BRIDGES’ webinar on “How to build your brand on Instagram and the subsequent actions for long-term business planning” was successfully held on 15 September. Below is an overview of business incorporation basics that are often confusing to some. We have summarised the most asked questions here which will answer yours.

 

Q1: What is the difference between Business Registration Certificate (BR) and Certificate of Incorporation (CI)?

Answer: BR is obtained via the Business Register under the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of Hong Kong. It is a document that shows a company is valid and legally registered. It should be displayed at the company’s premises and be renewed every year.

As for CI, it is issued by Company Registry which includes information of registration number, certificate type, official company name and establishment date. However, only limited companies are issued with this certificate.

 

Q2: When should the business owner apply for business registration?

Answer: The Business Registration law requires every individual who owns a business in Hong Kong, to apply for BR within one month from the commencement of such business, regardless of its form and size. In short, an Instagram store is also obliged to apply for a BR. However, if the average monthly turnover of the registered business (for a business mainly generates profit from sales of service) doesn’t exceed HK10,000, the registration fee is waivable.

 

Q3: What is the application procedure of BR and how long does it take?

Answer: The business owner could submit the application form in person to the Business Registration Office, by post or online. BR application can also be submitted simultaneously along with the CI application in Company Registry. The Certificate can be grounded on the same day of application.

BRIDGES EXECUTIVE CENTRE provides one-stop company incorporation service, all the processes and other relevant document submissions will be handled by the knowledgeable team, if any.

 

Q4: What is the difference between limited company and unlimited company?

Answer: The former is limited liability for shareholders of the company as all risks of business operation, the latter is unlimited liability for the owner of the company as all risks of business operation and liabilities should be born by Proprietor or Partner.

A limited company is arguably the most common company type for trading business in Hong Kong. Mainly because such entity facilities business expansion by enabling business owners to issue new shares to shareholders, which makes bringing in investment an easy task. Moreover, since annual statutory audit is mandatory for all limited companies, it is easier to secure bank loans for this entity type than the others as it offers a more transparent financial reflection of the business.

 

Q5: Is Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) a must for self-employed persons?

Answer: Yes. Whether you are a sole proprietor or a partner of a partnership business, it is compulsory to get an MPF. If the Director of a limited company needs to handle daily operations (usually known as Executive Director) and receives a salary like other employees in the company, they must contribute to the MPF.

However, a Non-Executive Director - a member of the board of directors in the company but not part of the executive team – who receives remuneration for serving as a director of the company, needs not to contribute to the MPF.

 

More questions? Contact BRIDGES company incorporation team by calling +852 2159 9666 or email info@bridges.hk today.

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Planning to start a business but feeling puzzled with the bank part? Wonder if there are other options besides opening a bank account in those traditional banks? Any way to shorten your time in waiting for a bank account to be opened? Any means to get a bank account more conveniently? The answers to these questions now are YES! YES! YES! because Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has announced a grand total of eight virtual banking licenses last year which provides more handy alternatives for entrepreneurs, not to mention an array of fintech solutions that are gradually maturing in the market these days. 

You most likely might have heard of Currenxie and Statrys – two fintech platforms offering alternatives to the traditional bank account. The platforms have become more popular among those who target to operate their business right away with instant money transactions by having a dedicated Hong Kong account number. And the account setup process of these platforms is usually simple and quick as a piece of cake. Airwallex, another payment solution also being recognised and chosen by e-commerce owners. Take a glimpse of the facts of each platform below to see why.

 

The emerging banking alternatives provide more convenience to start-ups like quick signup and real-time transactions dashboard.

1. Currenxie - Digital B2B Business Accounts

Currenxie account is a licensed Money Service Operator and holds a Money Lenders License. The platform's virtual account network now spans 9 jurisdictions and more than 30 countries.

  • Currenxie has a team to review and approve the account application. So pretty much the process runs 24/7 and you can get your account opened in just 24 hours the fastest. All you need to do is to fill-up the online application form, submit the required documents, and sit back in front of your desk to wait for assessment and approval.

  • Different types of accounts available to cater to your needs, from small local business to medium cross-border business. Currenxie offers transactions in up to 18 currencies, which is quite beneficial to businesses that require a multi-currency account.
     
