Can a foreign legal entity or individual own a complete holding of shares of a Hong Kong company?
Certainly. Both legal entities and individuals who are not residents of Hong Kong are entitled to incorporate a company in the territory of Hong Kong and hold 100% shares of the company.
How long does registration of a company in Hong Kong take?
After submission of documents the registration certificate for a private limited liability company will be ready in three/ten business days from the date of the document submission.
Is only a resident of Hong Kong entitled to be the director of a Hong Kong company?
A non-resident of Hong Kong can be the director of a Hong Kong limited liability company.
May the sole director of a company perform duties of the company secretary?
No, he cannot. In accordance with Hong Kong laws, a sole director is not entitled to act as the company secretary. Besides, a private company may not appoint a legal entity as the company secretary if the sole director of the legal entity is the sole director of the company.
Is my physical presence compulsory to register a company?
No, it is not compulsory. The procedure of document submission can be performed remotely.
Please, list the minimum requirements for registration of a company in Hong Kong.
Most companies in the territory of Hong Kong are registered as limited liability companies.
Here is a list of the basic requirements for registration of a company in Hong Kong:
- A company in Hong Kong can be registered by either a legal entity or an individual.
- The minimum number of shareholders is one person (either a resident of Hong Kong or a foreign person). The person shall be over 18 years of age.
- The minimum number of directors is one (either a Hong Kong resident or a foreign person). The director shall be over 18 years of age.
- The director and the shareholder can be represented by a single person.
- There are no requirements for the minimum share capital. An authorized share capital is often ten thousand Hong Kong dollars and is represented by ten thousand shares with a par value of one dollar.
- The minimum amount of the paid up share capital is one share with a par value of one dollar.
- Mandatory requirements include having a registered address in Hong Kong.
- A company secretary is required. If an individual acts as the company secretary, he shall be a Hong Kong resident, if it is a legal entity, its registered office shall be in the territory of Hong Kong or Hong Kong shall be its place of business. Attention: the director and the sole shareholder cannot act as the company secretary in accordance with the legislation of Hong Kong.
Does a foreign person have to have a partner who is a resident of Hong Kong to register a company?
No, in this case there may not be a director or shareholder who is Hong Kong resident. But secretary’s services may be required. The company secretary is usually also an agent providing the registered address. Besides, he assumes responsibility for delivering company reports to the appropriate authorities (once a year) and may be a nominee shareholder and director.
Is a Hong Kong company entitled to employ foreign citizens?
Yes, any local company may employ foreign citizens. To do this it is necessary to submit a set of documents to receive a work visa for the employee and obtain the authorities’ permit.
Does a Hong Kong company have to submit audited reports?
In compliance with the local legislation, any company shall submit reports once a year at the same time as the tax return, excluding certain cases of releasing from this duty.
Does a local company have to obtain any commercial licenses before it starts its activity?
Below is the list of business activities which require licensing:
- insurance agencies,
- investment management,
- tourism and restaurant industry,
- employment agencies,
- alcoholic drinks distribution,
- banking business,
- preschool childcare centers, etc.
Attention: a license can be received only after registration of the company in Hong Kong.
Are legal entities entitled to act as shareholders and directors?
Yes, they are. Both legal entities and individuals may act as shareholders or directors. According to the amendments made in 2014, if there is one director in a company, this can be an individual only.
What can you say about requirements for the minimum paid-up capital for a company in Hong Kong?
There are no requirements. But an authorized share capital is usually ten thousand Hong Kong dollars and is represented by ten thousand shares with a par value of one dollar.
What are recommendations concerning naming companies in Hong Kong?
If you have decided to register a company in Hong Kong, you shall have the chosen name approved. There are the following restrictions related to company names:
- the name should not be similar to that already entered in the list of company names of the Companies Register;
- the name shall not be offensive;
- the name shall not conflict with public interests;
- it is prohibited to use English letters/words together with Chinese hieroglyphs.
What kind of registered address is required to incorporate a company in Hong Kong?
Any local physical address (P.O. box not allowed).
Do I have to invest ten thousand Hong Kong dollars to register a company in Hong Kong?
No, you don’t. In compliance with the local Company Law no requirements are imposed concerning the minimum paid up capital.
Who can act as the company secretary?
An individual acting as the secretary shall be a Hong Kong resident and a legal entity acting as the secretary shall have its registered office in Hong Kong or Hong Kong shall be its place of business.
May a highly qualified company secretary (a resident of another country) be the secretary of a local company?
No, the legal entity acting as the company secretary has to be registered in Hong Kong.
How long should company’s accounting records be stored?
Account books shall be stored for seven years after the end of the financial year when the last entry was made.
The list of documents which have to be submitted to register a company in Hong Kong:
- a passport copy;
- a copy of a document representing a residential address proof;
- filled in application form (information on the company to be registered, directors’ and shareholders’ data, the desired name of the company, etc.).
How long will opening a corporate account in Hong Kong take?
A corporate bank account can be opened straight after registration of the company. This procedure will take 1-10 days.