July 30th, 2021 by Vivian Au
July 29th, 2021 by Vivian Au
A Special Purpose Vehicle also known as an ‘SPV’ or ‘SPE’ (Special Purpose Entity) is a subsidiary established by a parent company often created in furtherance of isolating financial risk.
To put it simply, an SPV acts as a separate company with its own assets, liabilities, and legal status.
Hence holding a separate legal status to the parent company, if in any circumstance the parent company goes bankrupt or faces insolvency, the SPV that acts as a back-up can still continue to operate.
This is why SPV’s are oftentimes also referred to as ‘bankruptcy-remote entities’.
However, rest assured, isolating financial risk is not all SPV’s do.
Here are some more functions SPV’s are used for:
- Asset transfer
- Often, permits that are non-transferable or difficult to transfer are required to operate certain assets. Thus, an SPV owning all the permits and assets can be sold as a completely separate entity, rather than attempting to sell each permit individually.
- In other words, instead of trying to sell each permit singly, you can transfer it all into an SPV, and sell the SPV as a whole.
- Property Sale
- Each country has their individual tax rates for capital gains from property taxes. However, one thing is certain, sharing properties among companies can significantly reduce the tax rate. Accordingly, these companies can then be sold and bought as independent entities in charge of these property assets, therefore changing property sales into capital gains all in an effort to pay less tax.
- Risk Sharing
- Companies may decide to incorporate an SPV into their parent company in order to isolate a high-risk project or asset from the parent company, therefore encouraging other outside investors to take a share of the now less risky project/asset.
Benefits and Risks of SPV’s?
Although until now, SPV’s might seem too good to be true, there are some downfalls too.
Here is a list of the pros and cons of SPV’s:
- Isolated Financial Risks (limited losses)
- Tax Savings/Cuts
- Easy to set up
- Easier Communication and Awareness
- Direct Ownership of certain assets
- Additional legal and accounting work
- No Capital Gains Allowance
- Complex financial statements
- Liability for subsidiary’s actions, debts
- SPV abuses
Real-World Example of SPV’s:
Many bigger corporations have implemented an SPV into their own companies in the hope to secure their own financial assets.
Namely, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., for example, owns a set of smaller subsidiaries including Clayton Homes, Dairy Queen, Business Wire, GEICO, and Helzberg Diamonds.
The purpose of this is that by dividing their assets among subsidiaries they have succeeded in sharing the company’s risk and therefore taken off pressure from the big corporation if in any case, it was likely to go under administration.
Why set up an SPV in Hong kong?
1. Hong Kong is the hotspot of finance
Hong Kong being a Special Administrative Region (SAR) has always been viewed as a rapidly-developing city, and this year more than ever we are seeing significant increases in HK’s already-booming economic rates.
So what better than to be a part of its economic success, and set up an SPV in HK!
Furthermore, being in close proximity with China also helps Hong Kong become a key financial hub in Asia, becoming especially beneficial if you are looking to do deals with Chinese investors, or trying to penetrate the Chinese market.
2. Hong Kong’s Strategic Corporate Structure
Secondly, if you are looking to enter the Chinese market, holding an SPV in Hong Kong could be a way to do it.
For instance, if a French company owns an SPV in Hong Kong, in turn, the Hong Kong SPV will own China-based assets being a WFOE (Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise).
Thus it will be regarded as a HK company and due to its also close geographical location with China it will be easier to partner or link with Chinese firms and investors.
3. Advantageous Tax Laws
Hong Kong is also famous for its favorable corporate tax rates, as well as for its strategic taxation laws.
Most notably for companies in Hong Kong a treaty called the ‘double tax agreement’ was formed between Mainland China and Hong Kong to help withhold taxes on dividends as well as help prevent double tax and tax evasion.
In turn, allowing companies to achieve a higher profit and revenue.
Additionally, as previously mentioned Hong Kong holds low personal and corporate tax, as there is no capital gains tax, no value-added tax or sale tax, and no withholding tax on dividends or taxation on going to public welfare benefits.
Hence, why Hong Kong remains one of the countries with the lowest tax rates in the world when compared to other countries, which is also reflected by their equally correlating fastly growing corporate world.
Special Purpose Vehicle Specifications in Hong Kong:
Here are a few requirements from the Hong Kong Government if you are looking to set up an SPV in Hong Kong:
- Should have a parent company fully incorporated or registered outside of Hong Kong
- Must be owned fully or partially by a non-resident in Hong Kong
- Cannot engage in business operations, trade, or activities other than holding
- Cannot be registered as an immune or excepted private company
- Is established solely for the purpose of holding, directly or indirectly, and administering one or more excepted private companies
Naturally, deciding to set up an SPV will be a very complex decision to make, and should be evaluated carefully and thoroughly in the best way possible to see whether or not it will benefit your business.
