How to Register a UK Company in Hong Kong

Setting up your company in a new location could be a great growth strategy.

Your business can penetrate a foreign market, establish a global presence and benefit from decreased operational cost when you register your company in a new location.

It is also a strategic business decision as a new location could be a great contingency plan for your business. 

If you have a UK Company, you may be considering setting up your company overseas to tap into the opportunities in other countries.

Hong Kong is a great place to register your company overseas.

Hong Kong offers foreign companies easy access to the Asian market and it’s relatively easy to register a foreign company in Hong Kong. 

Here are other great reasons why you should set up your UK company in Hong Kong.

Less capital intensive

The UK boasts of one of the strongest currencies in the world.

Thus, businesses operate at a premium in the UK compared to Hong Kong. Setting up a company in Hong Kong is affordable.

The minimum share capital for companies in Hong Kong is as low as 1 HKD  and the cost of registering a company in Hong Kong is equally affordable. 

Thus, if you’re considering expanding your company on a budget, you should consider Hong Kong. 

Flexible operations

Hong Kong promotes flexible business operations.

You can run your company remotely from anywhere in the world.

You only need to engage a Hong Kong Company secretary to keep up with regulatory requirements and get a registered office address in Hong Kong. 

If you’re considering relocating your UK company to another country without moving any assets, or if you don’t intend to conduct any business in Hong Kong, you can register the company as an offshore company

Simple tax system

When compared with the UK, Hong Kong’s corporate tax system is simple and investment-friendly.

The tax rate is lower than most corporate tax rates in other jurisdictions and there are fewer applicable taxes for companies. 

Also, Hong Kong’s income tax system is territorial.

This makes it easy for multinational companies with subsidiaries in Hong Kong to repatriate much profit as only profits derived from Hong Kong are taxed in Hong Kong.

Thus, registering your UK company in  Hong Kong might help your company maximize profit by minimizing its tax liability.

Do you need to reside in Hong Kong to register a UK company in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is considered a business-friendly location for foreigners.

The Hong Kong government has set down policies that encourage foreign investment and eliminate restrictions on foreigners’ right to invest in the country.

Thus, all the directors and shareholders of the company can be foreigners and do not have to reside in Hong Kong. 

However, some regulatory requirements make it desirable to have some sort of physical presence in Hong Kong when setting up a company in Hong Kong.

This can easily be resolved if you hire a Hong Kong company Secretary.

This could be an individual resident in Hong Kong or a Hong Kong firm established to render company secretarial services. 

Luckily, we offer these services and more at Air Corporate.

What are the requirements for registering a UK company as a Hong Kong company?

As is the case in most jurisdictions, foreign investment by a UK company needs to be approved by the key decision-makers of the company.

Thus, if you’re planning on registering a UK company as a Hong Kong company, you’ll need to obtain the shareholder’s approval to do so.

Once you have gotten the approval, you’ll need to meet up with the following requirements. 

Company’s name

You can retain your UK company’s name or you can adopt a new name for the Hong Kong company registration.

Coming up with a company’s name is a simple yet important task.

You need to pick a unique name to avoid trademark infringements or liabilities for passing off.

Directors

Directors are the key officers of a company. 

The minimum number of directors required to set up a company in Hong Kong is one.

There’s no maximum number of directors. 

 Hong Kong promotes a liberal economy that encourages foreign investment.

There are no restrictions based on the nationality of persons who can be the directors and shareholders of a company.

Thus, a person who is not a Hong Kong citizen or resident of Hong Kong can be a director in a Hong Kong company.

Shareholders

Shareholders are the owners of the company and could be individuals of any nationality or a corporate body registered in any part of the world.

Your UK company should be named as a shareholder in the Hong Kong companies’ registration documents to establish a relationship.

The minimum number of shareholders required for a Hong Kong company registration is one.

The maximum number depends on the type of company you want to register with.

Private companies cannot have more than fifty shareholders. 

Company Secretary

When registering your UK company in Hong Kong, you will be required to appoint a company secretary.

The Hong Kong company secretary is a regulatory requirement for operating a limited liability company in Hong Kong. 

The company secretary plays a pivotal role during the incorporation and post-incorporation phases of your company.

They handle managerial and administrative duties for the company. 

