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How to Register an Australian Company in Hong Kong

registering an australian company in hong kong


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Registering an Australian Company in Hong Kong

1. Choose Your Registration Type

2. Appoint Necessary Professionals

3. Prepare Required Documents

4. Submit Your Application

5. Await Approval and Issuance of Certificates

Hong Kong's reputation as a business powerhouse is well-deserved.  

This dynamic city thrives on a free market philosophy and limited regulations.  

Combined with its strategic location in the heart of Asia, it's no wonder Hong Kong attracts some of the world's most successful companies.

A cornerstone of Hong Kong's economic success is its hands-off approach. 

Considering the corporate tax rate at around 16%, it's a fraction of what businesses typically face in Western nations. 

That extra 5% saved on taxes can be the difference between booming and busting in today's competitive economic climate.

Either way, there are plenty of good reasons to register a company in Hong Kong, but how does it work for your Australian company?  

What are the requirements, how long does it take, and is there anything that you should be aware of? 

Will you be able to afford it, given that registration is a requirement for doing business in Hong Kong?

Australia's Legal Perspective

Australia's perfectly happy to see its companies venturing abroad and registering in other countries. 

Why? It's the key to operating legally overseas, which boosts Australia's prestige and prosperity (and tax revenue).

Take note that, regardless of the business structure, registration is different from full-fledged incorporation. 

Registration creates a new legal status for your Australian company in Hong Kong.

If you're looking to dodge Australian taxes, consider incorporating your company into Hong Kong instead of merely registering.

Registering your new company proposed Hong Kong presence (or proposed company in Hong Kong for your Australian company) is like saying, "Hi, Hong Kong! We're an Aussie company, here to play by the rules, pay our dues, and bring our business to the table."

It's about legal compliance, not some sneaky tax dodge.

Registration creates a kind of legal entity that allows your Australian company to operate in Hong Kong under the laws and regulations of Hong Kong.

This means your Australian company is still responsible for any debts or legal obligations of the Hong Kong entity. In other words, registering a company in Hong Kong doesn't necessarily limit your personal liability.

Incorporation in Hong Kong, on the other hand, creates a whole new entity. 

Think of it as giving your company dual citizenship. 

This Hong Kong company, even if Aussie-owned and operated, might benefit from cheaper corporate taxes in Hong Kong

But remember, incorporation is a big decision that is very different from registration.

Hong Kong registration for Australian companies

Hong Kong Registration Requirements

Hong Kong has made no secret of its desire for foreign investment and trade, and the Hong Kong financial system is a perfect example of how far Hong Kong is willing to go to get investments. 

Hong Kong enjoys a variety of regulatory and tax advantages that make it an attractive location to register your company in Hong Kong, and registering in Hong Kong has very few requirements. 

The Hong Kong Company Registry Office explains registration requirements here, but in general, companies registering in Hong Kong must: 

  • Have a valid proposed company name (this should be simple, but as Apple discovered with its iPads in Hong Kong, you never know). Hong Kong's Company Register Office released a pdf with naming guidelines to help.
  • Decide whether or not your company will be limited by shares or guarantees. The difference is explained on the Hong Kong Company Registry website.
  • Register the following forms electronically (or deliver them in person).
  • Collect their Certificates of Registration if their registration is approved. This can be done electronically or in person.
  • You will also need to provide a registered office address (not your personal residential address) and principal place of business in Hong Kong to receive legal documents and notices.

Once all of these requirements are met, registration typically occurs within a week.

How to Register an Australian Company in Hong Kong

Registering an Australian company in Hong Kong allows it to operate and conduct business legally in that jurisdiction. Here's a general breakdown of the process:

1. Choose Your Registration Type:

Australian companies registering in Hong Kong typically become "Non-Hong Kong Companies." This establishes a local presence for the existing company.

2. Appoint Necessary Professionals:

Hong Kong law mandates a local company secretary to handle filings and ensure compliance. You may also consider consulting a lawyer specializing in Hong Kong business establishment.

3. Prepare Required Documents:

  • Completed registration form
  • Certified copies of your Australian company's incorporation documents (Certificate of Incorporation and articles of association)
  • Most recent financial statements (unless exempt)
  • Details of directors, company secretary, and a local authorized representative for receiving legal documents
  • Proof of Hong Kong business address

4. Submit Your Application:

The application with all documents is filed with the Hong Kong Companies Registry.

5. Await Approval and Issuance of Certificates:

Upon successful registration, you'll receive a Certificate of Registration of Non-Hong Kong Company and a Business Registration Certificate.

Note for Australian Readers

Note that you may also want to have your Australian Company Number (ACN) readily available, as it might be helpful for other purposes related to your company's operations in Hong Kong.

If you're planning to register a business in Australia at some point, you can find information about that process through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which maintains the Australian Business Register (ABR). ABR serves as the Australian company registry.

Their website provides information and details about registering a business name or applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Registering a business in Australia is governed by the Corporations Act, and Australian company directors need a director ID to comply with it.

Logistics and Conclusion

Now you know the basic requirements and reasoning behind registering in Hong Kong.

Technically, you can undertake all these tasks on your own, but many companies in Hong Kong specialize in helping foreign companies register or incorporate there. 

These companies are highly specialized, and they can guide you through registration, incorporation, and a wide variety of other legal loopholes.

They often offer additional services such as providing a legally permissible building for a corporate office, providing corporate secretaries, etc. 

This guidance can be invaluable because registration in Hong Kong can be logistically challenging, as you might have guessed.

Additionally, their expertise and experience can guide you through any unexpected you encounter along the way.

Registering in another country is a major legal action necessary to grow into a multinational.

You should always consult a lawyer or legal team before making any major legal decisions on your own.

In Hong Kong all businesses will require a company secretary that will help facilitate incorporation.

Register with Air Corporate today and get your business registration approved in less than 48 hours.


Vivian Au

For many years, I worked at big accounting and company secretary firms in Hong Kong. I started Air Corporate to make the life of entrepreneurs and SMEs easy.

Vivian Au


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