8 Tips for Starting up a Business in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is known as a dynamic economic hub where many investors dream of starting a business. Starting a business there isn’t an easy process, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare either. 

If you’re interested in investing and starting a business in Asia’s World City, we’ve got you covered.

Keep reading for our top tips for starting up a business in Hong Kong.

1. Have a Business Plan Ready

One of the most crucial first steps in starting a business in Hong Kong is to have a business plan. All companies need one, even if you’re running a small business or an online business. 

This plan turns your business idea into a concrete action plan with steps towards measurable goals. It should include essential details such as:

  • Your overall business goals
  • Budgeting plans
  • Marketing plans
  • Team details and why they are vital in achieving your business goals
  • Reasons supporting why your business will be successful in Hong Kong

Your business plan doesn’t have to be multiple pages long; in fact, they’re not supposed to be. Think of it as a basic outline of all the steps needed to take to start your business in Hong Kong. Your business plan doesn’t have to be set in stone either. You can modify it at later stages depending on the growth of the company.

2. Get an Early Start on Your Visa Application for Business in Hong Kong

Before investing in Hong Kong or searching for a job there, you first must apply for a visa. The first step towards applying for one is filling out a visa application form and making sure you meet the criteria of professional as well as educational qualification. It is essential you don’t have any negative police record or criminal history of any kind.

You can find the application form online. You can also download the application form (ID 999A) from the Immigration department. Here is a list of the documentation required for obtaining a visa for business in Hong Kong:

  1. Copy of your passport
  2. Copy of the photograph on your passport
  3. Your business plan for two years
  4. Proof of your professional and educational qualification
  5. Background information about your business

Hong Kong visa application process times can vary. It’s best to make sure to leave plenty of time for this process before your trip.

3. Choose A Unique Company Name

Be sure to choose a unique name for your company before registering a business in Hong Kong. It’s vital that no other company has the same name as yours, do some research beforehand. 

There is also a format Hong Kong follows when it comes to company names. Here are some general guidelines:

  • A company name can be in English or Chinese
  • The company name cannot be a combination of Chinese characters and English words/letters
  • The company name must end with the word “Limited” if it’s in English
  • The company name must end with the characters “有限公司” if it’s in Chinese

4. Register Your Company

To obtain a business registration certificate, you must first apply either in person or online. To avoid rejection, make sure your application form is filled out correctly and do a double-check before submission.

Also, make sure you are familiar with Hong Kong business regulations and have all the legal requirements for business incorporation.

5. Open A Local Bank Account

Once you are successful in the incorporation of your new Hong Kong Company, you can now open a business bank account. Here is a list of the following documents required to open a business bank in Hong Kong:

  1. Business Plan, Information of Products, Company Operation
  2. Financial Statement of your Previous Financial Year (if you have any), Audited Report
  3. Receipts, Invoices, Contracts, Agreements, Bill of Lading (upcoming)
  4. Company Group Chart
  5. Due Diligence information of every Account Signatory such as scanned copies of their passport and proof of address
  6. Business registration certificate, certificate of incorporation, Original minutes of meetings approving the opening of bank account

6. Register A Local Business Address

Your local business address will serve as the mailing address for your company. This is the address where you will receive the newsletter. Per year, the Hong Kong SAR government sends out about four letters to registered Hong Kong limited companies. 

One (1) letter is from the Statistics Department, and the other three (3) are from the Inland Revenue Department. Each letter has a timeframe to reply. If you do not respond before the deadline, a late fee will incur.

7. Begin Hiring Employees

It is crucial you hire local employees for your business. Though, it may also depend on your business requirements when it comes to the amount you hire. When running a business, hiring and building a talented team can be a challenge if you are new to Hong Kong.

If you need help recruiting employees, you can find a recruitment agency who can help you find talented individuals depending on your requirements. 

8. File Taxes

Hong Kong’s tax law and tax regulations require companies to pay taxes to the government and submit annual financial reports. To cut down on unnecessary costs (and headaches), you can hire an auditor. An auditor can help you file returns as well as improve the overall business operations.

Starting a Business in Hong Kong

Starting a business in the dynamic economic hub that is Hong Kong is a dream for many investors. However, few take the leap. While starting a business in Hong Kong isn’t an easy process, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare either.

We hope our top tips for starting a business in Asia’s World City inspires you to take the leap many investors are hesitant to make. If you liked this post, be sure to check out more from our blog!

Carol Gilmore

Carol Gilmore