Any individual that is resident in Hong Kong can be a Company Secretary.

However, it is important that you engage a firm or corporation with a TCSP license to act as your company secretary. 

Registered office address

Another regulatory requirement for Hong Kong companies is a registered office address.

Your registered office address must be an address in Hong Kong. 

If your company needs to carry out physical operations in Hong Kong, it is desirable to lease or buy a property in Hong Kong for your registered office address.

If your company’s operations do not require a physical presence in Hong Kong, you can use your company secretary’s address. 

Share Capital

Companies raise funds through equity or loans.

When companies raise funds through equity, they issue shares to persons who become shareholders.

A company’s share capital is the number of shares and the value of the shares allotted to the members or shareholders of the company. 

When registering a company in certain jurisdictions, you will be required to meet up with a minimum share capital.

There’s no minimum share capital requirement in Hong Kong.

However, if your company is operating in some sectors like the banking and insurance sector, you may need to meet up with specific share capital as required by the relevant regulators. 

Pre-incorporation documents

You’ll need to file certain documents during the incorporation process. These documents include:

  • Duly completed application forms
  • A copy of  the Articles of Association for the Hong Kong company
  • A copy of the international  passport for foreign directors and shareholder;
  • A copy of each Hong Kong ID card for directors and shareholders who are Hong Kong residents(if applicable)
  • Copies of your UK company’s corporate documents

Steps for registering your UK company in Hong Kong

Once you’ve gathered all the documents and information required to register your company in Hong Kong, you can proceed to register your UK company in Hong Kong with the following steps. 

Pick your preferred company type

There are different types of companies in Hong Kong.

You can register a Limited Liability Company (LLC) which could either be a Private Company Limited by Shares or a Public Company Limited by Shares.

You could also register your UK company as a Company Limited by Guarantee

These are the options available in Hong Kong and your choice will depend on your company’s objectives, company size and the nature of its shareholders, and your company’s financial capacity. 

Check for name availability

You need to check if your preferred company’s name is available.

You can do this via the public Hong Kong records for all registered companies – the Cyber Search Centre.

You can search for as many names as possible and cross out the names that are not available from your list. 

Your company’s name should be unique and not identical to any company registered in Hong Kong.

File the incorporation documents

You can file the incorporation documents electronically through the Hong Kong Companies Registry e-Registry or you can deliver hard copies of the documents to the Company’s registry.

Once your application is received, it will be considered by the Companies Registry. 

Certificate Collection

If your application is approved, you will be issued a certificate of incorporation to confirm that your UK company is now registered in Hong Kong.

You will get an email notification to download the digital copy of your certificate and you’ll also be notified to come and collect the hard copies of the certificate. 

You can do this in person or your company secretary or an authorized representative can collect the certificate on your behalf.

Conclusion

Registering your UK company in Hong Kong is easy, straightforward, and inexpensive.

You can do this from anywhere in the world and the process can be completed in less than a week.

However, it’s important to engage professionals for a seamless company registration process. 

If you’re ready to explore Hong Kong, sign up with Air Corporate to register your UK company in Hong Kong today. 

Related Articles

Remote business ideas
October 12, 2021

10 Remote Business Ideas that Only Need WiFi

Remote businesses have been thriving long before the start of working from home due to the pandemic. The reason behind their popularity is that they allow business owners to have a better work-life balance, cut their operational costs, generate more profit, and most importantly, allow them to work comfortably in their own environment. If you […]

How to deal in cryptocurrency in hong kong legally
October 6, 2021

How to Legally Deal With Cryptocurrency in Hong Kong

Currently, retail investors are allowed to purchase and trade cryptocurrency in Hong Kong. However, cryptocurrency is considered a virtual commodity and not legal tender.  Because of this label, there is still a lot of grey area when it comes to the crypto market in Hong Kong. Despite this, the comprehensive rules that have governed cryptocurrency […]

duties and responsibilities of a company director
September 27, 2021

The Duties and Responsibilities of a Company Director

The position of a director within a company is possibly one of the most vital administrative roles of the business. Your company director’s performance will have a direct effect on how efficiently the business is run. It’s incredibly important as an owner to ensure that your company director shares the same vision and work ethics […]