Today I would like to write about how to set up a new limited company in Hong Kong. In this post every time I refer to a limit company, I am referring to a company limited by shares and not by guarantee.
There are basically two routes you can take to establishing your business.
A. Hiring a company to do it for you
If you do not have the time to research and prepare all the documents that are required to set up a business in Hong Kong, the best route is to hire a company to do it for you. There are many reputable companies that can take care of this for you for a fee. The price greatly varies depending on the company but you can find service providers that charge a fee starting at somewhere around 1,000 HKD with a lead-time of 12 business days. At this price-point it is definitely inexpensive and something you should consider if you don’t have time or would rather not get into the details. Please take note that the 1,000 HKD here is only for their service fee. This does not include the other administrative and registration costs for setting up a business which I will cover later. Make sure you ask your agent what is included in the price and if there are extra costs that you must bear.
B. Doing it yourself
I decided to go with this route because I was curious to know how to do it on my own, how hard it is, and how long it actually takes.
Here are the steps I went through.
Choose a name for your business and make sure that it hasn’t been taken already. You can go to the Cyber Search Centre’s website to check the status on the business name. There are also special guidelines on what is or is not permitted as a business name. Instead of me listing all the rules, here is a link to the source which will always be up to date.
Hand in the following documents either electronically through the e-registry or as a hard copy in person at the 14th floor of the Queensway Government Offices.
- Form NNC1 (Incorporation Form)
- The company’s Articles of Association (Samples available online)
- Form IRBR1 (Notice to Business Registration Office)
Pay the application fee when delivering the documents mentioned in Step 2.
Pick up or download the Certificate of Incorporation and Business Registration Certificate.
Fees: Here are the fees you should expect to pay for incorporation.
Registration of Company having a share capital:
Business Registration Certificate
On or after 1 April 2016: 0 HKD (Fee) + 250 HKD (Levy) = 250 HD (total)
On or after 1 April 2016: 3,200 HKD (Fee) + 750 HKD (Levy) = 3,950 HKD (total)
Guidelines and prices may change so I advise you to visit the below website for the latest and most accurate information:
You can find all forms, samples, fee schedules, and supplementary information at the above.
So… This is basically it. Pretty straight forward and my certificate was done in about 5 business days. Significantly faster than the service I mentioned at the first part of this post. Is it worth paying 1,000+ HKD for someone else to do it for you? Maybe, but personally I would just do it on my own.
In our next post I plan to go into what to do after you set up your business.