How to Set Up and Register a Company in Hong Kong


Looking to set up and register a company in Hong Kong? The process is fast and can be done completely online with these simple guidelines!

The simple registration process explains why over 1.3 million SME companies chose to register in Hong Kong.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

open a company in hong kong

Can I open and register a company in Hong Kong as a foreigner or traveling there?

You too can take advantage of the less than 24-hour timeframe to register a company in HK.

With Hong Kong’s simple requirements, you can get your business up and running within 1 day regardless of your nationality and location.

If you are a foreigner who wants to establish a business presence in Hong Kong, you can engage an agent or company secretary who will be responsible with your company registration.

Registration Agent Can Assist in your Hong Kong Company Formation

With at least one director, you can already proceed to register your business. Your physical address may not even be needed.

In facts, your physical presence is not required to register a company in HK. With that being said, you may engage the professional help of a registration agent or company secretary to get registered your business and delivery a company’s business certificate.

Procedure for company registration in Hong Kong

Consider your Hong Kong company secretary as your ally. Someone who would not only keep track of all your company details, but secretary will ensure that you and your business receive legal protection.

Your company secretary will work for the efficient and speedy registration of their companies. An agent will be responsible for submitting documents and securing your business registration certificate from the business registration Hong Kong office.

Procedure for company registration

Be ready with your company name

The first step to get started with your proposed company in HK is to choose a name for your business. However, note that there are instances when the Co Registry may reject a proposed company name.

Generally, a new company can opt for a Chinese name, an English name or a Chinese name or an English name. However, the registration guide Hong Kong do not allow set the combination of Chinese characters and also English words and letters.

Your proposed company must also include the word “Limited” at the end of the business name. If you opt for a Chinese name, it must end with the characters “有限公司”.

hk company registry name

Circumstances in which a companies name will not be approved or registered

  • it is the same as a name that appears Registrar’s Index of Company Names
  • it is the same as a name of a corporate body established through an ordinance
  • the name is contrary to public interest, is offensive or constitutes a criminal offence as per the Registrar’s opinion

Other name restrictions

Other than a unique name for your new company, ensure that it does not give an impression of an association with the government or any of its departments and agencies. The registry will not approve unless the business has a real connection with the government and its agencies.

The Hong Kong company registry may also reject a company’s name that it deems misleading about the nature of the business.

Select your preferred HK company type

For your Hong Kong company formation, you have to initially select the business type to get started. This means determining your business’ legal structure based on the needs and requirements of your company. Remember that the legal structure of your business impacts your operation, from how you engage with your customers to how to file your taxes.

Here are the legal business structures and specific procedures you might want to consider when forming your company HK.

Sole proprietorship

An easy way to set up a Hong Kong company is by registering as a sole proprietorship at the Inland Revenue Department’s Business Registration Office. This office will issue a Business Registration Certificate (BRC) after registration.

Note that this business type lacks the elements of an incorporated entity. This means that the registered proprietor is solely responsible for all the business’ liabilities.

These business entities are taxed at 15% based on profits, and are required to file an annual returns with the Inland Revenue Department.

The following documents are required to register as sole proprietor company
  • Fully filled up incorporation form that includes the proposed company name
  • A copy of Hong Kong identification card for HK residents
  • A copy of passport for non-Hong Kong residents

Limited partnership

While there are only a few restrictions to Hong Kong register a company, business owners who don’t plan to reside in Hong Kong can only put up a Limited company.

With that being said, a limited partnership is an option for foreigners who are looking to expand company, but do not plan to relocate to Hong Kong.

Setting up a limited partnership in Hong Kong requires registration at the Companies Registry, which will be a Certificate of Registration of a Limited Partnership.

Documents required to register a private limited partnership in HK

  • required incorporation documents for all partners in a limited partnership is the same as that of the owner of a sole proprietor company.
  • if the general partner is a company or another limited partnership, the registered company in Honk Kong requires a copy of its valid business registration certificate

Private Limited liability company

Owners of small to medium businesses in Hong Kong find the incorporation process of limited liability companies fairly easy. Other than the ease of registration, owners of private limited liability companies select this type of business structure as it poses lesser risks in terms of the shareholder’s limited liability.

Moreover, a private limited company receives tax benefits available to any other company incorporated in Hong Kong. Businesses established under this type of structure can also benefit from the existing free trade agreement between Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Here are other advantages of incorporating a Private Limited Company Hong Kong:

  • Ease of the incorporation registering process
  • Limited liability company
  • Minimal to zero company’s corporate tax
  • Transferability of ownership
  • No investment restrictions

Setting up an offshore limited liability company is the best option for most business owners.

Branch office

Foreign companies may use their name to register at the Hong Kong Companies Registry as a branch office. The Companies Registry, however, may not allow a branch to use a business name, if it is already in use by another Hong Kong company.

Moreover, the Companies Registry requires the appointment of at least one Hong Kong resident who is authorized to accept legal notices and transact on behalf of the company.

Register your company

The next step in a process, after selecting your type of company formation, is to proceed and get your company registered.

This part of the registration process is a bit tricky, especially among foreigners looking to establish their business in Hong Kong. You can do some part of the registration online through the e-Registry. Here are the things you will need:

  • Your business’ forms of incorporation
  • Copies of IDs for your directors and shareholders
  • Evidence of your business’ office address in Hong Kong

Open a corporate bank account in Hong Kong

After your Hong Kong company registration process, your next step to complete setting up your business is to open a corporate bank account.

