Hong Kong is a city of great value. It is the financial hub as well as a free port, hence the preferred choice for many international entrepreneurs who want to establish their successful businesses. For any entrepreneur thinking of moving to Hong Kong, it can be very challenging most of the time when you move to a foreign country. However, you do not have to worry too much as this article will take care of everything you require to understand about this wonderful city. We shall look at how to start a business, visa application, and other entities like taxation.
It is utterly close to impossible to start a business in Hong Kong, leave alone the difficulties, than any other thing. However, the government has decided to give its input for those who are willing to navigate the murky waters of investing in Hong Kong, be it starting afresh or investing in an already established one. Everything takes time to build. Thus it is for any budding entrepreneur not to underestimate the time and effort it will take to grow the Hong Kong offshore business.
Even though there are several visa alternatives, for those who want to invest or join an already established entity, you still need a sponsor. It is best to build a reliable network of like-minded people should you choose to invest your hard-earned money in Hong Kong. It is best for you first to acclimatize yourself with its culture, local businesses, and language, which in this case is Chinese.
One major thing you will realize even after getting all the support is that establishing and running a business there needs a lot of work, time, right network, and of course money. First all, you have to make sure that you have an elaborate business plan. Ensure that you engage local support for your business to grow. The following are some essential guidelines on how to go about it. However, it is not enough, as you will still need expert advice. Make sure to hire a competent local lawyer, consultant, or an accountant. They shall offer invaluable input and travel with you throughout your business journey in Hong Kong.
Visa for Self-Employment or Investment
There exists a particular category when it comes to granting an entry visa into Hong Kong. We have a visa issued to foreign investors who want to invest in an already existing company or establish their own in Hong Kong. What’s more, you do not have to prove that your investment or firm is coming in to fill the void that local entrepreneurs cannot. However, it will be necessary if your business contributed a substantial amount to the economy. Moreover, this visa is not inclusive of residents coming from Mainland China, Laos, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cuba, Nepal, and North Korea.
When applying, you will be required to fulfill the standard procedure of a good education, alongside your professional qualifications. You should not also have a police record. As a mandatory requirement with all visas, you will be required to have a sponsor, who will be your reference point when setting up a business in Hong Kong. It could be a company or individual who passes the below requirements.
- at least 18 years and above
- a resident
- well acquainted with you
One can either download the visa application forms, applicant ID 999A, and ID 999B for your sponsor or you can get them at the Chinese consulate.
You can also give your visa application more weight by adding the following.
- one recent passport photograph
- one copy of your passport
- evidence of academic qualifications and professional experience
- an elaborate two-year business plan
- business registration copy or investors
- investor activities
Choice of Name
This is also as important as choosing a legal entity. You can do a name search for your Hong Kong offshore business at the Hong Kong Companies Registry to ensure that you do not an already existing business name.
What kind of business will you operate in Hong Kong? Here are the options to choose from.
- Limited company: the Most preferred choice for those with their companies in Hong Kong. Here, Small and medium-sized enterprises are mostly operated as Limited Liability Companies. All you require is a name, several directors, shareholders, and a company secretary, including a Hong Kong (physical) address, capital, and you are good to go.
- Branch, Subsidiary, or Representative Office: Foreign companies are allowed to have branches in Hong Kong, and the leading company shall be solely responsible for all the debts and liabilities incurred by the chapter. You can bypass this scenario by going for a subsidiary option, which is considered separate from the leading company.
- Sole proprietorships are the best alternatives for small-scale businesses in Hong Kong due to its low-risk nature.
- Partnerships: you can choose to go for this option of either becoming a general partner where you are liable entirely for your partner’s and company is actions or in a limited company as a quasi-partner.
Securing a visa, choosing your Hong Kong offshore company name and business entity is not all, you will still have to contend with registration, taxes, banking, among other key issues.