Hong Kong, or officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is a home of around 7.3 million people. It is a melting pot in Asia, with many residents of various nationalities. Hong Kong is one of the freest economies in the world and one of the leading international financial centers. It is a highly reputable low tax jurisdiction. If you consider opening a company in Hong Kong, you will be happy to know that it can be owned, managed, and operated entirely from abroad, unlike with Singapore company, which requires local director.
Taxes are low in Hong Kong, with offshore income, capital gains and dividends not taxed at all. Taxed are only incomes generated in Hong Kong through a trade, business or profession. Profits are taxes at 16.5% for corporations, which are amongst the lowest in the region. For example China have a tax rate 25% and Singapore 17%. Salary taxes have progressive rate from 2% to 17%.
Most common for in Hong Kong is private limited company. It is easy to form and maintain. There are many service companies in Hong Kong, which will help you to form a company. They will usually have accountants in house, who will fill tax reports for you (as well as tax exemption). All Hong Kong companies are required to have annual audit, except the company is declared dormant.
Banking in Hong Kong
You will have to visit Hong Kong to open bank account, but once there, opening is straightforward and simple. There are banks branches from all over the world, with over 150 licensed banks.
Complete list of licensed banks:
Incorporated in Hong Kong
BANK OF CHINA (HONG KONG) LIMITED
BANK OF EAST ASIA, LIMITED (THE)
BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS (HONG KONG) LIMITED
CHINA CITIC BANK INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
CHINA CONSTRUCTION BANK (ASIA) CORPORATION LIMITED
CHIYU BANKING CORPORATION LIMITED
CHONG HING BANK LIMITED
CITIBANK (HONG KONG) LIMITED
DAH SING BANK LIMITED
DBS BANK (HONG KONG) LIMITED
FUBON BANK (HONG KONG) LIMITED
HANG SENG BANK, LIMITED
HONGKONG & SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION LIMITED (THE)
INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA (ASIA) LIMITED
NANYANG COMMERCIAL BANK, LIMITED
OCBC WING HANG BANK LIMITED
PUBLIC BANK (HONG KONG) LIMITED
SHANGHAI COMMERCIAL BANK LIMITED
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK (HONG KONG) LIMITED
TAI SANG BANK LIMITED
TAI YAU BANK, LIMITED
WING LUNG BANK LIMITED
Incorporated outside Hong Kong
ABN AMRO BANK N.V.
AGRICULTURAL BANK OF CHINA LIMITED
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED
AXIS BANK LIMITED
BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA S.P.A.
BANCO BILBAO VIZCAYA ARGENTARIA S.A.
BANCO SANTANDER, S.A.
BANGKOK BANK PUBLIC COMPANY LIMITED
BANK OF AMERICA, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
BANK OF BARODA
BANK OF CHINA LIMITED
BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS CO., LTD.
BANK OF INDIA
BANK OF MONTREAL
BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON (THE)
BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA (THE)
BANK OF SINGAPORE LIMITED
BANK OF TAIWAN
BANK OF TOKYO-MITSUBISHI UFJ, LTD. (THE)
BANK J. SAFRA SARASIN AG
ALSO KNOWN AS:
BANQUE J. SAFRA SARASIN SA
BANCA J. SAFRA SARASIN SA
BANK J. SAFRA SARASIN LTD
BANK JULIUS BAER & CO. LTD.
BARCLAYS BANK PLC
BDO UNIBANK, INC.
ALSO KNOWN AS :
BDO DE ORO
BANCO DE ORO UNIBANK
BDO BANCO DE ORO
BNP PARIBAS SECURITIES SERVICES
ALSO KNOWN AS:
CA INDOSUEZ (SWITZERLAND) SA
CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE
CATHAY UNITED BANK COMPANY, LIMITED
CHANG HWA COMMERCIAL BANK LTD.
CHIBA BANK, LTD. (THE)
CHINA CONSTRUCTION BANK CORPORATION
CHINA DEVELOPMENT BANK CORPORATION
CHINA EVERBRIGHT BANK CO., LTD
CHINA MERCHANTS BANK CO., LTD.
CHINA MINSHENG BANKING CORP., LTD.
CHUGOKU BANK, LTD. (THE)
CIMB BANK BERHAD
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA
COÖPERATIEVE RABOBANK U.A.
COUTTS & CO AG
ALSO KNOWN AS:
COUTTS & CO SA
COUTTS & CO LTD
CREDIT AGRICOLE CORPORATE AND INVESTMENT BANK
CREDIT INDUSTRIEL ET COMMERCIAL
CREDIT SUISSE AG
CTBC BANK CO., LTD.
