated, in 2018 this number was 151,739.
As seen from these statistics, the preferred business form is a private company. Our team of lawyers in Hong Kong is able to provide a complete package for company formation and, moreover, provide legal assistance after incorporation.
Understanding the business and the legal requirements in Hong Kong is an important step for successful investments. Our team provides complete services, tailored to the needs of clients according to their business goals in the Special Administrative Region. We assist our clients as needed and provide a personalized approach to their legal issues as well as the legal disputes that may arise while doing business in the city. Our clients include companies and entrepreneurs from all fields of business, from banking and financial companies to trading businesses, local services companies as well as international companies that expanded their business activities to Hong Kong.