Starting a business in Hong Kong can be an excellent idea.
Not only will you be working within a truly international climate, but a simple tax structure and relatively hassle-free registration processes will take much of the guesswork out of the equation.
However, it is still critical to recognize some of the most important annual requirements so that you can fully appreciate your obligations.
Let’s take a look at what the professionals have to say in regards to the forms that will need to be filed as well as to your legal responsibilities.
Accurately Audited Financial Statements
It is important to keep a record of all accounting transactions (in full accordance with the Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standards).
So, be sure that these records are updated and examined on a regular basis in order to avoid any potential errors.
This information will then need to be audited by a CPA registered in Hong Kong.
Some pertinent details contained within these statements include balance sheets, income/profit statements, loss accounts, and auditor reports.
On a final note, the data contained within these statements must be recognized by all members of the company after they have been initially approved by the board of directors.
The annual return form (NAR1) must be delivered to the Hong Kong Companies Registry within 42 days of the anniversary from when your business was first incorporated.
If you happen to own a public company, these returns must be supplied within six months after the cessation of your accounting reference period.
In reference to companies limited by guarantee as well as public entities, certified true copies of all financial statements will need to be included alongside reports from the auditors and directors (this is not applicable to private companies with limited shares).
You will otherwise incur substantial late fees if these return reports are not delivered on time.
Some of the details which must be contained within your annual returns include:
- The amount of share capital
- The current company director and secretary.
- Shareholder information.
- The registered address of the company.
Any information that is not accurate will need to be corrected; once again increasing the possibility of being subject to late fees.
Profits Tax Returns
Annual tax returns must be submitted with all relevant supporting documents by every limited Hong Kong company.
Some of the information contained within this documentation will include:
- Assessed profits and adjusted losses.
- Tax computation
- Audited financial statements
However, dormant firms and companies adhering to the current IRO (Inland Revenue Ordinance) will not need to file such statements.
Business Registration Requirements
All Hong Kong companies will need to renew their original Business Registration Certificate (BRC) before the anniversary of when the firm was originally incorporated.
Please note that this certificate must be displayed at your place of business and within public view.
Remuneration Paid to Employees
It should already be obvious that any Hong Kong firm which has employees will need to maintain accurate payroll records and information regarding remuneration to its workers.
These details will be contained within the annual Employer’s Return form.
The associated reporting period runs from 1 April to 31 March of any given year.
It is also important to list any income that is applicable to salaries tax.
- Director’s fees
- Bonuses and pension plans
- Basic wages and salaries (including overtime)
- Leave pay (if applicable)
- Education expenses (if applicable)
- Business-sponsored employee residences
In the event that a company has no employees, this should be made clear to the Inland Revenue service once the Employer’s Return form has been received.
Annual General Meetings
Every company based out of Hong Kong is required to hold at least one Annual General Meeting (AGM) within the associated financial year.
Private firms that are not subsidiaries of a larger conglomerate are obliged to hold an Annual General Meeting within no longer than nine months following the end of the fiscal year.
The only exception to this rule involves instances when the first allotment of financial statements contains information for a period that equates to longer than 12 months.
In this case, an AGM can be held either nine months following the anniversary of incorporation or three months immediately after the end of the financial period (whichever date arrives first).
Keeping One Step Ahead of the Game
These are some of the primary filing requirements for a business registered in Hong Kong.
However, please note that this has only been a general overview.
It is always prudent to speak with a professional financial adviser or to consult with the Hong Kong Companies Registry in order to obtain more details or if you have additional questions.
Register your company with Air Corporate and get a free consultation with our company registration experts.