However, it has become apparent over the years that SPV’s have become a major development towards securing big corporation assets, and what better way than to set up an SPV in Hong Kong which aligns with promising tax legislation for your company to achieve its greatest heights yet.
For us, it’s a no-brainer!
Are you looking to open your own SPV in Hong Kong?
Register your business with Air Corporate today and get approved in under 48 hours!
July 26th, 2021 by Vivian Au
There’s no doubt about it – Singapore is gorgeous.
From the beautiful beaches to the nightlife, it’s fairly obvious why Singapore is a popular tourist destination.
But why are companies registering there?
There are a surprising number of good reasons.
The top five reasons companies registered in Singapore are the Ease of Doing Business, the Incorporation Opportunities, the fact that It’s a Great Place to Work and Live, that It’s Simple to do business there and that It’s Cheap to do business there.
Many countries can claim 2 or 3 of these things, but Singapore is unique in that it’s got them all.
Today we’ll look at why so many businesses register in Singapore, what the benefits are, and how to do it.
We’ll also look at possible future steps such as incorporation just to drive home why registration in Singapore is a great option.
1. Ease of Doing Business
If you’re used to doing business in America, trying to do business abroad can prove surprisingly difficult.
America is consistently one of the easiest places in the world to do business.
The World Bank ranks America as tied with South Korea for the fifth easiest place to do business, but Singapore ranks second.
In fact, the World Economic Forum crowned Singapore as the world’s most open and competitive economy in 2019 – an impressive feat for a country with under six million people.
The World Economic Forum also rated Singapore above South Korea, Hong Kong, and China as the most innovative economy in Southeast Asia.
Simply put, Singapore is a great place to do business.
Registering your business in Singapore opens your business up to the opportunities that the small nation provides, and it’s a great first step towards becoming a multinational.
2. Registering in Singapore Sets You up for Incorporation Later
Singapore is a great market, but it’s a small one.
While you may want to get your feet wet in southeast Asia by registering in Singapore, eventually, you’re going to want to branch out.
Incorporating in Singapore is a great path down the road for a variety of reasons.
There’s plenty to like about Singapore’s business-friendly tax system:
- New companies don’t pay any taxes at all on the first hundred thousand dollars or so.
- Once they do, taxes are still far cheaper than in major Western countries.
- The corporate tax rate starts at 0% and increases in tiers to a maximum of 17%.
- Personal tax rates are capped at 20% and follow a similarly tiered pattern.
- Singapore has over 50 treaties to help prevent companies incorporated in Singapore from facing double taxation.
- Singapore has little or no capital gains and value-added taxes, depending on your situation.
Note that some countries have laws aimed at making incorporation on foreign soil for tax purposes ineffective.
For example, according to Canadian law, if you did something just to evade taxes, it’s tax evasion and you’ll be punished.
Check with your legal and accounting teams before making any major decisions about incorporation.
3. It’s Simple to Register in Singapore
Registering your company in Singapore means bringing tax revenue and potentially human capital with you, so Singapore is eager to expedite and accommodate registration.
You can even register your corporation electronically, although there are certain requirements that must be met.
4. It’s Cheap to Register Your Company in Singapore
There are companies online (google “register company in Singapore”) that are willing to get you started for as little as $400, and while we can’t vouch for any specific company, Singapore’s legal system is open, robust, and efficient; the country is renowned for its lack of corruption.
Keep in mind that although the Singapore government won’t charge you an arm and a leg to register, there are still logistical costs to be considered.
Registration isn’t as complex as incorporation, but it does require both paperwork and legwork.
5. Singapore is a Great Place to Work and Live
There are plenty of reasons why Singapore is an amazing place to live and work, and your employees located in Singapore will appreciate them.
Some of those reasons are:
- Its high-tech workforce
- Its beautiful beaches
- It’s extremely clean
- It has excellent healthcare
- It has one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world
- It has an efficient, corruption-free government
- The World Happiness Index rates it as one of the happiest countries in the world almost every year
If those aren’t enough reasons for you, remember that Singapore is also a popular tourist destination.
The people there are used to catering to international crowds, and they’re generally familiar with Western culture.
In fact, English is the most widely spoken language in Singapore.
Those are the top five reasons for registering your company in Singapore.
Of course, you can register your company in multiple countries so registration in Singapore doesn’t preclude registration elsewhere.
Singapore is an excellent place to get your registration feet wet.
If you still aren’t convinced, an exploratory business trip to Singapore might change your mind.
US News and World Report ranks Singapore as the 11th best place to visit in Asia… but just because it’s a tropical paradise with temperatures in the 80°s year-round doesn’t make it a vacation, right?
Regardless, you should stop by the Accounting and Regulatory authority while you’re there.