  • Currenxie values the local market a lot, especially here in HK. If you own a HK corporation or planning to enter Asia’s market, Currenxie will have an experienced support team available to answer your questions and support your needs, like sending your money to bank accounts in China or worldwide.

2. Statrys - Payment Services for SMEs

Statrys is a rising star in alternative payment solutions for SMEs in Hong Kong and abroad. It offers Business Accounts as well as local currency accounts where applicable. Along with a Forex trading solution, allowing users to trade in 11 currencies.

  • Statrys requires no physical visit, so new applicants can get approved online in 48 hours. As soon as they are approved, they can begin sending and receiving payments.
     
  • Like most digital payment platforms, Statrys only requires company documents in the application process, including the beneficiaries and shareholder details for compliance purposes. Simply submit your documents, and kick back while your account is processed.
     
  • With Statrys, it doesn't stop at a simple Business Account. With a Local Currency Account, users can access markets abroad with a localised business account, including a full IBAN code as well. That means there's no need to leave your country of business account registration to accept payments in local currency in Europe for instance.
     
  • Statrys's Forex trading package will soon launch with round-the-clock trading for users so they may trade effectively at any time they wish.

3. Airwallex - A Global Business Account for Modern Businesses

Supporting more than 20 currencies in 130 countries, Airwallex is one of the Top Global 100 Fintech firms which specialises in providing payment solution to e-commerce owners.

  • Airwallex's Global Business Accounts (whether in local or foreign currency) is free to open and doesn't require any monthly account fee. It can be opened in minutes and provides real-time currency conversion from one to another with a competitive market rate.
     
  • To help e-commerce owners streamline their business transactions, Airwallex's accounts can integrate to major online marketplaces including Amazon, Shopify, Paypal and eBay.
     
  • An extra bonus for business owners, Airwallex also partnered with Xero, meaning account owners can integrate their accounts to the cloud-based accounting software to make bookkeeping a breeze.
     
  • Airwallex will soon launch its border-less card which is also foreign-currencies-friendly, empowering every team member of the business to make purchasing decisions.

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After knowing more of the specific features of Currenxie, Statrys and Airwallex, have you figured out which fits your business the most? Find the free signup links dedicated to BRIDGES community members below and own your multi-currency account today -

Currenxie account signup

Statrys account signup

Airwallex account signup

Still struggling on what to prepare for incorporation or which bank alternative to pick? Shoot us an email at info@bridges.hk or just leave us a private message to get our practical advice and kickstart your HK business journey soon!

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With the pandemic turmoil of the European and American economy, many global businessmen have pivoted to explore further in Asian countries. Among the different choices, Hong Kong is always the one winning the independent entrepreneurs’ heart. Wanna know the reasons behind?!

In this blog you will read the facts of why our start-up clients have picked HK as their preferable place to set foot in, and the easy steps of finishing the whole incorporation process that might be useful in your pre-startup research stage - you will know not only it’s not complicated at all, but also very advantageous to you on your further business expansion.
 

 

Easy Procedures

Forming a HK limited company is very straightforward, yet, if you didn’t get a professional service provider, hassles may come like being shocked by the hidden costs. We have been in this field for more than a decade and serving countless start-ups and SMEs in setting up their company inbound and outbound with our all-in-one package (no hidden costs at all). Let us share a few tips and you will find establishing your own company has never been easier.

 

STEP 1: Collecting the required documents (please refer to the list below) for registration at the HK Companies Registry :

There are 2 types of Required Documents:

Type I. If the Director / Shareholder is an individual:

> Copy of all Directors & Shareholders’ passports / HKID

> Copy of all Directors & Shareholders’ addresses proof

* The Director & Shareholder can be the same person, which means it only takes 1 person to complete the process.

Type II. If the Director / Shareholder is a corporation:

> Copy of Business Registration (BR) Certificate

> Copy of all Directors’ passports

> Copy of  registered office’s address proof

> Articles of Association

> Meeting minutes of agreeing to appoint Directors / Shareholders for this Company

* If the Director is a corporation, it is required to appoint at least one individual Director to comply with the new Companies Ordinance. Please check out some Hot FAQs here for more details.

 

STEP 2: Pay to go !

