Company Formation and Incorporation - Hong Kong

Hong Kong Company Registration Guide

Long recognised as the gateway to Asia, Hong Kong is an entrepreneur’s paradise, ranked high in international rankings for the ease of doing business, as well as its favourable tax conditions. The world bank listed Hong Kong as one of the top best places in the world for doing business due to its favourable liberal economic policies and the potential access to the massive Chinese market. The government’s support for start-ups continue to remain strong as seen in 2018 where the government injected over HKD 5 billion into the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) and announced a further HKD 2 billion of Innovation and Technology Venture Fund to encourage private venture funds to invest in start-ups through a corresponding process.


Hong Kong’s economic and political history has been primarily determined by its geographical location. The territory of Hong Kong is comprised of Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island and a mainland hinterland, forming a natural geographic port for Guangdong province in Southeast China. As such, there is still a considerable continuity in Hong Kong’s position in the international economy, a role of a commercial entrepot for China’s regional and global trade that it plays today. From a relatively unpopulated territory at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Hong Kong has grown to become one of the most important international financial centers in the world. Hong Kong also underwent a rapid and successful process of industrialization from the 1950s that captured the imagination of economists and historians in the 1980s and 1990s.

Incorporation Process and Timeline


LLC (Onshore)

LLC (Offshore)Public Limited Company Branch OfficeRepresentative Office
Minimum number of directors11111
Minimum number of shareholders111Parent CompanyParent Company
Local Presence (director/ shareholder/ officer)






Physical registered office address requirementYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum Paid Up Share CapitalUSD 1USD 1USD 1N/A N/A
Preference Shareholder OptionYesYesYesNoNo

Incorporation Timeline

Less than a monthLess than a monthLess than a monthLess than a monthLess than a month


Hong Kong Companies Registry (CR)

Hong Kong Companies Registry (CR)

Hong Kong Companies Registry (CR)

Hong Kong Companies Registry (CR)

Hong Kong Companies Registry (CR)

Taxation and Accounting


LLC (Onshore)

LLC (Offshore)Public Limited Company Branch OfficeRepresentative Office

Corporate Tax (Foreign Income)


Corporate Tax (Local Income)16.5%16.5%16.5%16.5%N/A

Annual Tax Return Filing

Annual Audit RequirementsYesYesYesNoNo
Entry to Double Taxation TreatiesYesDependsYesYesNo
Access to local government grantsYesNoYesYesNo
Import/ export of goodsYesYesYesYesNo

Corporate Bank Account


LLC (Onshore)

LLC (Offshore)Public Limited Company Branch OfficeRepresentative Office
Corporate Bank Account Available Bank account in Asia, upon request.Bank account in Asia, upon request.Bank account in Asia, upon request.Bank account in Asia, upon request.Bank account in Asia, upon request.
Travel requirements to open a bank accountYesYesYesYesYes
Multi-currency optionYesYesYesYesYes
E-banking platform qualityHighHighHighHighHigh
Corporate Debit CardsNoNoNoNoNo
Bank Account Opening Timeline1 – 2 months1 – 2 months1 – 2 months1 – 2 months1 – 2 months



LLC (Onshore)

LLC (Offshore)Public Limited Company Branch OfficeRepresentative Office
Work Permit RequirementsThe non-resident director does not need any work permit to incorporate a wholly-owned foreign entity
Expatriate Entities are allowed to hire expatriate staff(s)
International currency control on remittanceNone
Registered Office optionYes
Average office rental (USD)USD 24 (sf/ month)
Average monthly salaryUSD 3,000 – USD 5,000 for local skilled hires
Minimum statutory salaryUSD 4.83/ hour

Main Features of Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Types of EntitiesPrivate Limited by SharesPublic Limited by SharesCompany Limited by Guarantee
Business ObjectivesFavoured by Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs)Favoured by Multinational Corporations (MNCs)Preferred by charities, clubs, societies and non-profit organisations to raise funds
Company Structure

Minimum requirement: 

  • One shareholder (of any nationality)
  • One director (of any nationality)
  • Local secretary
  • Local registered office

Minimum requirement:

  • Two directors, one member
  • Local secretary
  • Local registered office
  • No corporate directors
ShareholdersMaximum 50More than 50 shareholders allowed
Share Capital
  • No minimum share capital requirement
  • No bearer shares allowed
  • Liability tied to members is limited to be the unpaid amount of shares held by each shareholder
  • Does not have share capital 
  • Liability tied to members is limited to an agreed-upon amount in the event of a company’s liquidation 
Shares are transferable but subject to the company’s refusal to register the transfer of shares 
  • Shares are allowed to be freely traded 
  • Shares may/ may not be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange 

Other advantages:


  • Legally tax exempt if there are no operations locally. This makes Hong Kong an attractive choice for entrepreneurs to establish their businesses;
  • No withholding tax, sales tax, VAT, import and export tax as well as capital gain tax;
  • Local operations would only incur a corporate tax rate of 16.5%, one of the lowest in Asia;
  • Hong Kong has 37 international double tax treaties to minimise withholding tax occurrence on payments abroad;

Business Environment

  • Companies are able to benefit from the absence of exchange controls to restrict income repatriation;
  • Hong Kong is ranked 37th top jurisdiction worldwide for securing business credit;
  • Hong Kong, similar to Singapore, is recognised as the leading financial centre in Asia; hosting many financial management firms, banks and asset management firms;
  • English is the official business language in Hong Kong;
  • Local government is highly trusted and ranked one of the least corrupted;
  • Liberal policies making it the most business-friendly city in Asia, attracting a lot of qualified foreign labour and investors.


Desfran provides the following services in Hong Kong:

  • Company formation
  • Provision of registered agent and registered address
  • Provision of company management, directorship, and shareholding services
  • License application assistance
  • Hong Kong funds setup and structuring
  • Offshore bank account introductions and applications
  • Virtual office services and other corporate services
  • Nominee services


Application Process:

  1. Submit your interest here
  2. Our Company Formation Specialists will reach out to you for an in depth discussion
  3. A customised proposal will be sent to you upon uncovering your needs,
  4. Upon the proposal confirmation, we will require the of the following information for the application
  5. Proof of Identity
  6. Proof of Residence (within the last 3 months) of all director(s), shareholder(s) and beneficial owner(s);
  7. Once the above has been approved, we will send you an invoice for payment.
  8. The incorporation process will commence upon receiving payment


Desfran deals directly with the authorities instead of the use of intermediaries in your application process. In this way, we are able to ensure our prices remain competitive while you are ensured of utmost privacy and care in your application.


Your one-stop cross-border service provider

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