Alternatively, you could go here for limited partnership registration info and here for limited liability partnership registration.
Alternatives to Singapore
Singapore’s friendly rival city for company incorporation in Asia has to be Hong Kong.
Hong Kong provides a slight edge over Singapore in terms of its tax system and boasts a possibly faster company incorporation system compared to Singapore depending on your industry.
If in the end, Singapore isn’t your ideal choice, don’t give up hope on an Asian registration venture.
Incorporate your business in Hong Kong with Air Corporate, and we’ll get your business approved and open for business with a local Hong Kong bank account in 11 currencies.
All under 48 hours.
July 22nd, 2021 by Vivian Au
In recent years, Hong Kong has become the place to start a business.
People worldwide flock to the city to take advantage of low taxation, economic growth, and the wide opportunity that Hong Kong offers to investors.
However, as with any business venture, there are some complicated paths to navigate before taking the plunge.
Before you begin, be sure that you understand the regulations, apply for all of the appropriate paperwork, and know what is needed to make your business a success.
Your initial step is to register with the Companies Registry to gain limited company status.
Next, to be accepted as a Hong Kong business, you must register with the Business Registration Office.
When moving through the process, you’ll find that two numbers are imperative when filling out all legal documentation.
Whether you’re renting office space, opening a bank account, or signing contracts, you will need to provide both the company registration number and the business registration number.
The problem with this is that the two numbers are easily confused, even by those who have a business background.
Many people don’t know what they look like, or even exactly what each one is for.
In this article we’ll take a closer look at both the company registration number and the business registration number, explaining everything you need to know about these essential pieces of Hong Kong business.
Important News: The Business Registration Fee has been waived for 2021-2022!
A Closer Look at Hong Kong Company Registration Number
In Hong Kong, there is a strict line that separates a “business” from a “company”.
Therefore the company registration number (or CRN) is completely different from the business registration number (BRN).
The company registration number can be found in the top left-hand corner of your Certificate of Incorporation.
This number is in essence a “social security number” for your company.
It identifies your company and is required on all documentation for the business as well as any government record.
A Closer Look at the Business Registration Number
If the company registration number is your business identifier, then why do you need a business registration number?
The BRN is a different number than the CRN, and this number is used for tax purposes rather than identification purposes.
The business registration number will be required on all forms related to taxes and day-to-day business operations.
You may acquire a BRN by applying to the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department (IRD), along with paying a fee and levy.
If your company is accepted, you will then receive a Business Registration Certificate.
Under the Hong Kong law, all overseas companies in Hong Kong must register with the IRD, including those that have a liaison office in the city, rent out their Hong Kong property, or establish an office in Hong Kong (even if they don’t actually do any business in the city itself).
The BRN must be issued by the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department before a business is allowed to open a base of operation in Hong Kong.
Once you’ve submitted the appropriate paperwork and your business is granted a Business Registration, you can identify the BRN as the first 8 digits of your Business Registration certificate number.
The format looks like this: 11111111-&&&-&&&-&&-&. The BRN is the number represented by the ones.
If you need to find the BRN of any business registered with the IRD you may do so by using the eTAX service.
Simply input the full English or Chinese name of the business, as well as the location.
What’s the Difference Between CRN and BRN?
At first glance, it’s easy to mistake the two numbers, but the truth is that they perform very different functions.
The company registration number is used as a functional company ID.
It is how the government can recognize your individual company for legal and government purposes.
You will use this for banking and business operations.
The business registration number is a tax ID.
This is the number that will be used for filing taxes and tax-related paperwork.
Although the primary function of each number is different, you will need both for any business-related paperwork.
Are There Any Exceptions for CRN or BRN Requirements?
There are no exceptions for obtaining a company registration number if you are doing business in Hong Kong.
There are a couple of exceptions for obtaining business registration numbers, including the following:
- Charity work. Keep in mind that for this exception your charity must be approved by the government, so be sure to file the appropriate paperwork.
- Breeding and rearing livestock, fishing, agriculture, garden marketing, etc. These exceptions are contingent on these activities not falling under a company heading or are part of an overseas company that does not require registration. Always check first to ensure that your business adheres to the proper standards.
The exemptions to the BRN are contingent upon other factors, so it is always best practice to check with local authorities, even if you think that your business might fall under the exemption heading.
The Bottom Line on CRN and BRN Numbers
Hong Kong is an ideal space for starting and running a business.
While there are multiple benefits to be enjoyed and regulations aren’t as arduous as many other countries, it is important to be vigilant about following local regulations to the letter. (Or in this case, number).
There are consequences for neglecting these regulations.
If you fail to register your business for a Business Registration Certificate, you are liable to receive a fine of up to 5,000 HKD as well as up to a year in prison.
