Archive for the ‘Instructions’ Category

Preparing for the bank meeting

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
  1. Who must go to the bank?
    1. If there is only one director, the only director must go to the bank to open the bank account
    2. If there are more than one director, then at least two of the directors must to go the bank
    3. If a director is also a shareholder and owns more than 10% ownership of the company, he will also need to go.
    4. Anyone (such as a shareholder, beneficiary or an authorized person) who wants to be a signatory of the bank account must also go.
    5. The directors and authorized signatories must be able to speak either English, Cantonese, or Mandarin. No translator is allowed to be present during the bank interview.
  2. What documents are required?
    1. Directors’ and shareholders’ original identity documents such as Hong Kong Permanent ID Card or Passport. If the Hong Kong ID Card is not permanent (ID number beginning with the letter “R”), then a passport must be used.
    2. Directors’ and shareholders’ original residential proofs. Examples of residential proofs are phone bills, electricity bills, bank statements that must have the names and addresses and must be issued within 3 months.
    3. Directors’ and shareholders’ business proofs. Examples of business proofs are financial statements, bank statements, invoices, agreements, way bills, web sites, audited accounts of their previous or existing businesses. If this is their first business, their CVs, previous or existing employment contracts, school transcripts and graduation certificates.
    4. If the original document cannot be provided, then the notarized copy of the document must be provided
    5. The original company documents
    6. The documents must be either in Chinese or English. Otherwise the documents must be translated into either Chinese or English.
  3. What type of bank accounts?
    1. Business banking account
    2. Personal banking account
      1. If you want to open a personal bank account, please make sure you bring your ID and residential proof. You can let the business banking manager know and he will arrange opening the personal account for you. Anyone can open a personal bank account in Hong Kong.
  4. What are the fees?
    1. Account opening fee
    2. Monthly minimum balance fee
    3. Counter service and online service fee
  5. What additional services needed?
    1. Company credit card
      1. Hong Kong PayPal account is the only PayPal account that can withdraw to a Hong Kong bank account, and opening a Hong Kong PayPal account requires a credit card with a Hong Kong billing address.
      2. For the HSBC company credit card, at least HKD $30,000 deposit is required to secure a card with HKD $30,000 of credit.
    2. L/C account
    3. Life insurance
    4. Investment services

Conducting a name search for a Hong Kong company

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
  1. Go to
  2. Select “Unregistered User
  3. In the new pop-up window, select “Accept and Login
  4. Select the “Search” drop-down menu, then select “Company Name
  5. Use “Left Partial Search ” to search for existing companies with names similar to your proposed company name
  6. *Very Important* - Use “Exact Name Search” to confirm the availability of the company name
  7. Note: Do not include sensitive words such as Guns, Weapons, Bank, etc in the company name. Also avoid using the following words in the company name: Octopus, International, Worldwide, Global, Finance. If the company name contains the word “Broker“, you will be required to provide appropriate license before opening the business banking account.

Starting a Money Exchange business in Hong Kong

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Any company that plans to conduct money exchange business in Hong Kong must register with the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JFIU):

We have also heard that as of today HSBC no longer opens bank accounts for companies that conduct money exchange. Both the Standard Chartered Bank and the Bank of China will open the bank accounts on a case by case basis.

