Offshore Company Formation in Hong Kong
Hong Kong offshore company formation is an attractive way to legally minimize international taxation. Many countries consider Hong Kong an offshore jurisdiction; the attitude of the Government, however, is that the territory is not an offshore center in the traditional sense of the word but rather a low tax area that levies tax according to the territorial principle. Anyway, the result is that by using an appropriate corporate structure, the profits from most types of business activity can accrue in Hong Kong without being taxed – only those earning streams which directly result from activity in Hong Kong itself are taxed, and even then at a maximum of 17.5%.
Hong Kong’s tax system activities are as follows:
Steps to opening a company in Hong Kong
Bank account opening
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Frequently asked questions
Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is an autonomous territory on the Pearl River Delta of East Asia. On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong’s 156 years under British colonial governance. This transfer of sovereignty made Hong Kong the first special administrative region of China, an autonomous territory on the Pearl River Delta of East Asia. On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong’s 156 years under British colonial governance. This transfer of sovereignty made Hong Kong the first special administrative region of China.
Hong Kong’s current structure of governance inherits from the British model of the colonial administration set up in the 1850s. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration states that “Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defense and foreign affairs” with reference to the underlying principle of one country, two systems. This Declaration stipulates that Hong Kong maintains its capitalist economic system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of its people for at least 50 years after the 1997 handover.
A Limited Company is the most commonly-used company type. This is a company that is incorporated in Hong Kong, which means that the owner can take advantage of all the tax benefits and concessions available to any fully incorporated business, including the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), a free trade agreement with Mainland China.
Most small to medium-sized companies in Hong Kong are set up as private companies limited by shares and are commonly referred to as private limited companies A company limited by shares is the most common type of company for conducting business and trade. A company limited by shares has a share capital which is divided into a number of shares of a certain value each. These shares are held by shareholders (investors) who are entitled to a share in the profits of the company and receive a dividend corresponding to their respective percentage of shareholding in the company.
There are no capital gains taxes, no withholding taxes, no sales taxes, no VAT, no annual net worth taxes, and no accumulated earnings taxes on companies that retain earnings rather than distribute them. Taxes are only levied on income “derived from or arising in” Hong Kong and not on income sourced outside the Territory. The residential or non-residential status of an entity is irrelevant.
Nominee Service consists of Nominee Director and/or Nominee Shareholder. Both, corporate and individual Nominee Directors and Shareholders are available internationally.
According to the statutory requirement under Hong Kong law, the first set of financial statements should be prepared for the period covering not more than 18 months from the date of incorporation. If not yet commenced business, you may report a “Nil” profits tax return (“PTR”) to Inland Revenue Department (“IRD”), Hong Kong Tax Authority, with the declaration of not yet commenced business by the director or company secretary of the company. But please note that you are still required to perform the first audit in accordance with the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance mentioned above.
Certificate of Incorporation
Business Registration Certificates
Incorporation set of documents (shareholders, directors, etc.)
The Hong Kong government makes it mandatory to list the company’s details on the Companies Registry for public viewing. Directors and Shareholders are in both the Government and Public record, but privacy can be maintained through Nominee Service.
Company names can be in English and Chinese language only. A name that is similar or identical to an already existing company will not be approved. The name of the company must end with “Limited” or “Ltd”.
For Hong Kong companies we can assist you with bank account opening in Hong Kong or internationally. The banks we cooperate with are reliable financial institutions with a long tradition in private and corporate banking. Our clients are provided with excellent customer service, online banking, Visa and/or Master cards, and other services, such as factoring, foreign exchange, savings, and specialized banking solutions.
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