Remember that both numbers are necessary for operating a business in Hong Kong–company registration number for business ID and business registration number for a tax ID.
So do your due diligence, file all necessary paperwork to receive a company registration number as well as a business registration number, and be cognizant of all pertaining regulations.
Think you’re ready to open a business in Hong Kong? Register your company with Air Corporate today and get approved in under 48 hours.
July 20th, 2021 by Vivian Au
Although it’s not difficult to register for a Business Registration (BR) company here in Hong Kong, choosing the best accounting software in Hong Kong to handle several complicated taxation issues, a pile of compliance papers, and legal documents is definitely a headache for many business owners here.
If you don’t do it right, you can only imagine a bunch of IRD issues coming your way and that’s the last thing you want.
So, how do you streamline it and make sure you’ve met the legal requirements?
Don’t worry, that’s not a question for you. Cause we already got an answer sorted out.
Here are the 5 best accounting software for your business to make your business registration smoother in Hong Kong.
Licensed-free Accounting Software
If you’re just started an SME and want to start off without having any solid accounting knowledge, then AutoMi might be your go-to. It employs a recurring model.
It’s free for 7 days, and also offers a multi-currency account.
There’s also no limit on contacts and 20 custom fields. Other than that, it offers multi-warehouse as well.
The user interface is also quite user-friendly. It includes images and rich text descriptions alongside 20 custom fields.
You can also print images in documents as well.
Not to mention the fact that It also offers different language interface options – simplified and traditional Chinese, and of course, English, which suits most, if not all, of your employee’s needs.
Here are other functions that it provides:
- You don’t need to hire in-house accounting professionals.
- Easy integration with Sage/MYOB
- Each login user would have an auto-numbering
- Regular updates on exchange rates
- Have different currencies to bill the same customer
Supported sales transactions
It is supported by:
- A sales invoice, orders, quotes, notes, credit notes, delivery note
Just like AutoMi, ABSS is also free for 7 days. After that, the price would slightly increase:
- Entry: $4,188
- Standard: $4,788
- Full: $5,888
But the difference is that the model that they use is a one-off.
Similar to AutoMi, it also offers multi-currencies features with a maximum of 5 contacts and 6 custom fields.
Multi-warehouse is also one of their main features.
Compared with AutoMi, ABSS definitely has fewer language options.
Currently, they only offer versions in English and Traditional Chinese.
- For the general transactions, you can’t really bill the same customers with different currencies
- Cannot copy transactions
Supported sales transactions
- Support: sales invoice, quote, order, credit note
- Not support: delivery note, return
Paid Accounting Software
3. Sage 50 Peachtree
For Hong Kong accounting software, this is definitely the most popular one.
It’s great for SMEs that are trying to grow.
The model used for this is also a one-off. However, it doesn’t have a free trial either.
But there are two packages you can go for:
Sage Business Cloud – Accounting Start
Now, this is the entry package for your company.
It’s good for you to easily manage cash flow and finances online.
The bank transactions can also be reconciled automatically. VAT can also be calculated and submitted for you.
Sage Business Cloud – Accounting
Compared to the above one, this account is more advanced.
You get cash flow forecasts and you can also create notes like delivery and credit.
You can also add multiple users, making it more convenient.
Again, just like ABSS, the software and accounting support also depends on the distributor.
It offers a single currency with only a single warehouse, so the function is definitely fewer than the other two.
For the interface, it only offers English, so it might be tough for companies that have an international profile of employees.
But there’s a pitfall though – you can’t print images and you only have 5 custom fields. The maximum address you can get is just 20.
- You can copy the transactions and you can also change the line sequence.
Supported sales transactions
- Supports: sales invoices, quotes, orders, credit note
- Not support: delivery note, return
Xero is probably another SME-friendly accounting software.
The New Zealand software company puts lots of focus on its functionality, an interface that’s accessible to everyone, unlike the Sage software, which is designed mostly just for professional accountants.
It is connected to three of the major banks in Hong Kong DBS, Hang Seng Bank, as well as HSBC, making transactions more commonly accessible in this way.
Xero has a recurring model just the ones mentioned above.
It also has auto-integration that links to your bank accounts with built-in compliance features with tax regulations like Stripe, PayPal, and more.
They also offer multi-currencies accounts, but that’s an exclusive feature only featured in the premium account.
- Starter Plan: USD 20/month
- Standard Plan: USD 30/month
- Premium Plan: USD 40/month
- Again, it bills the same customer with different currencies
- You can also copy transactions as well
- User-friendly for non-accountant individuals
Supported sales transactions:
- Support: sales invoice and credit note
- Not support: sales quote, delivery note, and return
Just like Xero, Quickbooks is another go-to accounting software commonly used by SMEs here in Hong Kong.