DBS BANK LTD.
DEUTSCHE BANK AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
DZ BANK AG DEUTSCHE ZENTRAL-GENOSSENSCHAFTSBANK, FRANKFURT AM MAIN
E.SUN COMMERCIAL BANK, LTD.
EAST WEST BANK
EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD (SUISSE) S.A.
EFG BANK AG
ALSO KNOWN AS:
EFG BANK SA
EFG BANK LTD
ERSTE GROUP BANK AG
FAR EASTERN INTERNATIONAL BANK
FIRST COMMERCIAL BANK, LTD.
HACHIJUNI BANK, LTD. (THE)
HDFC BANK LIMITED
HONG LEONG BANK BERHAD
HSBC BANK INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
HSBC BANK PLC
HSBC BANK USA, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
HSBC PRIVATE BANK (SUISSE) SA
HUA NAN COMMERCIAL BANK, LTD.
ICBC STANDARD BANK PLC
ICICI BANK LIMITED
INDIAN OVERSEAS BANK
INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA LIMITED
INDUSTRIAL BANK CO., LTD.
INDUSTRIAL BANK OF KOREA
INDUSTRIAL BANK OF TAIWAN CO., LTD.
ING BANK N.V.
INTESA SANPAOLO SPA
IYO BANK, LTD. (THE)
JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
KBC BANK N.V.
KEB HANA BANK
LAND BANK OF TAIWAN CO., LTD.
LGT BANK AG
ALSO KNOWN AS:
LGT BANK LTD.
LGT BANK SA
MACQUARIE BANK LIMITED
MALAYAN BANKING BERHAD
MASHREQ BANK – PUBLIC SHAREHOLDING COMPANY
ALSO KNOWN AS: MASHREQBANK PSC
MEGA INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK CO., LTD.
MELLI BANK PLC
MITSUBISHI UFJ TRUST AND BANKING CORPORATION
MIZUHO BANK, LTD.
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK, LIMITED
NATIONAL BANK OF ABU DHABI
NATIONAL BANK OF PAKISTAN
OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORPORATION LTD.
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK
PICTET & CIE (EUROPE) S.A.
PT. BANK NEGARA INDONESIA (PERSERO) TBK.
PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK
ROYAL BANK OF CANADA
ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND N.V. (THE)
ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY (THE)
SHANGHAI COMMERCIAL & SAVINGS BANK, LTD. (THE)
SHANGHAI PUDONG DEVELOPMENT BANK CO. LTD.
SHIGA BANK, LTD. (THE)
SHIZUOKA BANK, LTD. (THE)
SKANDINAVISKA ENSKILDA BANKEN AB
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK
STATE BANK OF INDIA
STATE STREET BANK AND TRUST COMPANY
SUMITOMO MITSUI BANKING CORPORATION
SUMITOMO MITSUI TRUST BANK, LIMITED
SVENSKA HANDELSBANKEN AB (PUBL)
TA CHONG BANK, LTD.
TAIPEI FUBON COMMERCIAL BANK CO., LTD.
TAISHIN INTERNATIONAL BANK CO., LTD
TAIWAN BUSINESS BANK
TAIWAN COOPERATIVE BANK, LTD.
TAIWAN SHIN KONG COMMERCIAL BANK CO., LTD.
UNICREDIT BANK AG
UNION BANCAIRE PRIVEE, UBP SA
ALSO KNOWN AS: UNITED PRIVATE BANK, UBP LTD
UNION BANK OF INDIA
UNITED OVERSEAS BANK LTD.
WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION
Bank fees are usually low and service is good, however if you require service over the phone it might be a problem since you will encounter English with heavy accent. You will have to maintain low minimum balance, around 5.000 HKD. Hong Kong is open to offshore companies, including IBCs, which will require deposit from 25.000 to 100.000 HKD depending on bank.
For non-resident it can be a problem to get a Visa or MasterCard as we explain here. You will get China UnionPay debit card instead.
Life in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a very dense city with high skyscrapers. Apartments are small and very expensive. You can choose whether you want to live on the island and have easy access to the center, bars, restaurants and entertainment, or you choose living off the island, but getting more value for money for your accommodation. There is a low crime, but pollution is a problem. You will have no problems to communicate, since most people speak at least some level of English.
You can make friends with many expats here. Expats rotate on regular basis, so people here know what it is like to be new.
These are some basics when doing banking and business in Hong Kong. If you are doing business with China, Hong Kong is a perfect gateway to mainland China. Banking is easy and professional, although you might have a problem getting MasterCard or Visa.