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Open a Company in Hong Kong

Open a Company in Hong Kong

Foreign investors can easily open a company in Hong Kong by following several key steps. The company setup requirements do not limit or restrict foreign investments and entrepreneurs can benefit from the ongoing incorporation assistance offered by our local team of experts.

The corporate and business law experts at our law firm in Hong Kong can assist investors who are interested in company creation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Opening a firm in Hong Kong allows investors to explore their business opportunities in a growing economy. For those interested in doing business while staying here, our team can also answer questions about other matters, such as those related to immigration to Hong Kong.

The main steps to follow when you open a company in Hong Kong

Like in all other jurisdictions, company setup in Hong Kong is governed by special laws, namely the Companies Ordinance, and registration is compulsory with the local authorities, i.e., the Companies Registry.

Below, our team summarizes the main steps needed to set up a company in Hong Kong:

  1. Choose a business form: for most investors, this will be the private limited company; no mandatory minimum capital is prescribed for this business form, however, a name check, and reservation are needed in order to ensure that the chosen company name is available for use;
  2. Prepare the documents: these are the Memorandum and the Articles of Association and they describe the business, along with its shareholding structure, name, registered address, and other details;
  3. Register: this is done with the Hong Kong Companies Registry; we advise investors to work with a team such as our agents specializing in opening a corporation in Hong Kong to make sure that the submitted documentation is adequate;
  4. Prepare to start your business: this can mean obtaining additional special permits and licenses (depending on the industry in which the company will activate), and following the process and the registrations needed to be able to hire staff in Hong Kong; Our employment attorneys in Hong Kong can answer questions about the labor laws.

Please note that the company formation steps are only briefly described above. As part of the incorporation costs, entrepreneurs are advised to consider the ones related to the actual registration of the business, as well as those needed to prepare the documents (any document translations), and the costs associated with working with notaries and lawyers.

General corporate compliance in Hong Kong

Once registered, the company will be subject to taxation, tax filing, and reporting requirements. The ones listed below are some of the most important ones to consider by those who open a company in Hong Kong:

  • A two-tier corporate income tax, as such: 8.25% on the first HKD 2 million of assessable profits, followed by a tax of 16.5% on the remaining assessable profits;
  • 5% mandatory social security contributions to the MPF scheme made by the employer;
  • 0% withholding tax on dividends;
  • No value-added tax.

Companies are expected to file annual profits tax returns and include their relevant information in these returns, supported by audited financial statements (as applicable to some types of companies). For accounting purposes, the HKSAR Financial Reporting Standards are applicable. Private companies can be exempt from filing annual financial statements, but they must keep appropriate books of account.

If you want to move to the HKSAR and start a company here with the intention of relocating permanently, our Hong Kong lawyers specializing in immigration can give you details about the types of residence permits and the requirements for their timely renewal.

Contact us for more information about how to set up a company in Hong Kong. And if you wish to move to the HKSAR to run your newly formed business, our lawyers in Hong Kong can also answer questions about residency.