Started in 2002, the U.S. claims itself as an all-in-one cloud-based software.
Tasks like project-tracking and bill management can be easily automated within the software itself, so it saves you all the extra manual work.
There’s also incorporation work you can do with it like invoicing, tax filing, profits and loss reports generation, and more.
Aside from that, you can also start a 30-day free trial and go from there.
If your business involves customers from countries all around the world, you can also opt for a multi-currency account.
But then the downside is that it is a single warehouse system and that you have to sell before you buy.
- Unlike the ones mentioned above, you can’t really bill the same customer with different currencies, you also can’t change the line sequence or customize the layout either.
- You can exchange the rate update and there’s auto numbering for each transaction type.
- It is easy to use, even if you’re not an accountant
Supported sales transactions:
- Supports: sales invoices, quote, and credit note
- Not support: sales order and delivery note
Don’t want to deal with accounting work? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here at Air Corporate, we provide a series of Company Secretary work to make your business registration easier for you.
Sign up on Air-Corporate today and try your first company secretary service and more for your business.
July 15th, 2021 by Vivian Au
In the last three decades, there has been a major influx of foreign investment in Hong Kong.
Every multinational wants its feet on the ground so that it can benefit from Hong Kong’s growth.
Hong Kong is a sovereign nation like any other, but there tend to be fewer regulations when it comes to business formation.
The process of registering a Canadian business in Hong Kong is fast, requiring only a few steps.
It seems simple enough, but how do you do it? What’s the first step, where should you register, is it expensive, and what’s the catch?
Canada’s Legal Perspective
First, registration is not the same as incorporating.
It’s not going to be of much use when it comes to avoiding Canadian taxes, and as a result, it’s not particularly regulated.
If you’re trying to avoid paying taxes, you’ll want to incorporate your business in Hong Kong which is different.
Canada has very strict rules that penalize you for doing this.
To make a long story short, Copthorne Holdings Ltd. vs. Canada was a tax ruling in which the Canadian Supreme Court determined that, subjectively, if it seems like you did something just to avoid paying taxes, it’s illegal.
The result was the Canadian government going to extreme measures to pursue charges.
At any rate, registration to do business abroad is not the same as incorporation to avoid taxes, so there’s no reason for Canada to regulate it.
Hong Kong Registration Requirements
Several businesses enter the Hong Kong market for historical reasons.
Because Hong Kong was partnered along with the U.K. for several years, it gained many benefits and freedoms that other cities may not have.
The bustling city is the most western-like when it comes to economy and values.
The regulatory tax incentives make it an attractive place to register, even for Canadian business owners.
If you have a company that you’d like to register in Hong Kong, there are certain rules and regulations to follow.
They are as follows:
- Register five important forms electronically or in person:
- Form NN1 – Application for Registration of a non-Hong Kong company
- A certified charter or similar documentation
- A certified copy of the company’s certificate of incorporation
- A certified copy of the company’s newest published accounts
- A notice to the Business Registration Office (IRBB2)
- Prove that your company has a valid name. There are certain guidelines to follow when it comes to naming businesses in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Company Register Office lists them here.
- Figure out if your company will be limited by any shares or guarantees. If you’re not aware of the differences between the two, the Hong Kong Company Registry website is as follows:
- Company limited by shares – “The liability of members is limited by the articles of association to the amount unpaid on the shares respectively held by them.”
- Company limited by guarantee – “No share capital and the liability of members is limited by the articles of association to the amount that the members respectively undertake to contribute to the assets of the company in the event of its being wound up. Non-profit-making organizations are usually registered as guarantee companies.”
- Get a Certificate of Registration if your company is approved. You can do this online or in person.
It’s important to note that registration takes around one week to process.
If you have any additional questions about steps to take or who to contact, the Hong Kong Company Registry Office has a FAQ page that may help.
One Last Thing
Now you know the basics of registering in Hong Kong.
As you might imagine, the specific nuances of these steps can be somewhat complex in execution, but it really isn’t that complicated and the costs are extremely reasonable.
Still, you may want to consider hiring a company that specializes in foreign company registration, incorporation, etcetera.
As a business expense, their prices are usually quite reasonable and they have the expertise to help you avoid any unexpected hiccups.
If something unexpected does happen, it’s always nice to have boots on the ground working in your favor.
The caveat to this is that you should always do your homework before choosing a corporate partner; most of your interactions will undoubtedly be online, and this comes with inherent security issues.
Starting any venture in Hong Kong begins with the right company secretary.
Register your business in Hong Kong today and you’ll get approved in under 48 hours.
Good luck with your future Hong Kongese endeavors, and remember the old business saying – “If I could just sell one pair of socks to every person in Hong Kong…”
July 8th, 2021 by Vivian Au
Moving to Hong Kong and starting your business there is an extremely exciting opportunity.
