How To Start a Business in Hong Kong

Registering a company is very simple in Hong Kong.

I am not sure of the process for non-residents or for those not physically located in the Special Administrative Region, or “SAR” as it is referred to; however, for me – located in Hong Kong, the process was simple and fast.

It’s also very affordable too.

What Do I Do Here In Hong Kong?

I manage a Hong Kong SEO Agency and Growth Hacking Shop.

The SEO Services we offer are pretty standard, i.e. keyword optimization, landing page customization – all of the “necessary” things that we need to do to be able to rank and index pages on the Internet, especially locally here in Hong Kong.

To my understanding as long as your business is just a “general trading and services” category then there are no special requirements.

How Do You Start A Business In Hong Kong?

Before you needed two directors, now you need just one. You will need a company secretary – that is also important.

Basically, if you want to register a company in Hong Kong all you need is the minimum capital one Hong Kong dollar, one director or shareholder and you can register that company online in an hour.

The time saving aspect of registering a company in Hong Kong allows you to focus on the business.

You don’t want to be focused on filling out forms, regulations, and approvals and waiting, instead the process here is simple.

I’ve registered companies in the United Kingdom and the United States and I’d say that the easiest has been here in Hong Kong. Of interest, however, my application was delayed because they have reservations about my company name, with it being “Growth Hackers Hong Kong” they were concerned about the word “Hackers” but fortunately I just explained that the term “Growth Hacking” is a particular form of marketing that just borrows the term from the more sinister connotation of the term.

4 Steps To Registering A Limited Company In Hong Kong

There are essentially four steps.

They are:

  1. Choose the type and name of the company
  2. Deliver application
  3. Collect Certificates
  4. Obtain other permits or licenses

How Long Does It Take?

It’s fast. I paid a company to do it for me and it cost about HKD $2,000 and took about a week; that’s it. The paper work was the easy bit, you just submit some idea and an overview of your company which for me revolved around Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation that would be work that I would be carrying out here in Hong Kong.

You can either do it yourself and save yourself the headache and have someone else do it for you.

Is It Still A Good Idea To Incorporate In Hong Kong?

I’d say so yes – go for it.

If you’re doing business in the APAC region then the tax-rates in Hong Kong (despite the nightmares of COVID and the Protests) are still – thankfully – favourable.

Here Are Some Benefits Of Doing Business In Hong Kong

  • 0% Taxation on foreign profits and no paid-up capital requirements
  • Tax based on source, not residence
  • Modern offshore legislation
  • Capital may be denominated in any currency
  • Stable jurisdiction and very good reputation
  • Excellent communication means
  • A globally important financial center

Because of this, foreign investors and entrepreneurs have long favoured Hong Kong for their overseas business ventures.

The diverse market, resilient economy and transparent tax system provide a straightforward, well supported environment for new start-ups.

Other incentives for a businesses looking to start-up in Hong Kong include:

  • No capital gains tax (in some cases, please check)
  • An incredible array of grants
  • Active support for SME’s
  • Double taxation agreements with numerous EU member states
  • Double taxation agreements with Singapore and China

With such an attractive environment for new businesses, Hong Kong’s economy has doubled in size in the past twenty years, with a GDP growth at an annual rate of 5%.

A mix of Asian and Western practices, under their ‘one country, two systems’ (which does remain intact) principle, provides a fantastic springboard to the East for budding entrepreneurs and investors.

Many within the business community continue to look at Asia because most of the leading economies in our part of the world are growing much faster than in Europe and North America.

It also seems, sadly in many ways, that compared to the United States and especially United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the APAC region might actually be a better place to be in a post-COVID world at least for a few years until the dust settles on the debt and “reconstruction” that will be required in our post-pandemic world.

In summary, I’d also finish this piece by saying that Hong Kong is still one of the world’s freest economies and that means the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs coming to set up here are incredibly low.

I’ve had success here, and so can you!