Getting started: Setting up a business

Starting a Business in Hong Kong

Starting a Hong Kong-based business is very simple if you know the process. These simple steps will help you to kick start.

  1. Research and settle for a business structure of your choice.
  2. Select an appropriate business name.
  3. Duly fill and submit your business registration forms together with the supporting documents to the Inland Revenue Department of Hong Kong. You will need to do this at least one month before commencing your business undertakings. For successful business registration, you will be given a business registration certificate plus a certificate of incorporation if you are a local company or a certificate of registration if you are a foreign investor.
  4. Open a bank account at the local bank according to your business needs. You will need an application form, a copy of your Hong Kong Identity card or copy of your passport, copies of your business registration, and bank statements among other documents as requested by the bank.
  5. Secure a Registered Address at which you will receive your business mails and from which you can mail your business correspondence. A business Registered Address cannot be your Hong Kong residential address.
  6. Begin your human resource related services such as hiring staff, insuring them, and filling their appropriate compensations. The good advantage of doing business in Hong Kong is that there is a pool of talented workforce into which you can tap into. Ensure your staff has the right paperwork in terms of working visas, residential visas, and permits that qualifies them to work in your organization. You are to anyone between 18 and 65 years for the Mandatory Provident Fund.
  7. Apply for the appropriate permits, licenses, or certificates of operation. Examples of businesses that need licenses/permits are travel agencies, restaurants, education sectors, employment agencies, investment services, financial institutions, entertainment industries, and health-related employment among other sectors.
  8. You will be required to file your taxes with the tax authorities on an annual basis. Therefore, for a start, ensure your records are properly captured by the taxing authorities of Hong Kong. Tax errors and noncompliance is a criminal offense in Hong Kong and is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both. You don’t want your business to be on the wrong side.

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