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Your Quick Guide To Setting Up In Hong Kong

Your quick guide to setting up in Hong Kong

A strategic location. A gateway to an international marketplace. World-class infrastructure, quality of life, and a pro-business sentiment. It’s little wonder so many businesses are choosing Hong Kong when setting up overseas.

In this brief guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know when it comes to forming a Private Limited Company in Hong Kong. This will include the key legal requirements, the steps you need to take, and what you need to do to remain compliant.

Key legal requirements

When setting up in Hong Kong, you must follow these strict requirements:

1. Directors

You need a minimum of one director when setting up. They don’t need to be a resident of Hong Kong. They can be a company or a person. Directors must be 18 years or older, and they cannot be bankrupt or have been convicted for any malpractices.

2. Shareholders

A shareholder can be either a person or a legal entity, and you can have anywhere from 1 to 50 shareholders. Shareholders must be 18 years or older. Shareholding is permitted to be 100% local or foreign.

3. Company Secretary

You are required to have a Company Secretary who is both a resident in Hong Kong and, if not exempt, is suitably licensed to provide the service. If you have only one director, they cannot also be the Company Secretary.

4. Paid-up Capital

There is no minimum paid up share capital requirement. You can also have share capital denominated in currencies alternative to HKD.

5. Registered Address

Your registered business address must be a physical address. It cannot be a P.O. Box.

Company registration steps

Company registration is done either directly with the Company Registry yourself, or via an agent such as Stepping Stone. This can be completed within 24 hours of receiving all of the necessary information.

To register, you must follow these steps:

  1. Company name must be approved.
  2. Company is incorporated.
  3. Post-registration formalities are addressed:
  • Tax Office (IRD) and Employee (MPF) registration is completed
  • Company business profile is created
  • A corporate bank account is opened
  • Start applying for business licenses

Common compliance headlines

  • The company must file annual returns with the Companies Registry and pay the annual registration fee.
  • Accounts need to be audited each year and submitted to the IRD together with the tax return. This can be avoided if the company is registered as Dormant.
  • The company must hold its first AGM within 18 months of incorporation.
  • Following that, each AGM must be held at least every 15 months.

Set up and soar with Stepping Stone

Are you ready to spread your wings and set up a Private Limited Company in Hong Kong? Stepping Stone can help.

We speak the language (in more ways than one), with a solid understanding of the local rules, regulations, and legal requirements. You’ll be taken through each of the steps outlined above, for a safe landing in one of the world’s most exciting business destinations.

Contact us today and speak with one of our team members to get started.

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