However, if you are new to the Hong Kong business environment it may be difficult for you to network and build long-lasting professional relationships within your business sector and industry.
To overcome this challenge, it is important to understand how networking works in Hong Kong and understand the type of business networking events you should attend to build your brand and professional development.
This article outlines the main business networks and chambers you should join once you register your company and move to Hong Kong.
Why is networking so important?
Before jumping into the business networks in Hong Kong, it is important to understand the importance of networking and why it is essential for your business, brand, and professional development.
Firstly, networking with other professionals both within and outside of your industry allows you to exchange ideas and learn from one another.
By doing so, you also establish long-lasting relationships and build trust within your cohort.
Secondly, it creates an avenue for new opportunities that can allow you to expand your business, reach more customers, and build brand loyalty.
Finally, it allows you to develop a pool of resources that you can access if you need advice or help.
Business Networking Groups
Networking groups are established to enable people to connect, meet new professionals, expand their network, benefit from new opportunities and learn from one another.
Nowadays, professional networking groups operate both in-person and online.
You can easily find professional networking events near you by visiting the websites of the networks mentioned below or signing up for websites such as Eventbrite, Facebook, and Meetup.
Global Social Networking
Global Social Networking (GSN) was established in 2012 and aims to bring professionals from different backgrounds and cultures together.
GSN is a public group that can be joined here on Facebook.
GSN offers various networking activities and development opportunities at many exciting and exclusive venues in Hong Kong.
GSN also offers a service where they organize your company’s corporate events and promote company products.
Business Network International
Business Network International is one of Hong Kong’s oldest and largest business network groups.
BNI has nearly 4,000 members in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
You can find out more about BNI and how it works by visiting a local chapter meeting.
You can find the chapter closest to you here.
The benefits of joining BNI include an increase in business prospects through referrals, access to exclusive training programs that contribute towards your professional development, fifty-two networking opportunities per year, and access to exclusive member resources such as educational material on networking, public speaking, and business best practices.
After visiting your local chapter, you can apply for membership with the Membership Committee of your respective chapter.
The process involves an application and an interview.
Hong Kong Freelancers and SMEs Meetup
The Hong Kong Freelancers and SMEs Meetup networking group has nearly 3,900 members and aims to create a strong referral network for freelancers and SMEs in Hong Kong.
You can learn more about the group and join it here.
Past events include courses such as learning photoshop for beginners, building a website with absolutely no coding skills, and digital strategy building for freelancers and SMEs.
Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurs Meetup
The Hong Kong Social Entreprenuers Meetup is organized by a group of professionals that aim to join forces and tackle the issues facing the planet and society as a whole.
You can request to join the group here.
If you are a social entrepreneur interested in innovation and change-making, this group could be your cup of tea!
By joining the group, you will have access to monthly events and daily interaction with the social entrepreneur community.
Hong Kong Startup Founder 101 Meetup
Hong Kong Startup Founder 101 is a group dedicated to bringing experienced tech entrepreneurs together to engage in conversation and collaborate to build and grow startups in Hong Kong.
The group hosts a number of free events throughout the year which include talks from experienced professionals on coming up with a strong startup idea, the legal basics of establishing a startup, and guidance on how to pitch your startup to investors.
You can join the group here to benefit from these events and receive feedback on your ideas!
Hong Kong Business & Social Network
The Hong Kong Business & Social Network has nearly 6,000 members and is affiliated with the Global Business and Social Network.
The group aims to provide a positive and safe environment for professionals in Hong Kong to socialize and promote cross-cultural dialogue through both local and international activities and trips.
Activities include karaoke, bowling, badminton, dancing, and basketball.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, you can join the group here.
The group is open to those who have recently moved to Hong Kong, those planning to travel there, and Hong Kong nationals currently living abroad.
The Entreprenuer Network
The Entrepreneurs Network provides opportunities for people to network with other professionals.
This network hosts monthly events for all its members to attend which include networking opportunities, speaker events, jointly organized events with other organizations, and themed workshops on topics such as funding, startup, and marketing tools and strategies.
Chambers of Commerce
A Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary partnership between businesses and professionals who work together to build a community, achieve their goals, and further their business interests.
There are many chambers in Hong Kong that are known for their networking opportunities and useful events.
Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce organizes nearly 500 events for its members every year.
It is also one of the oldest and largest business organizations in Hong Kong.
The Chamber hosts training workshops, seminars, and policy meetings to improve the business environment in Hong Kong.
Its mission is to promote, represent and safeguard the interests of the business community in Hong Kong and to provide support, networks, and business services to foster growth amongst the business community.
Their key functions include:
- Business Services
You can learn more about how to join here.
