9th Annual Company Formation and Funds Guide——Hong Kong Q&A

Industry research suggests that China will soon rank first in the world as a source of new incorporations. Traditionally, which regions of the world has your jurisdiction been most popular for? What types of business activity is most suitable for incorporating in your jurisdiction?

As widely known, Hong Kong is one of the six international financial centers with strong reputation and high credibility. It remains the first place in the 2019 Global Economic Freedom Index.

The business scope of Hong Kong companies is very wide with few restrictions. Today, trading and service companies are the most (widely/commonly) established companies in Hong Kong.

What is the single most important advantage your jurisdiction provides for Chinese clients?

  • The process of company setup is fast and easy. All procedures are completed by the registration agent and the applicants do not have to visit Hong Kong in person.
  • The company shareholder(s) can be either natural or non-natural persons without nationality restrictions.
  • The registration agent can be appointed as company secretary.
  • It has high credibility and access to the company files publicly.
  • It requires to submit annual reports and establish financial accounts.
  • It has Single tax system with low tax rate----the profits tax is 16.5% of net profit.
  • The process of fund transfer is flexible and convenient without exchange control.
  • The businesses can be operated in Hong Kong as well as any countries or regions in the world.
  • Operations outside Hong Kong are exempt from any kind of taxation.

It has been suggested that price remains a major factor for consideration for clients when choosing an offshore jurisdiction. Do you agree with this statement, and how do you think this will change in the years to come? Are you noticing a shift in emphasis on price to an emphasis on the quality of offshore structures? What other factors should someone looking to incorporate in your jurisdiction consider when choosing a provider?

Regardless of the past, present and even the future, there will always be a customer base with high price sensitivity. However, with the transparency of information in recent years, customers are more inclined to choose professional and stable secretarial institutions in order to cope with the ever-changing national policies, and they are willing to pay much more to reorganize to carry out their businesses.

Do you agree that as the industry comes under increasing regulatory pressure, e.g. CRS, AEOI, FATCA, etc., Chinese business will gravitate to jurisdictions that are perceived as more transparent?

We are more inclined to say that the industry is becoming increasingly standardized, which is the trend of growth that everyone is constantly improving. Despite the strict industry regulation such as the CRS, AEOI or FATCA, Chinese companies will eventually find a suitable jurisdiction for themselves under the legal framework.

Setting up a bank account for newly set-up companies has been a challenge for some jurisdictions in the past few years. Is it the case in your jurisdiction? How quickly can a company in your jurisdiction have their bank account set up?

Although it is difficult to open a bank account now, Hong Kong has a well-developed banking industry and a sound risk-control system. Not only does Hong Kong have many local and foreign banks, but also among many jurisdictions, it is the one with the most convenient processes for opening bank accounts. With the help of government-approved licensed agencies, the probability of approval of banks will be very high as long as one has real relevant business experiences and backgrounds.


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