5 Reasons to Set Up Your Business in Hong Kong
By Will Elton, Last updated: 2023-01-18 (originally published on 2019-11-07)
1) A stable economy for sustainable business growth
Hong Kong has consistently ranked seventh in the world for economic competitiveness for the last four years. Hong Kong’s economic strengths include a sound banking system, low public debt, ample foreign exchange reserves, and close ties with Mainland China.
2) Setting up is easy
Similar to Singapore, Hong Kong’s appeal as a potential business destination can be attributed to the ease of setting up a business here. Online applications for incorporating and registering your business can normally be processed within one hour. If you are already in Hong Kong, the entire incorporation procedure can be completed in as little as five to seven days! (Source: Guide me Hong Kong) Foreigners in Hong Kong, can go up to 180 days without a Visa (varies by nationality), and directors can be of any nationality.
A first-time entrepreneur, new to Asia, or needing mentorship? Tap into a selection of incubation and accelerator programmes run by global banks as well as the Hong Kong government. Such programmes are great for generating PR for your startup, especially in its early days, and will help grow your network exponentially.
3) The government has clearly-defined out schemes for you to choose from
Companies in Hong Kong enjoy a tax rate of 16.5 per cent, one of the world’s lowest. Business owners file their own tax returns with little audit interference from the government.
Further, Hong Kong announced in this year’s Budget her commitment toward supporting the startup and small business community. Measures introduced include the waiver of business registration fees and subsidies for use of technological services and solutions to improve productivity and upgrade business processes.
As a Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong enjoys a highly active and cooperative business relationship with Mainland China. For example, under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), Hong Kong service suppliers enjoy preferential treatment when entering into the Mainland market in selected sectors.
4) Transportation efficiency, reliable connectivity and access to talent
Businesses thrive on efficient delivery of goods and services. With a prime geographical location in the Asia Pacific, Hong Kong offers the best of land, sea and air transportation. Despite its association with China, Hong Kong presents no obstacles to internet access.
Apart from favourable policies that allow for the free movement of capital, talent and goods, the governments of both Mainland China and Hong Kong commit to equally recognise professional qualifications and certificates that are obtained in either nation. This will let your Hong Kong business tap into a much bigger market and talent pool.
5) A great place to live and work
Hong Kong welcomes expatriates as much as it takes care of its own citizens. Aside from a business-friendly environment, you can expect low crime rates, high-quality health care, beautiful country parks, as well as high education standards for your children with more than 50 international schools. The well-established and inexpensive transport network will also get you to and from work easily if you opt for cheaper accommodation options outside the city.
This article does not constitute legal advice.
The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.