Once your incorporation payment is confirmed, we will get on preparing the Government paperwork for you to sign. Since we have been cooperating with several leading banks or credit card institutions like American Express, China UnionPay, Bank of China, Shanghai Commercial Bank, etc., the payment process is swift and easy.

 

STEP 3: Submitting your signed documents to Government :

Even if you are aboard, we will help submit all signed application documentations to the Government for swift processing. In fact, by the time you reach this step, you are already halfway through setting up your own company.  Yes, it does sound easy and simple because our team would get it all done for you, like approaching different Government departments to file the required paperwork. Just to give you a brief idea of the time frame, for a ready-made (shelf) company, it takes around 2 working days to process; for an all-new company, it would take around 1 week or less to process.

 

STEP 4: Opening bank account :

You may ask: ‘How can I finish all company setup and bank account opening procedures as I'm stuck at my place?’ The good news is BRIDGES is now adopting a remote incorporation approach. From business consultation to business set-up, everything can be settled via the Internet. For bank account opening, indeed many traditional banks require physical presence and it usually takes a one-month appointment in advance. However, now with the pandemic, you might consider utilising fintech platforms to facilitate your business transaction especially if you are trading in multiple currencies.

There two rising bank account alternatives in HK which we work closely with - Statrys and CurrenxieBoth do not require the physical presence of applicants and offer more than 10 different currencies, details please refer to the article "
Traditional Bank Account Alternatives to Run Business".

What to Prepare for Opening a Bank Account?

We understand the assessment criteria of international banking are getting higher, including HK’s banking and financial system. Under this global trend, a well and thoughtful preparation before the bank appointment always helps. If you managed to fly to HK, we will help arrange an appointment with bankers in advance on your behalf. What’s more, sets of the certified true copy are included in our package already for presenting to the bankers. Before the appointment, our experienced specialists will advise you of the documents needed to prepare (e.g. passport copy, residential address proof, business plan, business proofs, etc.), so that the whole process could be sped up and the situation of missed documents is minimised. Some banks can even offer our clients pre-screening to let you know whether your provided documents are sufficient for the bank appointment. In general, the assessment time will be around 2 - 4 weeks provided that all required supporting documents are submitted to the bank for review. We work closely with HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, DBS, OCBC Wing Hang Bank, China Citic Bank, etc. and we will guide you through to smooth out the whole process.

 

Tax System Is Favourable in HK?

Some expats might be worried about not being familiar with the local tax system, yet HK is famous in the world for having a rather simple and low tax regime. There are two main taxes: Corporate Profits Tax (16.5%) and Personal Salaries Tax (15%), and there is no dividend tax in HK. Generally after 18 months of your limited company incorporated, you will receive the 1st Profits Tax Return. When your company is in good hands like us where there is an in-house Accounting Team able to assist your business with all accounting work, audit arrangement and getting prepared for local tax compliance, you can rest assured that all these essential functions will be handled properly (and timely) in a legitimate way.

 

HK Incorporation vs. Singapore Incorporation?

Both HK and Singapore are popular jurisdictions in Asia for international businessmen thanks to their good reputation. However, one main difference is that forming a Singapore company requires foreign entrepreneurs to partner up with a local Singapore citizen, while there is no limit on the nationality of the director(s) in setting up a HK company.  It means no matter what your nationality is, you can freely form your own company in HK without the need to include a HK citizen as your company’s stakeholder, giving you much flexibility in the company structure.

 

How HK Serves as a Stepping Stone into China?

The China market is definitely a stage that the world has put their eyes on it. Of course, setting up a China limited company could be the most straightforward way. Hence, for expats, they will have to set up a special type of entity named Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) according to the China policy. From our experience, if you own a Hong Kong limited company as a shareholding company, it would be way more beneficial to use it informing your WFOE due to the close economic partnership between HK and Mainland China i.e. under The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). Not to mention financing in HK is much more accessible than in China, and all major international banks are located in HK, leading people to love HK’s banking network and high standard system in terms of technology and security. In contrary to China, there are no restrictions or approvals needed to receive or transfer funds / foreign currencies in HK as you might know.

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If you have any further questions on setting up your own company, please feel free to email our company incorporation team, at info@bridges.hk to know more of our practical advice. Or, simply drop us a private message to chat with us, we will be glad help smoothen your ride in HK.

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