Hong Kong Company Formation

Hong Kong, of course, well known as a major international center. It is located on the South East Coast of China and became part of China on the 01st of July 1977. It is a Special Administration Region (SAR) within the People’s Republic of China with its own Legislature and Courts. English and Chinese are the official languages and incorporation documents may be in either language or both.

There is no “Offshore” legislation in HK. All companies are incorporated under the same legislation, whether they are doing business locally or “offshore”. (HK Company Ordinance, 1997 version, as amended 2004). What makes HK companies similar to offshore companies, such as those incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is the tax free status of such companies, under certain circumstances. If a HK company does NO business in HK and derives no income from HK sources, then it is not taxable in HK. So as long as a HK company does business anywhere else in the world, it is in effect, an offshore company, similar to BVI, IBC’s.

HK companies are advantageous because they are not perceived as “tax havens”. The Legal system is based on British common Law. The political environment is stable. Finance and Banking is excellent and there are no exchange controls. A HK company may do business anywhere in the world and there is no requirement of Directors and Shareholder’s to be resident in Hong Kong.

Reliable Banking System

Hong Kong, being a International Financial Centre and a Tax Haven, has a lot of branches of major international banks which are trustworthy and have lot of branches all over the world. Hong Kong banks will only need a passport copy and the address of the client to comply with the Hong Kong law, which also requires that no Hong Kong banks can disclose their clients details to any one without their permission. We always assist out clients to open account with major banks in Hong Kong.

No Exchange Control

Hong Kong has no exchange control. Money can be deposited, withdrawn or transferred out of Hong Kong bank account freely without paying any tax, including withholding taxes.

Activating/Setting Up of a Hong Kong (HK) Company


It is easy to form a limited company incorporated in Hong Kong (HK). There are almost no restrictions provided that there are no existing HK companies with identical names and no well know companies with similar names.

Company Name

  • Company Name Must end with the word “Limited”, but is not required to contain the word “HongKong”.
  • The following names require licensing to be used. Bank, Insurance, Assurance, Re – Insurance, Trust, Trustee, Savings, Royal, Asset Management, Fund Management, Investment Fund, Building Society, Municipal, Chartered, Chamber of Commerce, Tourist Association, Kaifong, Mass Transit, Underground Railways. Names denoting any connection to local, state or national governments are generally prohibited.


  • Minimum one (1) who can be an individual or corporate.
  • Must be above the age of 18 years.
  • NO requirement for a LOCAL Director.
  • Director and Shareholder can be the same person or corporation.


  • Minimum one (1) who can be an individual or corporate.
  • Shareholder(s) and Director(s) may be the same person.
  • NO requirement for a LOCAL Shareholder.
  • Shareholder and Director can be the same person or corporation.


  • Minimum one (1) individual
  • MUST be a resident HK Individual or Corporation. (Please note that if the company has only one Director, the sole Director cannot act as the company Secretary).

Registered Office Address

  • MUST be an address in HK. We can provide that.

Correspondence Mailing Address

  • Can be anywhere in the world.

Annual Financial Statement and other records

  • Annual financial statements must be prepared, audited and presented to the Government to prove that the company did no business in Hong Kong and therefore owes no taxes.
  • Such statements must be presented within 18 months of incorporation.

Privacy of identity of principals

  • The names of the Director’s and Shareholder’s are required to be filed with the Government and they are also available in the public records
  • Privacy can be provided through the use of nominee Shareholder and Director.
  • Only the nominee names are filed with the Government and appear in the public records. The Beneficial Owner of the company and the Power of Attorney issued to him/her to run the company, are not required to be filed with the Government or placed in the public records.

Reporting Requirements

There are 3 reporting requirement for a HK limited company:

  1. Annual Return – An annual return for reporting the details of the Director’s, Shareholder’s, Registered Address etc., is required to be submitted to the Companies Registry within 42 days from the Anniversary date of incorporation every year. This return is not for reporting financial statement nor taxes, and is usually prepared by a company secretary.

    A Company Secretary is required to do the following:-

    • Preparing minutes of a board meeting convening an annual general meeting
    • Preparing a notice of a annual general meeting
    • Preparing minutes of a annual general meeting
  2. Preparing an annual return and submitting the same to the Companies Registry Ensuring that the requirement of the Companies Ordinance are properly complied With based on the information provided by the Director’s.
  3. Employer’s Return – The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will issue a Employer’s return to a company for reporting salaries paid to staff subject to HK taxes in April every year. The return is required to be completed and filed to the Department within one month from the date of issue whether there are such salaries paid or not.
  4. Profits Tax Return – A HK company is required to submit a profits Tax return and Audited accounts to the IRD every year. Its first financial year end date can be fixed at any date within 18 months from the date of incorporation and the same financial year end date needs to be followed in subsequent years. The first profits tax returns normally will be issued at 18 months from the date of incorporation and then subsequent profit tax return will be issued in April every year. The commonly used year end dates in Hong Kong are 31st March and 31st December. The deadline for submitting a profits tax return depends on the year end date chosen, but in general a company is allowed for several months to prepare its return and audited accounts after its financial year end date.


