Guide to incorporating a foreign branch office

What are the requirements to incorporate a foreign branch office in Hong Kong?

If you want to bring the presence of your foreign company in Hong Kong through a branch office then you will need the following;

1. Name
The name of the proposed branch office should match the name of the overseas parent company. However, it is still possible for the Hong Kong Companies Registry to disallow the name in the case that the name of the parent company is already in use by a different company in Hong Kong or if the name is deemed as improper or misleading. That implies that the first step is to conduct a name search to help determine the authenticity of the name.

2. Officers
A branch office in Hong Kong needs to appoint at least one person who is a resident in Hong Kong and allowed to receive legal notices that are being served to the company. The authorized representative can either be a corporate body or an individual who is qualified to accept legal notices. Paul Hype Page can act as an authorized firm for your branch office activities.

3. Physical place of doing business
A branch office needs to establish a physical location where it will execute its administrative duties. The place must be a physical location where the company stores its statutory documents among other legal documents.

4. Constitution and Activities
The company’s structure and its activities are directed by an overseas parent company. That implies that the branch office will use its Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA). Therefore, a branch office will be operated in accordance with the constitution of the parent company.

5. Required documents for the registration
When registering a branch office in Hong Kong, you will require the following documents;

  • A duly filed form that captures the details of the branch office you are about to register in Hong Kong. Such information includes registered address, local representative, particulars of the parent company, among other essential company details.
  • A certified copy of the parent company’s constitution that is the Memorandum and Articles of Association for the parent company.
  • A copy of the Registration Certificate of the parent company.
  • Identification documents of the proposed local branch office.
  • The latest accounts documents of the foreign company whose branch office is intended to be set up in Hong Kong.