Entrepreneurs interested in starting a business in Hong Kong should be aware of the procedures associated with forming a company in the country. Generally, the process of forming a company in Hong Kong is easy and can be conducted within 24 hours. Individuals interested in forming a company in Hong Kong should understand their business, have proper documentation, and an address for their business. The following section provides a step-by-step explanation of the process for forming a company in Hong Kong.
Coming up with a Company Name
The first step in Hong Kong company formation is selecting the appropriate name for the company. In Hong Kong, individuals or companies are allowed to select company names that are either in English, Chinese or both languages. It is important to select a unique name to reduce the likelihood of submitting a name that belongs to another company. Interested individuals can carry out a free search for their potential business names at the Registrar’ website. Aside from focusing on the uniqueness of the name, it is also important to ensure that the name considered depicts the nature of the business.
Deciding on the Company’s Legal Structure
After identifying the company’s name and ensuring it is not registered by another company, the next step is deciding the legal structure of the company. The options that individuals can select from include:
Branch office: This option suggests that the company already has a parent company outside Hong Kong and wishes to expand its operations to the Hong Kong market by establishing a branch office in Hong Kong.
Representative Office: This option is suitable for companies located outside Hong Kong that are interested in exploring the Hong Kong business market before relocating or setting up a larger facility.
Private Companies: These include sole proprietorships, companies limited by shares or limited liability corporations, and companies limited by guarantee.
Incorporating and Registration of the Company in Hong Kong
After identifying the legal structure of the business, the next step involves registering the company with Hong Kong’s Companies Registry (CR). The company needs to have a physical registered office in Hong Kong, at least one company secretary living in Hong Kong, and at least one director living in Hong Kong.
The process of incorporating the company in Hong Kong involves presenting the documents required for the registration process. The required documents include an incorporation form, a copy of the company’s article of association, and a notice to the business registration office (IRBR1).
The application for the registration can be applied either online through the e-Registry platform, through a “CR eFiling” mobile application, or by delivering the documents directly to the companies registry in hard copy.
The Hong Kong company formation process attracts several service fees. While the name search at the CR office is free, individuals need to pay HK$1,720 for the incorporation of a private company. Additionally, individuals are also required to pay HK$250 for a business registration certificate, which acts as evidence of their registered business.
The process of forming a company in Hong Kong is a very simple. Individuals requiring assistance to register their business can inquire from agencies that offer company registration services or inquire from the companies registry offices.