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June 2, 2022
Home > Hong Kong Business

Hong Kong Business

When it comes to having a business in Hong Kong, the most attractive bit is that the country has one of the least restrictive regulations. This makes it an attractive destination even for business trips and other research endeavors.

Flag of Hong Kong Icon
Flag of Hong Kong

Before you choose to do business in Hong Kong, you should do proper research, and when you can, take one or two intense business trips to feel the environment.

Business Trip to Hong Kong

A business trip to Hong Kong can go smoothly as long as you are versed with a few cultural compliances and general region information. The most important thing to understand is that both the social and business culture in Hong Kong is not the same as other places in China. There may be some similarities, but it would be safer to approach taking a business trip to Hong Kong as an independent mission.

Hong Kong Location Map

Here are a few points to point you around:

  • When it comes to moving around, never drive, especially if it’s your first time in the city. The parking fees are high, and you might miss designated parking areas, thus costing you a lot of time. If you choose to drive, the best parking place is the Hong Kong Park in the central district.
  • Are you planning to stay with someone or book a hotel? It’s always easier to have a host. However, where this is impossible, ensure you research the best accommodation areas weeks before the trip. This will save you last-minute troubles, which eventually means not getting the best location.
  • Observing simple cultural specifics not only makes it easier to blend in, but it also shows potential clients and partners that you mind their culture. Hong Kong locals use light handshakes, and firm eye contact communicates trust. However, avoid as much body contact as possible, especially hugging or even a simple pat on the back.
  • If you love smoking, be careful to stick to designated areas. Just because you are outdoors doesn’t mean you can smoke. Some parks and beaches are still no-smoking zones.
  • For business meetings, go for quality restaurants and bars. Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui are some of the best areas with business-friendly meetup restaurants. Not all Chinese restaurants are ideal for meetings. Some are too noisy.
  • The best time to have a business trip in Hong Kong is from late September to February. Shopping is cheap around this time, and the weather is friendly.

Doing Business in Hong Kong

Hong Kong beats many other Asian regions as a proper business destination thanks to several advantages. These include the following:

Doing business in Hong Kong is generally easy:

Hong Kong has a time-saving company creation process. One can have a company in as low as 24 hours. The regulations are also not tough on foreigners, and already existing companies are open to foreign investors.

It has a low-tax system:

Doing business in Hong Kong will involve three taxes often; property tax, salaries tax, and profit tax. The Hong Kong two-tier profits tax regime has the first assessable HK$2 million profits only taxed at half the rate for both incorporated and unincorporated businesses.

Hong Kong is a free economy area:

The index of Economic Freedom in 2019 positioned Hong Kong as the freest global economic zone. There’s free capital movement, no foreign exchange controls or tariffs for both imported and exported commodities.

It has a strategic location:

Hong Kong serves as the heart of Asian countries. This has improved its infrastructure, making it quite accessible from mainland China and other peak business destinations.

An ideal labor market:

Employees in the area are reliable and hardworking. Thanks to the accountability culture of the Chinese people, plus the labor cost being relatively low, the labor force in Hong Kong is very competitive.

Hong Kong has reliable banking institutions:

Since it’s the business and financial hub of the region, banking systems in Hong Kong are secure and reliable. Some of the world’s noted banks have headquarters in Hong Kong, making a significant contribution to its economic position.

Flexible immigration policies:

Nearly 170 countries have their citizens permitted to visit Hong Kong without a visa for at most 180 days. These days are enough to have several business motives evaluated before considering to stay permanently. There are three main immigration models foreigners should be aware of; Employment visa, Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, and Investment visa.

Having a business in Hong Kong is an overall easy task compared to many other international business destinations. If you do not do it for the region being a free economic area, you will probably want to take advantage of the tax advantages.

Hong Kong Business Listing Sites

Once you finally set your business up, you should consider exploring different Hong Kong business listing sites. Doing this makes your business known to the public and allows investors to find it easily. Many firms already offer business listing services, but you will want to consider the following first:

Hong Kong Business Directory Database

While one may look to Hong Kong business listing sites to know which businesses exist, Hong Kong business directory databases are viable options too. Businesses directories are easier in terms of organizations and safer since they are not entirely for advertisements. It is possible to determine how viable a business is from the directories. However, you will still need more research to ensure you have the proper information.

How to Register a Business in Hong Kong?

Choose the type of business you want to register

The most common businesses registered in Hong Kong are sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, and partnerships. A sole proprietorship allows only one person to own the business. When two people decide to open a business, it becomes a partnership. Its terms are different from a sole-owned entity. They can decide to either have a general or limited partnership.

In limited liability companies, the members are not reliable for the company’s debts, and the company is treated as an independent entity. Members own the company in terms of shares, and they could have a separate board to directly run the business.

Other company types are representative/liaison office and branch office.

Once you choose either of these businesses, the next thing is to clarify its internal structure.

Any Hong Kong company has to have the following:

  • A registered address
  • One member for a sole-owned business.
  • At least one natural person as the director
  • A secretary, either corporate or local resident
  • Issued share capital

Decide on the name

You cannot have a company without a name. Choosing a company name is not simple since it shouldn’t be a name already existing in the companies registry of Company Names. The Companies Order Cap 622A has restricted terms to regulate company names. Therefore, you should also ensure you are at par with this.

A company in Hong Kong is registered based on the submitted documents. Always ensure all required documents are hand-approved before submission to reduce the back and forth that delays your registration.

These documents include:

  • Copies of all company shareholders’ information related to the company
  • Hong Kong residents’ ID cards
  • Residential proofs and passports for foreigners
  • Articles of Association
  • The company application form

Aide from registering a company, you might need different permits to operate in Hong Kong, based on the type of business you seek to start. Such permits are issued by corresponding government institutions and can take up to 8 weeks for acquisition

You will also need a bank account for your business to maintain efficient financial transactions.

You will also need a bank account for your business to maintain efficient financial transactions.

  • Corporate registration documents
  • Application forms
  • Primary members’ proofs of identity (IDs for locals and passports for foreigners)
  • Bank reference letters for primary members
  • Proofs of business (invoices, agreements/contracts)
  • Any other document asked by the bank based on the institution you are dealing with

How Hong Kong's business pioneers achieve success
Watch this video on YouTube.

Starting an Online Business in Hong Kong

As long as you have a registered business in Hong Kong and a bank account, opening an online business will be straightforward for you. However, if you don’t, you will first need the above. Afterward, decide which online business model you will follow. Different e-commerce sites have made it easy to have an online business internationally. From Spotify to Wix, you can find a business website that will support your dream.

The other thing to keep in mind is how you will run your operations. Your targeted clientele will influence this, but you also need to stick to a business plan to avoid destabilization.

Business Investment Visa Hong Kong

Finally, bringing your business to Hong Kong can be done through the Entry for Investment for Foreign Entrepreneurs visa scheme. This allows you to operate your business in Hong Kong and bring your spouse and unmarried children below 18years.

There isn’t a minimum amount for investment stipulated in the application, but authorities keep an eye to ensure your business model profits the region to remain qualified for the visa. You can find more information on the application procedure on the Hong Kong official Immigration site.

Wrapping it Up

Doing business in Hong Kong is by far worth it. You only need to do proper research and ensure you follow stipulated regulations. Everything else will be a smooth ride.

Steven Author of gostartbusiness

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