Hong Kong is a popular destination for entrepreneurs who want to start or expand their business in Asia. Hong Kong has a robust economy, a simple tax system, a legal system based on the common law, and a strategic location near Mainland China. However, setting up a company in Hong Kong requires some planning and preparation. In this article, we will provide an overview of the basic requirements, procedures and considerations for forming a private limited liability company in Hong Kong.
What is a private limited liability company?
A private limited liability company is one of the most common types of business entities registered in Hong Kong. It has a separate legal personality, limited liability for its owners, strong public perception and an enduring structure. It can also be referred to as an offshore company in Hong Kong if it does not conduct any business or generate any income in Hong Kong.
A private limited liability company in Hong Kong must have at least one shareholder and one director, who can be natural persons or corporate entities of any nationality and residence. The shareholder and the director can be the same person. The minimum share capital is HKD 1 and there is no maximum limit. The company must also appoint a company secretary who must be a Hong Kong resident or a Hong Kong registered company.
How to register a company in Hong Kong?
The first step to register a Company Formation in Hong Kong is to choose and reserve a company name. The company name must be approved by the Companies Registry before the incorporation process can proceed. The company name can be in English, Chinese or both, but it must not be identical or too similar to an existing company name or trademark.
The next step is to prepare and submit the incorporation documents to the Companies Registry.
The incorporation documents include:
- A copy of the company’s Articles of Association, which set out the rules and regulations for the management and operation of the company.
- A Notice to Business Registration Office (Form IRBR1), which provides information about the company’s business activities, registered address, directors, shareholders and company secretary.
- A Declaration of Compliance (Form NNC1), which confirms that the company meets all the legal requirements for incorporation.
- A copy of the identification documents of the directors, shareholders and company secretary.
The incorporation fee and the business registration fee must also be paid at this stage. The incorporation fee is HKD 1,720 and the business registration fee is HKD 2,250 for one year or HKD 5,950 for three years.
The incorporation process usually takes around 1-2 weeks if all the documents are in order and there are no objections from the authorities. Once the incorporation is approved, the Companies Registry will issue a Certificate of Incorporation and a Business Registration Certificate to confirm the existence and registration of the company
What are the post-incorporation procedures?
After registering a company in Hong Kong, there are some post-incorporation procedures that need to be completed to ensure compliance with the local laws and regulations.
- Opening a bank account for the company. There are many banks in Hong Kong that offer banking services for local and offshore companies. However, opening a bank account may require some due diligence checks by the bank and may take some time depending on the bank’s policies and procedures.
- Appointing an auditor for the company. Every company in Hong Kong must appoint an auditor who must be a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) and hold a practicing certificate issued by the HKICPA. The auditor is responsible for auditing and reporting on the financial statements of the company annually.
- Filing annual returns and tax returns for the company. Every company in Hong Kong must file an annual return with the Companies Registry within 42 days after its anniversary date of incorporation. The annual return provides updated information about the company’s structure and activities. The filing fee is HKD 105 if filed within time or HKD 870 if filed late.
Every company in Hong Kong must also file a tax return with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) within one month after receiving it from the IRD. The tax return reports on the income and expenses of the company for the relevant year of assessment. The profits tax rate for companies in Hong Kong is 16.5% for general businesses or 8.25% for qualifying corporate treasury centers.
Why you need to hire a professional services firm?
Although it is possible to register a company in Hong Kong by yourself, it is advisable to hire a professional services firm to assist you with the process. A professional services firm can provide you with:
Expertise and experience in handling all aspects of Company Formation in Hong Kong, including choosing a suitable company name, preparing and filing all the required documents, paying all the fees, obtaining all the certificates and complying with all the regulations.
Convenience and efficiency in saving you time and hassle from dealing with multiple government agencies, banks, auditors and other service providers.
Support and guidance in managing your ongoing obligations as a company owner, such as maintaining proper books and records, filing annual returns and tax returns, renewing business registration certificates and updating changes in your company’s information.
If you are looking for a reliable and reputable professional services firm to help you with your company formation in Hong Kong, you can contact vOffice at https://www.voffice.hk/company-formation.html. vOffice offers comprehensive solutions for your business needs, including company registration, bank account opening, accounting audit arrangement and taxation services in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is an attractive jurisdiction for doing business in Asia due to its economic stability, low tax regime, legal transparency and strategic location. However, forming a company in Hong Kong requires some planning and preparation to ensure compliance with all the legal requirements and procedures. By hiring a professional services firm like vOffice, you can simplify your company formation process and focus on growing your business in Hong Kong.