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Setting up a Hong Kong company - Step by step guide

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Getting started is quick and easy.  Let’s go through the process step by step.

Step 1: Decide on the company type

Different company types are available for different business requirements.  Private company limited by shares is the most common setup. The company will be incorporated in Hong Kong and can take advantage of all the tax benefits and concessions available to any fully incorporated business.  It is a separate legal entity in its own right from the owners.

 

A non-Hong Kong company can establish a place of business in Hong Kong under Part XVI of the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) as a registered overseas company.  The registered company is an extension of the non-Hong Kong company in its place of incorporation.

Step 2: Decide on the company name

The proposed company name must be distinct from the registered company names on the index of Companies Registry and it should reflect the business nature of the company.  All Hong Kong company names must end with a suffix ‘Limited’. Names can be in English or Chinese language, or in both English and Chinese but not a combination of both languages in the same name.

 

Name search is free.  Given the millions of names already registered in HK, Sleek suggests you think of a few names in priority, and decide which name to use when the name check results are available.

Step 3: Decide on the company structure - management and governance

A private limited company requires:

  • Director: At least one who is a natural person of any nationality. A corporation can also act as director;
  • Company Secretary: At least one who is a natural person ordinarily resided in HK or a Hong Kong company with a Trust or Company Service Provider License (TCSP);
  • Registered office: A business address in Hong Kong

Sleek is happy to act as Company Secretary and provide a registered office address for your company.

Step 4: Decide on the company structure - share capital and ownership

Share capital represents the actual contribution of funds as capital from shareholders to the company.  It can be in any currency and amount. You can decide the right level depending on the business nature of the company.  It can be in a nominal amount of HKD $1 to start with. Increase of share capital by an additional contribution from investors is allowed and can be done any time.

 

There must be at least one shareholder who can be a natural person or a corporation.  A shareholder or beneficial owner holding more than 25% of the issued shares or voting rights of the company is regarded as a Significant Controller, and the details have to be entered in the Significant Controllers Register which may be inspected by law enforcement officers upon demand.

Step 5: Decide on the financial year end

Hong Kong company has to prepare financial statements annually for the period made up to the financial year-end.  The Hong Kong government fiscal year end is 31 March. The most common financial year ends are 31 December, 31 March or 30 June.  For group companies, you may wish to align the financial year ends for easier management and consolidation, if required.

Step 6: Ready to GO

Sleek has to conduct due diligence check on each new set up.  Once the KYC documents of each director/shareholder/beneficial owner/significant controller have been approved, we’re ready to proceed! The process can be completed in as little as 1 business day. 

 

When you have all the above details ready or if you have any query, feel free to contact us for assistance.

 

Please also read: All we need to know about YOU – As a new client​

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