Incorporation of Hong Kong Company

Introduction

Hong Kong is a former British Dependent Territory which became a Special Administrative Region of the People Republic of China with effect from 1 July 1997. Its area is 1100 square kilometers with 7 millions populations. The official languages are Traditional Chinese and English. Hong Kong continues to have high autonomy in the running of its affairs under a one country, two systems concept. Hong Kong remains a relative powerhouse in world trade and with a comparatively small population of more than 7 million, is one of the top twenty trading economies, the world third largest financial centre, and vies with Singapore as the largest container port by volume. Hong Kong remains the most significant gateway into Southern China.

Registration Procedure

After name search, application should be submitted with supporting documents in order to acquire the Certificate of Incorporation. Generally, it takes five to ten working days to complete registration. Shelf companies are provided and documents can be signed within one day after name chosen. The company can be used at the same day.

Law and Taxation

Hong Kong’s corporate law is strongly based on the British common law. Local businesses are regulated and Hong Kong regards itself as a low tax centre rather than a tax haven. Taxes are levied on profits, salaries and property with varying rates. Only profits derived in Hong Kong are assessable for taxation where the profits tax rate is 16.5%# and genuine offshore transactions are not subject to Hong Kong tax, although the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is extremely diligent in its determination of onshore and offshore profits. Due to Hong Kong’s role as a major trading and entry point to the mainland and Asia, the bulk of companies formed in Hong Kong are for trading purposes generally.

Requirements

Company names may be expressed in both English and Chinese characters.
Chinese names and English names are permitted and can be included on a company’s Certificate of Incorporation. We suggest that Company incorporate with English name is necessary although it is not essential by law. It is difficult to open bank account if the company name is Chinese only because most of bankers use

English system only.

The company should have at least one shareholder. Details of the company’s directors, shareholders and secretary must be filed at the Companies Registry and are on public record. Each Hong Kong company must have a local secretary and a local registered office which must be a physical address and not just a Post Office box. Each company must have at least one director and corporate directors are permitted for companies that are not subsidiaries of public listed companies.
Each year the company must submit an annual return and penalties apply for late filings and there is an ever increasing vigilance by the Companies Registry for this purpose. All companies must obtain a Business Registration Certificate from the Business Registration Department and are required to file a set of audited accounts and tax return to the IRD annually.

Local Infrastructure

Hong Kong is well-served by local secretarial, corporate management and trust companies, and has an efficient modern and dynamic banking system that is designed to assist the international business community.

Fees and Penalty

If the Registration of annual return is delivered more than 42 days after the anniversary of incorporation but within 3 months, the fine is HKD$870. Within 6 months, it will be HKD$1,740. Within 9 months, it will be HKD$2,610. Otherwise, the fine will be HKD$3,480.

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