Hong Kong banks have strict policies on bank account opening, and also generally require your physical presence in the bank. This can pose difficulty in your plan to set up a new company in Hong Kong, especially when you reside abroad.

One option is to open an account with a local bank in your home country that has a presence in Hong Kong. You can then complete the opening of the account at home. Your local bank will help complete the required paperworks and also send everything to its branch in Hong Kong.

You can also open a bank account with the help of your agent who will act as your designated representative and can help you find a bank in Hong Kong industry with less stringent procedures.

Typical documents required to open a Hong Kong bank account:

  • Completed application form
  • Passport or Hong Kong identity card
  • Proof of your address in Hong Kong, or
  • Proof of physical address abroad for non-Hong Kong residents

why should i incorporate in hong kong

Why should I incorporate in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong prides itself of its strategic location and modern infrastructure that make it an ideal place to start a business.

Here are 6 reasons why you should establish a HK offshore company:

Straightforward process that can be done online

Company registration in Hong Kong industry is pretty straightforward. While foreigners and also non-residents most likely need the help of a registration agent, the government allows them to be the sole director and shareholder of their company.

Favorable tax system

Your hard work to establish a business in Hong Kong will reward you with substantial tax savings.

Yes, Hong Kong has a tax system that is favorable, even to non-resident business owners. To give you an idea, the tax rate for profits is set at 8.25 percent for the first HK$2M profits and 16.5 percent for succeeding assessable profits.

If that was not enough, tax authorities in Hong Kong allow the writing off of various industry expenses.

Free economy

Imagine the possibilities of operating an open offshore company in a local economy guided by the principles of free trade and also an open market. A business established in Hong Kong means having the freedom to invest inward and outward.

Full ownership of the Hong Kong business

Enjoy 100% ownership of your business, and even be the sole director of your bcompany as the government does not impose local residency as a requirement.

Global business center

How would you love to operate a business in a city that offers a conducive atmosphere for your company? Dub as the regional business hub of Asia, Hong Kong is a reputable and ideal location for foreign investors.

Regulated jurisdiction

Hong Kong prides itself on its westernized updated industry mindset that reflects its support for free trade and also the Hong Kong open economy. Starting a business in Hong Kong also allows you to get a straightforward entrance into Asia’s business world.

hong kong company registry costs

The total cost of registering and maintaining Hong Kong companies

Now you want to know the true cost associated with the setup and company registration in Hong Kong. We will cover this up for you in this section and show you exactly the fees required for your company registration.

Hong Kong company registration costs:

To receive a Business Registration Certificate, Hong Kong businesses are required to pay HK BR fee at the business registration office. There are two options available to Hong Kong companies:

  • HK $250 for 1 year business registration
  • HK $3,950 for 3 year business registration

For business owners who are looking to open a branch of the same company:

  • HK $250 1 year branch business registration
  • HK $250 3 year branch business registration

How can I get a government grant for my small business in HK?

There are more reasons to push through with your company registration in Hong Kong.

As a region ranked as one among the world’s top financial and economic hubs, small Hong Kong companies stand to benefit from Hong Kong’s vast resources.

Don’t miss out on the government grants that owners of small businesses in Hong Kong industry:

  • Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF)
  • Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund)
  • Patent Application Grant (SGS)
  • SME Loan Guarantee Scheme (SGS)
  • SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF)
  • Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD)

After your company registration, your next goal is to strengthen your business presence. These grants were established to help local companies in Hong Kong start to be competitive and become global market leaders.

Frequently asked questions

May non-Hong Kong residents register and establish a company in Hong Kong?

Yes. Hong Kong is one of the best places for doing business. As a free economy, it welcomes non-Hong Kong residents to incorporate Hong Kong limited company.

Are there specific requirements as to the number of proposed shares to be issued? 

Currently, the Companies Ordinance has not stipulated the number of required shares to be issued. It states, however, that at least one founder member is required for a local company limited by shares.

What is the required minimum amount of paid-up capital?

The Companies Ordinance has not prescribed the minimum amount of paid-up company capital.

How are registration documents certified?

Under the provisions of the Companies Ordinance, a document is considered certified as a true copy when done so by a person specified in subsection (2)

Who can serve as an authorized representative of a non-HK company to process or receive notices on behalf of the company?

What is a Hong Kong Business Registration Certificate? 

A Hong Kong Business Registration Certificate refers to a document that includes the details of a company such as: 

  • Company name and address
  • Nature and type of business
  • Commencement date
  • Expiry date

The Hong Kong government requires businesses to secure and display a BRC in their offices. The business registration certificate indicates the legitimacy of the business and includes relevant information about the business entity. 

Looking for a licensed CPA agency to help you set up your Hong Kong limited company?

Reachtop KSHK is a name you can trust.

We are a licensed CPA firm and agency based in Hong Kong and also our real-all-around services differentiate us from the rest. We provide services, from incorporation to tax planning, to annual maintenance like accounting & auditing, secretarial and virtual office services. 

Contact us for your inquiries and we will be glad to assist you to register and maintain your business in Hong Kong. From the collection of company documents to filling up of incorporation forms, you can expect Reachtop KSHK to be there. 

Contact Us for a free consulation

Book Your Free Consultation

All consultants are qualified Hong Kong company accountants and tax advisors.