Notes on BVI Company Incorporation

Sunday, July 4th, 2010
  • Before BVI company incorporation, the directors’ and shareholders’ original passports and residential proofs must be provided. If not, the certified true copies or notarized copies of the documents must be provided.
  • Note that not all companies or organizations are willing to do business with BVI companies. Before forming a BVI company, you may want to ask your suppliers or clients whether they are willing to do business with a BVI company.
  • A BVI company can hold properties in Hong Kong without being registered as a non-Hong Kong company.
  • A BVI company by itself cannot conduct business or lease property in Hong Kong. By itself, it cannot subscribe to any services in Hong Kong (such as subscribing mobile phone service or courier service.) However, it can be registered in Hong Kong as a non-Hong Kong company. Once it has been registered, it can be operated as if it were a Hong Kong company, and a Hong Kong business registration will be issued to the BVI company. However, the company will need to file Annual Return and yearly audited financial report to the Hong Kong government, and pay tax in Hong Kong if there is any profit generated here.
  • A BVI company can open a bank account in Hong Kong. The following documents are required for the account opening:
    • the directors’ and shareholders’ original passports and residential proofs. If not, the certified true copies or notarized copies of the documents;
    • Certificate of Incumbency;
    • Certificate of Incorporation;
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • To obtain a commercial credit card for the BVI company, the commercial credit card will be required to link to a personal bank account in the same bank of the director or shareholder.
  • The BVI company will come with a registered office address in BVI, however, the address cannot be used for mailing purpose. There is no need to use our address as the Corresponding Address of the company unless you want us to receive mails for it. You may use a non-Hong Kong / non-BVI address as the Corresponding Address of the company.
  • The cost of legalizing the documents of a BVI company will be much higher than that of a Hong Kong company.
  • Directors or shareholders of a BVI company who are U.S. citizens or residents will be required to sign a form declaring that all incomes of the company is legal and that they will fulfill their tax filing obligation.
  • BVI companies can open investment bank accounts in Hong Kong to trade stocks. However, as profit may arise in Hong Kong, the BVI companies may be required to be registered as a non-Hong Kong company. Therefore, it is recommended to use a personal bank account to trade stocks in Hong Kong. The banks in Hong Kong are unlikely to open investment accounts to the companies in which U.S. or Canadian citizens or residents are shareholders or directors of the companies.
  • Our BVI Incorporation Pricing

Opening a Travel Agency in Hong Kong

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

The steps of using a Hong Kong limited company to set up a Travel Agency are as follow:

  1. The authorized capital should be set to at least HKD $500,000, so there will be an extra governmental fee of HKD $500 or more for the company registration;
  2. All the shares must be assigned, ie, paid-up capital should be at least HKD $500,000. The company will then have at least HKD $500,000 of asset at the time of incorporation;
  3. A letter issued by a Hong Kong CPA / lawyer certifying that HKD $500,000 has been deposited into the company’s bank account. Note that the money can be withdrawn after the TIC membership approval;
  4. If possible, check the company name with the Travel Agents Registry before company registration: +852 2807 1199;
  5. Leasing of an actual office in Hong Kong. While the company can do any business, the office can only operate the travel agency;
  6. If none of the directors have work permits to work in Hong Kong, the company must hire someone who can work legally here;
  7. Read the FAQs here:

Hong Kong Company Apostilles

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

How to obtain apostilles for Hong Kong company incorporation documents?

You need to know precisely which documents you need to obtain the apostilles for because they are quite expensive (HKD $125 each page charged by the court. Also we need to obtain certified copies from the government). It will be cheaper if you just want the apostilles for the Certificate of Incorporation, and Business Registration.

The total cost for obtaining the apostille is HKD $1,000 (service fee) + court fee + governmental fee

For example, to obtain the apostilles for a complete set of Hong Kong incorporation documents (for a brand new company, not a shelf company), the cost will be (in HKD):

Form NC1 = $170 (certified copy) + 6*$125 (apostille fee, assuming there are 6 pages) = $920
Memorandum and Articles of Association = $170 + 8*$125 (apostille fee, assuming there are 8 pages) = $1,170
Certificate of Incorporation = $170 + $125 = $295
Business Registration = $50 + $125 = $175
Government and Court fees subtotal = $2,560

Our service fee = $1,000

Total: HKD $3,560 or USD $462

Package A Special (offer ends 2016/12/31)

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

From now on until 2016/12/31, our incorporation Package A also comes with a set of company chops (including a signature chop, an invoice chop, and a metal common seal). Instruction:

  1. Select our Package A to incorporate a company;
  2. Follow our incorporation workflow to submit information to us;
  3. Make your payment before application submission to the government or 2016/12/31. Payment Methods
  4. Postage cost:
    1. Pick up at our office: $0;
    2. to Hong Kong and Mainland China: $100;
    3. to other international address: $300

Bank Account Opening for a Subsidiary

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

A subsidiary company is a company that is owned by other companies. The materials for opening a bank account in Hong Kong for a subsidiary is as follow:

  1. A board minute of the parent company authorizing the incorporation of the subsidiary, and authorizing its directors / a director to sign for and on behalf of the subsidiary;
  2. An organizational chart showing the relationship between the subsidiary, the parent company, and the shareholders of the parent company;
  3. A copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the parent company, certified by the directors;
  4. An Apostile / the original of the Certificate of Incorporation of the parent company;
  5. The certificate of Incumbency of the parent company;
  6. A bank reference letter for the parent company;
  7. The director’s declarations for the subsidiary and the parent company, accompanied by Hong Kong CPA letters;
  8. Identity proofs and residential addresses proofs:
    1. If the parent company is a private company, identity proofs and residential addresses proofs of the majority shareholders of the parent company;
    2. If the parent company is a public company, its web site and stock symbol.
  9. If the document is not in English, it must be translated and certified by the translator;
  10. If the original documents can not be provided, the notarized photocopies of the documents are acceptable.
  11. Bank account opening documents for the subsidiary

“Safety” of Hong Kong Shelf Companies

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

How do I know whether a Hong Kong shelf / pre-formed company is “safe” or not?

A shelf / pre-formed company is a company that has already been incorporated but has not conducted any business. Sometime people want to buy shelf companies because:

  1. it takes about 3 working days to transfer a shelf company, while it takes up to six working days to form a brand new company;
  2. transferring a shelf company does not require a witness, while forming a new company does;
  3. there is no incorporation failure (such as name collision) because the company has already been formed;
  4. there is no need to come up with a name.

Since a shelf company has already been formed before purchase, it is important to ensure the company does not have any liability. To ensure the company is “safe”:

  • For shelf companies incorporated before July 16, 2008:
    1. There should be no director registered with the Companies Registry. Since there is no director, the companies are not operational;
    2. A letters issued by the subscriber indicating the company has not incurred any liability.
  • For shelf companies incorporated on or after July 16, 2008:
    1. Beginning on July 11, 2008, the Companies Registry requires the appointments of first directors at the time of incorporation, therefore, all shelf companies registered on or after July 16, 2008 have directors and are operational right after incorporation. Because of that, the letters, issued by the founders indicating that the companies have not incurred any liability, are the only proof and protection for the purchasers.
    2. Since the “safety” of the shelf companies is not evidenced in the Companies Registry, one should purchase shelf companies from reliable sources, or simply form brand new companies.

Hong Kong company annual fees

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

How much does it cost annually to keep a Hong Kong company alive?

You should be aware of three sets of annual fees:

  1. Company renewal fee:
    1. Annual Return
    2. Business Registration Renewal
    3. Company Secretary Renewal
    4. Registered Office renewal
  2. Accounting and Auditing:
    1. The first accounting and auditing shall be done 18 months after incorporation, and every 12 months afterward.
  3. Profit tax:
    1. which is 16.5% of the profit of the company. You also need to pay the provisional tax. For example, if you have to pay $5,000 tax, in the first year, you actually have to pay $10,000. The provisional tax of the previous year will be subtracted from the tax next year. For example, if you have to pay $8,000 tax on the following year, you have to pay $8,000 + $8,000 - $5,000 (provisional tax of the previous year) = $11,000.
  4. De-registration
    1. If you decide not to continue the business, you need to de-register the company. If the company has conducted business, you also need to do accounting and auditing before the de-registration. If you do not de-register the company and file the Annual Return, the government will impose penalty, and the company will not be de-registered unless all penalty is paid.

If your company does not conduct business, then it does not have to do accounting and auditing, nor does it have to pay the profit tax.