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Company Formation & Registration in Hong Kong

Mar 3, 2008
Hong Kong is regarded as one of the world's most reliable as well as efficient locations to conduct business functions. Due to its strategic location and excellent harbor, Hong Kong has now become a major center for international trade.

In other words, establishing a company in Hong Kong is considered one of the easiest ways to enjoy the financial benefits and potential that China renders. In deed, Hong Kong serves as a gateway to conduct business functions in China. Discussed further in this article are different types of companies that could be set up in Hong Kong as well as the procedures involved in it.

Private limited companies are perhaps the most popular among the companies that are set up in Hong Kong. A private limited company in Hong Kong is limited by shares and must include features such as:

- A unique company name which at the same time should not contain any restricted word
- Share capital, however with no restriction on the amount of the capital
- Shareholders whose number could go up to 50
- Registered office in Hong Kong, which in turn serves as the legal address for proceedings
- Directors
- Company secretary who check whether accounts, audit, and other aspects of the business comply with the laws and regulations

For incorporating or forming a private limited company in Hong Kong, certain relevant documents and information are required such as copy of passport, proposed company name, type, nature of business, name and address of directors, name, address and occupation of witness, your present mailing address, and other contact information such as email, telephone, and fax number.

Further, company formation in Hong Kong involves certain important steps. First of all, check whether the name you have chosen for your company is unique and is not already used by other companies. You can check it either by browsing through the Companies Registry's Cyber Search Center website or by visiting the Companies Registry's public office, based on the 13th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway Hong Kong.

The next step is to submit some relevant documents to the Companies Registry such as a copy of the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association, which must be signed and should contain significant details regarding shareholders; and a Statement of Compliance on Incorporation in Form NC1A. Along with these documents, registration fee of HK$1,425 and capital duty of HK$1 for every HK$1,000 of share capital should be paid. In the event the application is rejected, the registration fee as well as capital duty would be refunded.

On the other hand, if your application is accepted, the Companies Registry would issue a Certificate of Incorporation within six working days from the date of submission of application. Then, within a month, prepare documents and pay fee to apply for Business Registration Certificate whose charge is about HK$2,600 for a year.

Apart from private limited companies, many overseas companies have now started setting up branch offices in Hong Kong. The process involved in the establishment of a branch office in Hong Kong include submission of some relevant copies to the Registrar of Companies such as a certified copy detailing the constitution of the company; duly filled Form F1 which must be inclusive of details of company directors and secretary and the place of business in Hong Kong; copy of the company's certificate of incorporation; and copy of the account details of the company.

When comes to fee, a registration fee of HK$20 per document and a prescribed fee of HK$1,720 must be paid. If the application is not accepted, the fee would be refunded. In case the application is accepted, within 18 working days from the date of application, the Companies Registry would issue a Certificate of Registration. As in the case of private limited companies, on the receipt of the relevant documents, application and fee must be paid for Business Registration Certificate within a month.

Company formation in Hong Kong renders a number of benefits. One of the key benefits of company formation in Hong Kong is that it provides you access to well-structured as well as reputable trading jurisdiction. Another great benefit is that it is considered a legitimate means of housing exempted tax revenues sourced outside the destination. Above all, procedures in connection with the incorporation of a company are quite simple as well as liberal.

A plethora of business consultancy firms are now in the scenario to provide superb services in connection with the incorporation of a company in Hong Kong. They undertake a continuum of activities in order to ensure successful Hong Kong company formation.
About the Author
The Zetland Financial Group provides the offshore investor with fiduciary Services, investment management and corporate advisory services , offering personal service and professional advice with total confidentiality.
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