Setting up in Hong Kong

Getting started in Hong Kong is quick and easy. Setup costs are low and the overall environment encourages businesses to thrive.

1. Decide Your Company Type and Name

Company Types

Different company types are available for different business requirements:

A Limited Company:
  • This is the most common company type
  • This is a company which is incorporated in Hong Kong
  • Owners can take advantage of all the tax benefits and concessions available to any fully incorporated business
  • They can enjoy benefits such as the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), a free trade agreement with Mainland China.

A Branch Office of a Parent Company:
  • This is for companies that are incorporated outside of Hong Kong and establish a place of business in Hong Kong
  • They must register with the Companies Registry as a ‘Registered Non-Hong Kong Company’ within one month of establishment
  • Unlike a subsidiary limited company, a branch office is not a separate legal entity from the parent and can leverage funds off the credit rating of its owner.

Representative Office:
  • They cannot engage in profit-making activities and can only fulfil limited functions
  • They are useful for companies looking to explore the Hong Kong market before making a larger investment
  • If a decision is made to enter into a transaction which creates a legal obligation, it must change the business to a limited company or branch office.

2. Incorporate Your Company

You can enjoy a seamless company incorporation and business registration with the Hong Kong Companies Registry (CR).

Easy Application

Any application for company incorporation will include a simultaneous application for business registration.

How to Apply
There are three ways to submit your application:
  • Online via the 24-hour portal e-Registry
  • Online via the “CR eFiling” mobile application
  • Delivering the documents in hard copy to the CR with the correct fees

Required Documents:
  • Incorporation Form (Form NNC1 for company limited by shares) or Form NNC1G (for company not limited by shares)
  • A copy of the company’s Articles of Association
  • A Notice to Business Registration Office (IRBR1)

Fees The fees for incorporating a company limited by shares are: Processing Time
  • Online applications: Within 1 hour
  • Hard copy applications: Within 4 working days

3. Register Your Business

Businesses must be registered with the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department within one month of starting business. Once you have registered your business, you must display your Business Registration Certificate at your business location.

Easy Registration
Applications for company incorporations includes a simultaneous application for business registrations. Apart from the incorporation documents, you must also deliver the following to the Company Registry (CR) when you make your application for company incorporation:
  • A Notice to Business Registration Office (IRBR1)
  • Business registration fee: Please refer to the business registration fee and levy table for current charges.
  • Levy to the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund: HK$150 for a one-year certificate; HK$450 for a three-year certificate

*Please note there might be some concessions from time to time.

Processing Times
Applications for business registration made in paper form will have their business registration certificates:
  • Over the counter: in 30 minutes
  • By post: 2 working days

Applied under the one-stop company incorporation and business registration service will be issued together with the Certificate of Incorporation by CR
  • Online applications: Within 1 hour
  • Hard copy applications: Within 4 working days