Setting Up Hong Kong Business

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For a free consultation, E-MAIL US anytime, or call +852 8197 0550 Fees are fixed and agreed in advance.

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Setting up business in Hong Kong

After taking the decision to establish a business and invest in Hong Kong, you must discuss with your accountant and possibly your lawyer what implication that has for your existing company formation. A branch of the existing entity in your home country may make your balance sheet look better, but has "reach across" capabilities for any legal or tax issues should the operation get into difficulties. Most businesses choose to have a "stand alone" limited company that is autonomous legally and responsible for its own tax affairs and regulatory obligations.

Similarly meeting an accountant and may be a lawyer to get the Hong Kong perspective on your proposed set-up should in most cases make it possible to agree what is the best option for your particular business model. You may want access the Mainland China market using your Hong Kong operation, which is possible, but there are things to consider.

Setting up a bank account is a straight forward process as long as you have the necessary documents relating to the Hong Kong Business. You need to decide if the company is going to use a "chop" or not, signatories and any limits or conditions imposed on them. But generally the whole thing can be put into place in one meeting.

As for getting an office, there a number of business centre's that can give you a virtual or serviced office at very short notice without having to make a long-term commitment.

If you're considering operating more than a shell company, any foreign national based in Hong Kong is going to need an employment visa. For new businesses the documentation required from either the overseas company or investor along with those for the Hong Kong operation is quite extensive.

Generally people don't appreciate the amount of time required to become operational, check what documents you have to bring with you. There is more information available now than there was in previous years, but don't under estimate what may be involved depending on your particular circumstances.

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For a free consultation, E-MAIL US anytime, or call +852 8197 0550 Fees are fixed and agreed in advance.

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Doing business in Hong Kong

Whether youre a business visitor or plan to be based in Hong Kong, you should attach a great deal of importance on personal reputation when doing business. The likelihood of being introduced to situations that can lead to business opportunities depends a great deal on how you conduct yourself.

For example, you should avoid confrontation and be respectful when resolving situations, because proving a person wrong in Hong Kong society can be very detrimental. Observe the correct way to exchange business cards – use both hands, hold the card with thumbs on top and present. Hong Kong is a key international business centre, but is still rooted in Chinese tradition. Your local counterparts may have worked or studied abroad, but they often have surprising views when doing business. Luck and superstition play a role in Hong Kong’s business culture.

For example, consulting the Chinese calendar to determine the right time to open a business is always recommended. Location in the context of feng shui is another important issue. HSBC’s head office in Central offers a prime example, the building intentionally enjoys unobstructed views of the harbour. Choice of floor for office or home is also important, because of a number’s auspicious or inauspicious connotations. For example, many blocks simply do not have a fourth floor. This is because the Cantonese pronunciation of "four" sounds similar to the word "death"! Lucky numbers include six and particularly number eight. The fact that the Beijing Olympics began on the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of the century was no coincidence.

Entertaining is very important to Hong Kong’s business community. Chinese New Year celebrations, banquets, yum cha and karaoke are all important, popular pastimes and offer powerful commercial opportunities. In short, demonstrating cultural awareness is extremely important and should be taken seriously.

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For a free consultation, E-MAIL US anytime, or call +852 8197 0550 Fees are fixed and agreed in advance.

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