Hong Kong-Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Hong Kong-Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry was founded in 1969 by the Hong Kong-Japanese Club Economics Committee.
The aim of the chamber is to provide information and promote business networking.
American Chamber of Commerce
The American Chamber of Commerce is the biggest international chamber in Hong Kong.
The mission of the chamber is to increase business relations between the United States of America, Hong Kong, and Mainland China.
You can learn more about the benefits of joining the American Chamber of Commerce here.
British Chamber of Commerce
The British Chamber of Commerce is another well-known chamber in Hong Kong.
It is an extremely active organization which aims to help their members grow their business, promote their business interests, network and gain brand exposure, information, and insight.
You can find more information on how to join here.
Back to you
Networking is extremely important for your business especially in a country like Hong Kong that has a thriving business environment.
Register your company in Hong Kong with Air Corporate today and get started on your business networking!
Focus on your business. We take care of the rest.
July 6th, 2021 by Vivian Au
How long can each country’s nationals stay in Hong Kong visa-free?
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Hong Kong is a remarkable tourist destination.
The beautiful sceneries, exquisite Asian cuisines, luxury malls, and vibrant nightlife make the city a worthy place to spend your next vacation.
But these tourists’ thrills are not the major motivation for many people seeking to visit the city.
The opportunity to spend considerable time in the region without a visa is a dream come true for travelers and tourists, and the major reason why many people visit the city.
A visa-free stay in Hong Kong makes the city the ideal location for emergency vacations and business meetings.
Keep reading to find out if you are eligible for a visa-free stay in Hong Kong.
Who can enter Hong Kong without a visa?
If you want to visit Hong Kong for business, studies, vacation, or work, there are mandatory immigration requirements that you must fulfill to enter the city legally.
However, certain persons can enter Hong Kong without a visa.
The Hong Kong Government offers visa-free stay in Hong Kong to visitors from certain countries for a limited period.
Thus if you’re a national or diplomatic passport holder of any country eligible for a visa-free stay in Hong, you can enter Hong Kong without a visa.
This relieves you of the cost of applying for a visa and the rigorous process involved.
Also, if you’re a Hong Kong resident or connected to the region by birth, you’ll not require a visa to enter the city if you have any of the following documents:
- A valid Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport
- A Hong Kong Re-entry permit for persons entering the city from Mainland China or the Macao Special Administrative Region
- The Hong Kong Seaman’s Identity Book
- A valid Hong Kong Document of Identity for Visa Purposes provided that your limit of stay in Hong Kong has not expired
- Travel documents endorsed with a statement that the bearer of such documents is eligible for the Hong Kong permanent identity card, or a statement that the bearer has the right to land in Hong Kong.
Which countries are eligible for a visa-free stay in Hong Kong?
Nationals and residents of over 160 countries are eligible for a visa-free stay in Hong Kong. This includes African, European, and Asian countries.
The visa-free stay is granted for a limited period ranging from 7 to 180 days.
Here’s a table showing the countries eligible for a visa-free stay in Hong Kong by country.
||Visa Free Period
||Albania (holders of Albanian biometric passports only)
||Antigua and Barbuda
||Bosnia and Herzegovina
||Britain (British Overseas Territories citizens, British Overseas citizens, British subjects and British Protected persons)
||British Antarctic Territory
||British Indian Ocean Territory
||The British Virgin Islands
||Falkland Islands & Dependencies
||Korea (Republic of)
||Papua New Guinea
||Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie & Oeno Islands
||Sao Tome and Principe
||Serbia (holders of Serbian biometric passports only)
||St. Helena Dependencies (Ascension, Tristan Da Cunha)
||St. Kitts and Nevis
||St. Vincent and The Grenadines
||The South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
||The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia
||Trinidad and Tobago
||Turks and Caicos Islands
||United Arab Emirates
||U.S.A. (except U.S.A. Diplomatic passports)
||US Trust Territory of Pacific Islands(holders of US Trust Territory passports only)
||Nationals of other foreign countries do not require visas for a visit
Need to stay in Hong Kong longer than your limit of stay?
The visa-free stay is for a limited period and you’ll be required to present a valid visa to continue staying beyond your limit of stay.
Thus, it is advisable to apply for a Hong Kong visa on arrival if you intend to stay for a longer period.
Alternatively, you can apply for an extension of stay but this is mostly granted for emergency situations and only on merit.
Also, you have to apply for an extension of stay 7 days before your visa-free period expires for your application to be considered.
How to get a Hong Kong Visa
Generally, anyone entering Hong Kong ought to present a visa or entry permit as required by the immigration laws and regulations.
Thus, if you do not meet the requirements for a visa-free stay in Hong Kong and you’re ineligible to enter Hong Kong without a visa, you’ll need to apply for a visa.
