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Opening an office in HK
Home ›  Trade and Commerce  ›  Opening an office in HK

Doing Business with HK

Passports & Visas

Employment / Work Permits

Hong Kong Identity Card

Business Registration

General information

Offices and Payments

Business Licence Information

Trade and Customs Regulations

Taxation

Fringe Benefits

Rentals

Currency

Further information


Here we give basic information, applicable to all businesses, on how to open an office in Hong Kong. Readers can always contact the Consulate General of India, Hong Kong for further information. More information can be gathered from the websites and email addresses given through out the article and at the end.


Passports & Visas

Individuals holding valid Indian passports do not need visa for short-term stay in Hong Kong. A short-term visa valid up to 14 days will be issued on arrival.


Global Services Centre

Hong Kong was the world's 11th largest exporter of commercial services in 2004. Civil aviation, shipping, travel and tourism, trade-related services, and various financial and banking services are the main components of trade in services. The prices of many services are among the lowest in the world.


Hong Kong draws more than 90 per cent of its GDP from the service sector. - services ranging from air transport and shipping to contract manufacturing and software designing. Exports of services gained growth momentum aimd robust inbound tourism and thriving offshore trade. Indeed, the four pillar economic sectors of Hong Kong are trade and logistics, tourism, financial services


Employment / Work Permits

Persons wishing to be employed in Hong Kong should get an employment visa. Applicants may submit their visa applications to the nearest Chinese diplomatic and consular mission in their place of residence, or to the Hong Kong Immigration Department direct by post / through the local sponsor.


Hong Kong Identity Card

Any person staying in Hong Kong for more than 180 days is required to have a Hong Kong Identity Card. Further information is available in the Internet Immigration Department Home Page address: http://www.immd.gov.hk . For enquiry, please contact: Immigration Department, 7 Gloucester Rd, Immigration Tower, Wanchai, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 2824-6111. Fax: (852) 2824-1133/2877-7711. E-mail: enquiry@immd.gov.hk


Business Registration

Under the provisions of the Business Registration Ordinance, every person carrying on any Business (meaning any form of trade, commerce, craftsmanship, profession, calling or other activity carried on for the purpose of gain and also means a club) must register his/her business within 1 month of the commencement of the business.


All information regarding establishing a company in Hong Kong should be obtained from the Registrar of Companies, Companies Registry, 13 & 14/F, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong ( +852.2867.2604 / +852.2867.2600; 7 +852.2596.0585). All businesses must register with the Business Registration Office, Inland Revenue Department, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Rd, Wanchai, Hong Kong (+852.187.8088 / +852.2594.3149). Businesses must be registered every year, although that regulation may change. Applications can also be sent by mail along with cheque payment.

For further information, please visit:

http://www.ird.gov.hk


General information


All information regarding establishing a company in Hong Kong should be obtained from the Registrar of Companies, Companies Registry, 13 & 14/F, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 2867-2604, or (852) 2867-2600; Fax: (852) 2596-0585. Website: www.cr.gov.hk .


All businesses, whether limited liability companies, sole proprietorships, or partnerships must register with the Business Registration Office, Inland Revenue Department, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Rd, Wanchai, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 187-8088 or (852) 2594-3149. The fee for registration of a new company is HK$2,250. Businesses must be registered every year, although that regulation may change.


Solicitors or accountants provide services for incorporating and registering companies, as well as acting as the registered office. Many international accounting firms are located here. It costs approximately HK$10,000 (US$1,282) in various fees to set up a limited company.


Offices and Payments

All applications for any registration of a business must be accompanied by full payment of the appropriate business registration fee and levies before they will be processed. For applications made by mail, cheques for the correct amounts made payable to the "Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and must be sent in together with the application forms. (Business Registration Office 4/F, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wanchai (852) 187 8088)

For more details on business registration see:

http://www.ird.gov.hk


Business Licence Information

The Business Licence Information Service Homepage is administered by the Small and Medium Enterprises Office of the Trade and Industry Department. It provides information on all government licences, permits, certificates and approvals relevant to business operation in Hong Kong. Information is available ranging from patents and trademark registration to additional registration details.

For more information see http://www.success.tid.gov.hk


Trade and Customs Regulations

There are no customs tariffs in Hong Kong and goods imported or exported require minimal customs formalities. Excise duties are levied only on tobacco, liquor, methyl alcohol and hydrocarbon oil, whether imported or locally manufactured. Import/Export declaration is required within 14 days after the importation/exportation of the articles.


Import and export licences, and certificates of origin are only required to enable Hong Kong to fulfil its international obligations or requirements of importing countries and for health, safety or security reasons. Certain textiles and clothing products are currently subject to quota constraint. Further information on the Trade and Industry Department's licensing services can be obtained at its office at Trade and Industry Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon. Tel: (852) 2392 2922; Fax: (852) 2789 2491; web site: http://www.tid.gov.hk


Taxation

Hong Kong's Corporate tax rate is 16%. There is no import tariff for machines and raw material. There is no tax on dividends. There is no tax on capital gains, no value added tax or sales tax. There is a concessionary corporate tax of 8% for offshore business of professional reinsurance companies authorised in Hong Kong.


Basically, company profits, salaries and property rental income, are taxable. Only profits arising in Hong Kong from a trade, profession or business carried on in the territory are taxable. A company pays no tax in the territory on income derived from outside Hong Kong. Salaries tax is also only charged on Hong Kong sourced salaries.

Website of Inland Revenue Department: www.ird.gov.hk


Fringe Benefits

The Employment Ordinance (Chapter 57 of the Laws of Hong Kong) stipulates employment-related benefits and entitlements for employees, which includes provisions for rest days, sickness allowance, etc.


Effective from December 2000, all employers are required to contribute 5% at minimum of the employees' monthly income to Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme for their employees who have joined the company for more than 60 calendar days and fall between the age of 18 and 65. Meanwhile, employees are also subject to the obligatory contribution of minimum 5% of income. The statutory amount of income for contribution purposes is HK$20,000 at maximum. However, if the employees' salary falls either below HK$5,000 or above HK$20,000, then it is fully at employees' discretion to decide if more of his or her income is to be contributed to the MPF scheme. The employees can also opt to join the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO) schemes, if his or her company has such alternative retirement fund scheme.


Rentals

Downtown office space in Hong Kong is one of the costliest in the world. However, less expensive locations are available, away from the city. The cost of apartments is high, comparable to major cities such as New York and London. Apartments in the suburban towns around Hong Kong are slightly cheaper. For example, the satellite cities of Tuen Mun and Ma On Shan are about an hour from downtown Hong Kong by express bus (and less to other business districts in Kowloon or the New Territories).


For further information, please visit:

http://www.rvd.gov.hk

http://www.investhk.gov.hk


Currency

Hong Kong dollars are used in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Hong Kong dollar has been linked to the US dollar at a fixed rate of HK$7.8 to US$1. Currency exchange is available in several places.


Further information

Please log on to the following websites for further information on opening an office in Hong Kong and other relevant materials:

Invest Hong Kong: www.investhk.gov.hk

Hong Kong Trade Development Council: www.hktdc.com

HKSAR Immigration Department: www.immd.gov.hk

Business Registration info: www.ird.gov.hk

Trade and Industry department: www.tid.gov.hk

Taxation details: www.ird.gov.hk

Office rentals: www.rvd.gov.hk



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