To begin with kindly obtain a copy of our application form which acts as a Guide Providing us the necessary info and documents for activating/setting up a HK Company.

The incorporation process is usually completed within couple of days (excluding the transit time of documents).

Step 1 : Completion of Application Form

  • submit to us the completed application form, providing details of (a) selected shelf company name OR (b) proposed new company name; along with details of Director(s), Shareholder(s), Secretary and registered office.
  • (a) shelf company name is/are subjected to availability. The name(s) will be reserved for a period of 20 working days (if available).
  • (b) new proposed name(s) will be checked against the HK Companies Registry’s record to ascertain its availability. This takes approximately 2 to 3 working days.

Step 2 : Preparation of start-up documents

  • Upon confirmation of the name, we will prepare the start up documents that will include the Memorandum & Articles of Association; appointment of first Directors and Secretary; notice of registered office and application for business registration certificate
  • Director(s), Shareholder(s) and Secretary shall sign ALL relevant documents (but Not dating any) and return the same together with all the funds to us

Step 3 : Filing of documents and Application of Business Registration Certificate (BRC)

  • Upon receipt of executed start up documents, we will file them with HK Companies Registry.
  • At the same time apply for the BRC from Inland Revenue Department.
  • Upon receipt of Certificate of Incorporation and BRC, we will forward same to client. The Process is then Completed.


We are able to provide the service of resident Company Secretary, Nominee Director, Nominee Shareholder and/or Nominee Signatory. However, we will require the following information for compliance of our internal due diligence:

  1. Description of the business activities of the new company.
  2. Its source of funds/capital
  3. Details of beneficial owners

In addition the beneficial owner(s) is/are required to enter into our Agreement for Services. In the event of nominee Shareholder is provided, we will in return provide the beneficial owner(s) a Declaration of Trust to confirm that the nominee is holding the share(s) in the company for and on behalf of him/her.

Bank Account

The procedures for opening bank account depends on the bank you want to use. HSBC requires all the Director’s and authorized bank signatories to come to HK in person while Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of East Asia allow you to visit their overseas branch. Please refer below for the bank’s detailed requirements

  1. Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) – all director, shareholder’s and bank authorized signatories may come to Hong Kong or go to their branch/subsidiary (not representative office) in any country (except for Taiwan and China) so that they can witness their signatures and verify their passport copies. You can find the address of their branches at www.standardchartered.com/global/home/globalbranch
  2. Bank of East Asia (BEA) – for any director, shareholder, bank authorized not having a bank account with the bank for more than a year, a bank reference letter from the personal banker of each shareholder, director, bank authorized signatory introducing him/her to open a bank account and the bank account must have been opened for more than 1 year. – All director and bank signatories must come to HK.
  3. Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation (HSBC) – one director must come toHK. – All other director’s, shareholder’s and bank authorized signatories may come to HK or go to their branch/subsidiary in any country (except for Taiwan and China), so that they can witness their signatures and verify their passport copies. – All director’s and shareholder’s are required to provide address proof (e.g. original water/electricity/telephone bill/bank statement issued within 2 months). – Business proof (e.g. an invoice/ contract for sales/purchase and a business brochure/plan for the new company or an existing company with same business with documents to prove that you are a shareholder/ director). Alternatively you may write some brief description about the nature of business , countries of operations, suppliers and customers, forecast turnover and some brief business background of the directors/shareholders in that industry. – Bank reference letters for the directors/shareholder’s and bank authorized signatories are preferred.

Operating Bank Accounts

Bank Accounts in HK can be operated outside HK in the following ways –

  1. Phone Banking Service / Internet Banking Service All the above 3 banks provide Internet Banking Service, by which you can use Internet to access you bank account for making balance enquiries and transfers. There is no limit for making transfers to Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), but they have a set up fee of HK$ 800 and a monthly fee of HK$ 200 to HK$ 300. For the other two banks – BEA and HSBC the maximum limit for transfers is HK$ 2,000,000 per day,only several hundred HK$ per annum without a set up fee.
  2. ATM Card
    You can use their ATM card to withdraw money from the company’s bank accounts using any specified ATM machines (“Cirrus” for SCB and “Plus” for BEA and HSBC) in the world. There will be a bank charge for each transaction and some exchange loss.


To open bank accounts, it will take approximately 2 to 5 weeks depending on the bank, after submitting the duly signed bank account opening forms (i.e. after the company has been formed).