A Comprehensive Guide to Company Registration in Hong Kong

  • March 20, 2023
  • Registrationwala
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Applying for Company Registration in Hong Kong, but why? Because Hong Kong is one of the richest economies in the Asia-Pacific region, despite its size. The reason for such immense economic growth of the landlocked country is the corporate sector's growth and the businesses ability to operate effectively within the nation's boundaries. Yes, the Company Registration procedure in Hong Kong is an easy one for both Hong Kong Nationals as well as Foreigners. Let us now dive into the guidance for the Company Incorporation procedure followed in Hong Kong.


Company Registration procedure as per Hong Kong's Corporate Laws

Since this article is specifically dedicated to foreigners of Indian, US, or Canadian inhabitance, we will orient the procedure for Company Formation in Hong Kong as per their requirements. 

Let us explore each step one by one.


Step 1: Choose an Appropriate Trade Name for your Company in Hong Kong 

To choose a Trade Name for your Business in Hong Kong, you must first seek the Hong Kong Companies Registrar's approval. It is a must to register a company in Hong Kong. Here, we are listing some of the guidelines for naming a Company as per the Company Nomenclature regulations of the HK Corporate Authority:

  • Trade Name must be English, Chinese, or a combination
  • The applicant must not combine English and Chinese characters to generate a Trade Name 
  • An English Trade Name must end with the word 'Limited.'
  • The Trade Name must not be registered in the Registrar's Company Names Index
  • The Trade Name name must be dissimilar to an incorporated company's name under the Companies Ordinance. 
  • The Trade Name must not constitute a criminal offense or create public offendity
  • The Trade Name must not infringe on the IPRs of another Company 
  • Trade Names carved in Cantonese must contain traditional Chinese characters found in any one of the following:
    • Kang Xi Dictionary 
    • Chi Hai Dictionary
    • ISO 10646 International Coding Standard
  • The Trade name in Cantonese cannot be registered in simple Chinese characters


Step 2: Choose an appropriate Corporate Structure as per the intended Commercial Activities of the Business

After the name registration part of the Company Incorporation process in Hong Kong, the applicant must choose an appropriate business structure for registration as per its o-be-undertaken commercial activities. You can also surf by assessing the Business's tax filing procedure and the registered Corporate's behavior with the market forces. 

The following are the corporate legal structures applicable for Business Registration in Hong Kong as per its Companies Ordinance:

  • Public Company Incorporation 
  • Private Company Incorporation 
  • Branch Office of a Foreign Establishment
  • Trade Representative Office of a Foreign Establishment
  • Liaison Office of a Foreign Establishment
  • Collaborative Corporate, like a Partnership
  • Proprietorship
  • General Partnership

As a foreign national, we recommend applying for Privately Incorporated Company model or a local Branch Office for your establishment.


Step 3: Application Filing for Business Registration Certificate in Hong Kong

To prepare any Company Formation application in Hong Kong, the applicant must submit the attached required documents along with the license fee payment receipt. The applicant can file the incorporation using either of the following:

  • e-Registry portal
  • CR e-Filing Mobile App

Application Attachments:

To submit the application in person, the applicant can submit the hard copy to Shroff at the following address:

14th Floor of Queensway Government Offices

Incorporation Forms, like:

  • Form NNC1 for Companies Limited by shares
  • Form NNC1G for Companies Limited by guarantee

The applicant must also submit a copy of the Company’s Articles of Association as well as the Business Registration Office Notice.

Major Corporations in Hong Kong prefer the Limited Liability Company model for their Businesses. Most of them are registered with the Companies Registry as an LLC because the model itself offers multiple advantages, such as the following:

  • Separate Legal Status of the Company 
  • Protection of Owners' Assets from potential risks or even crises 
  • LLC’s Simple Registration procedure


Step 4: Hong Kong’s Company Registrar offers Certificates for Incorporation to the Aspirants

After the due approval of the Commercial Registry, the applicant is granted the Certificate of Incorporation as per Hong Kong’s corporate laws. The related Business Registration Certificate is also available for download from the official website in the electronic format. The applicant must raise a special request on the portal to get the certificate's hard copies. But both copies will have the same legal effect.

To get the certificate in hard copy, the Registry will issue them within four working days after the application presenter is notified by fax of the certificates. The applicant can then collect them from the Registry. 


Step 5: Open a Corporate Bank Account in Company’s name

After the process completion, the newly incorporated Company must reach out to Financial Institutions to raise investment for themselves. The first step towards this is opening a Bank Account under the Company’s trade name. 

To open a Bank Account, the Company must submit the relevant documents that a traditional bank will need, such as the following:

  • Company’s Registered Address 
  • Company’s Contact Details 
  • Company’s Owner(s) and Stakeholder’s details
  • Certification copies from the following:
    • Company’s Attorney
    • Company Secretary
    • Public Accountant
    • Company Incorporation documents
    • Company Identification documents
    • Business Registration Certificate
  • Evidence of Business Operations, like Business Plans & Audited Financial Documents
  • Details of the Company’s Beneficial Owners
  • Other documents, as required by the Bank


Step 6: Obtain the essential Business permits for running the Company in Hong Kong

This is an optional step for some businesses. The registered Company must apply for the necessary licenses to run their businesses smoothly in Hong Kong. Several licenses may apply to your Business as per your undertaken commercial activity. Also, many Government Departments in Hong Kong prescribe multiple licenses as per your undertaken commercial activities.

To know other aspects of the Company Registration procedure in Hong Kong, refer to our service page or connect with one of the Incorporation Experts at Registrationwala.

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