You’ll also need a visa to stay in Hong Kong beyond the applicable visa-free period.
Luckily, the process for applying and obtaining a visa in Hong Kong is straightforward and simple.
You can apply for a Hong Kong Visa at any Chinese Embassy or Consulate close to you.
Alternatively, you can apply directly to the Hong Kong Immigration Department by post.
You’ll have to provide your reason for applying for the Visa, the period you intend to spend in Hong Kong, and show sufficient funds to cover your expenses during the period.
Your application form and supporting documents must provide these details for your application to be considered.
Hong Kong offers several opportunities to foreigners seeking an overseas destination to explore.
You may need to visit the city to explore the environment and assess the available opportunities.
You can take advantage of the Hong Kong visa-free stay to do so if you’re eligible.
Among being a great vacation city, Hong Kong is also a well-known city for being an international business hub.
Businesses from all over the world love the environment for doing business in Hong Kong, or even just opening their business there as an offshore company.
Hong Kong is considered a tax haven with some of the most relaxed taxation regimes in Asia.
Register your business in Hong Kong with Air Corporate today and get approved in 48 hours.
Once you have set up your Hong Kong company, the next step involves hiring the right talent to ensure that your business is successful.
But here’s the thing — finding the brightest mind in the business is only the tip of the iceberg.
Without a solid employment contract in place, neither your employees nor you have enough security and protection.
After all, a legally binding agreement is essential for capturing the specific terms and conditions of employment.
It is beneficial to both the employer and the employee.
So here’s what you need to keep in mind when you are drawing up an employment contract in Hong Kong
Always use a written contract
A written agreement is always beneficial for you as it minimizes the chances of any dispute about the terms of the contract.
You can clearly specify all the conditions of employment right in the contract or if you have issued a separate letter of employment, incorporate the terms by reference.
While Hong Kong law recognizes oral/verbal contracts, employees can also request employers to provide a written agreement. Failure to adhere to the request can result in a fine of up to HKD 10,000.
Don’t reduce the rights of employees
As per the terms of the Hong Kong Employment Ordinance, any term which extinguishes or reduces the rights of the employee is legally void.
Say, for instance, the employment contract of your company provides that if an employee works on a statutory holiday, the company will pay twice the daily wages as remuneration for such work but not arrange for an alternative holiday.
Under the Hong Kong Employment Ordinance, all employees must get statutory holidays, and employers cannot make payments instead of granting a holiday.
Moreover, if an employee works on a statutory holiday, the employer must arrange for an alternative holiday.
Therefore, your contract will be invalid as per the terms of the Employment Ordinance.
Inform employees of changes to the contract
Hong Kong Employment Ordinance provides that if there are changes to the employment terms, the same must be notified to the employee at the earliest.
A copy of the amended terms must be provided to the employee.
Moreover, before you change any terms, ensure that the employment contract expressly allows for such change.
An employee who is under a continuous contract with a company can challenge such variation if done in the absence of a specific clause allowing it, and the modifications are done without any valid reason or without the consent of such an employee.
Include key details
Details about the job, remuneration and appraisal policy, termination, leave policy (including maternity leave), sickness allowance, and the working hours should be clearly specified in your contract.
If you need to pay MPF under the laws of Hong Kong and require the employees to pay their contribution, specify it in the contract.
The probation period, if any, should also be included in the contract.
Typically, the probation period in Hong Kong is around three months.
The Hong Kong Employment Ordinance permits both the employer and the employee to terminate the employment contract without notice within the first month of the probation period.
Post-termination must be reasonable
If you want to impose restrictions on the employees to protect business interests, you can do that but make sure that these restrictions are reasonable.
For example, you can include a non-compete clause that prohibits a former employee from working with your competitor for a certain period after the termination of employment.
Remember that the Hong Kong Employment Ordinance doesn’t make any distinction between “temporary,” “part-time,” “substituted,” “permanent,” and “full-time” employees.
The wording of the employment contract should be able to demonstrate the type of employment.
For example, suppose you have hired someone as an independent contractor.
In that case, the employment contract should contain express provisions to show that such a person has independent control over their work and can be regarded as someone operating their own business.
Lastly, whenever you are drafting an employment contract in Hong Kong, be sure to refer to the Labour Department’s booklet “Using Written Employment Contract” and the “Sample Employment Contract,” available here.
This will ensure that the terms of the contract are in sync with the legal requirements.
Ready to start preparing the employment contracts?
Does this all sound too daunting? Don’t worry — Air Corporate is here to help.
We recommend hiring an independent legal practitioner who can draft employment contracts. Our experts can clarify your doubts so that you can have access to standard employment contracts and hire without breaking a sweat.
Also, we are happy to help you with incorporating and registering your Hong Kong Company.
Just focus on your business. We are here to take care of the rest.