Company type and name
First you need to decide on the company type and company name.
Types of company
You can choose from a range of company types to suit your business requirements.
A Limited Company is the most commonly-used company type. This is a company which is incorporated in Hong Kong, which means that the owner can take advantage of all the tax benefits and concessions available to any fully incorporated business, including the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), a free trade agreement with Mainland China.
Branch Office of Parent Company. If a company incorporated outside Hong Kong establishes a place of business in Hong Kong, it must register with the Companies Registry as a ‘Registered Non-Hong Kong Company’ within one month of establishment. Unlike a subsidiary limited company, a branch office is not a separate legal entity from the parent and can leverage funds off the credit rating of its owner.
Representative Offices cannot engage in profit-making activities and can only fulfill limited functions. They are useful if a company wishes to explore the Hong Kong market before making a larger investment. If the company decides to enter into a transaction which creates a legal obligation, it must change the business to a limited company or branch office.
For limited companies incorporated in Hong Kong, the company name must not be the same as a name appearing in the index of company names kept by the Registrar of Companies. You may conduct a company name search free of charge through the Companies Registry’s Cyber Search Centre or the Company Search Mobile Service.
Most of the limited companies incorporated in Hong Kong are private companies limited by shares.
A private limited company in Hong Kong requires at least one director who is a natural person and one company secretary. If the company has one director only, the sole director cannot be the company secretary of the company at the same time. If the company secretary is a natural person, he/she should ordinarily reside in Hong Kong. If the company secretary is a body corporate, its registered office or place of business should be in Hong Kong. A non-Hong Kong resident can be appointed as a director.
The registered office of the company must be situated in Hong Kong.
There is no requirement for shareholders to be Hong Kong residents. The sole shareholder can be a director of the company.
If you want to set up a company in Hong Kong, InvestHK can provide practical support and guidance. Contact us for more information.