International Corporations: Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong, special administrative region (Pinyin: tebie xingzhengqu; Wade-Giles romanization: t’e-pieh hsing-cheng-ch’ü) of China, located to the east of the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang) estuary on the south coast of China. The region is bordered by Guangdong province to the north and the South China Sea to the east, south, and west. It consists of Hong Kong Island, originally ceded by China to Great Britain in 1842, the southern part of the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters (Ngong Shuen) Island (now joined to the mainland), ceded in 1860, and the New Territories, which include the mainland area lying largely to the north, together with 230 large and small offshore islands—all of which were leased from China for 99 years from 1898 to 1997. The Chinese-British joint declaration signed on December 19, 1984, paved the way for the entire territory to be returned to China, which occurred July 1, 1997.
The area of Hong Kong (Pinyin: Xianggang; Wade-Giles: Hsiang-kang) has expanded over the years, and it has continued to grow as more land has been reclaimed from the surrounding sea. Hong Kong Island and its adjacent islets have an area of only about 31 square miles (81 square km), while urban Kowloon, which includes the Kowloon Peninsula south of Boundary Street, and Stonecutters Island measure about 18 square miles (47 square km). The New Territories account for the rest of the area—more than 90 percent of the total. The Victoria urban district located on the barren rocks of the northwestern coast of Hong Kong Island is the place where the British first landed in 1841, and it has since been the centre of administrative and economic activities.

Company Incorporation
Main Characteristics of the international bussiness (IBO

Hong Kong is a vibrant, densely populated urban center with a skyscraper-studded skyline and is a major regional free trade port and a global financial hub.

This jurisdiction has one of the most liberal, competitive and laissez-faire economies worldwide. Characterized by simple taxation with a competitive level of corporation tax (8.25% / 16.5%), capital gains and dividends free from taxes, no sales tax, and no customs duties.

Although there is no specific legislation for international companies, due to its territorial tax system, a correctly structured and managed company may qualify for a 0% tax for its business carried out outside the jurisdiction.

Supported by a legal system derived from the Common Law, which is very scrupulous in respect of private property, and an independent judicial system in which the rule of law applies to legal and contractual procedures.

Hong Kong Corporations Overview

Company type
Private company limited by shares (Ltd.)
Governing corporate legislation
The Hong Kong Company registry is the governing authority and companies are regulated under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance 1984.
One minimum shareholder and a maximum of 50, who can be either individuals or corporations, residents or non-residents, without limitations.
At least one director, who may be a natural or legal person, resident or non-resident. A director must be not bankrupt or have been convicted due to malpractices. A sole shareholder may be also the director.
Information published relating to company officers
Details of shareholders are publicly disclosed.
Directors’ details are disclosed to the public registrar.
The liability of the shareholders for the company is limited to the amount of their respective shareholdings.
Accounting requirement/ compliance
Limited companies are required to prepare and maintain accounts, which must be audited annually by a Certified Public Accountant in Hong Kong, file them in the annual return to the Companies Registry and pay the annual registration fee. The Business Registration Certificate may be renewed annually or every three years. Resident entities must file annually their tax return to the Inland Revenue Department.
Corporate income tax
A legal entity is deemed to be tax resident in Hong Kong if it is incorporated and/or managed and controlled in Hong Kong.
Corporate income tax is levied on profits derived from Hong-Kong, foreign-source profits may be exempt from taxation, whether remitted or not.
Companies incorporated in Hong Kong are subject to profits tax at 8.25% for the first HKD 2,000,000 and 16.5% on profits over HKD 2,000,000.
Standard currencyHK$
Shared capital/paid up
There is no minimum share capital established, but usually the authorized share capital is HKD 10,000 represented by 10,000 ordinary shares of HKD 1.00 each.
Basis of the Legal System
Under Common Law.
A local secretary must be appointed, either a corporation or an individual. Secretary must maintain statutory books and company records, in addition, to ensure company compliance.
Minimum issued share capital is HKD 1.00. It may be denominated in any currency. Bearer shares are not allowed.
Registered address
Limited companies must have a local registered physical address, a P.O. Box is not allowed.
General meeting
A shareholders general meeting must be held annually, without restrictions on its location. The first general meeting after incorporation must be held within 18 months. Instead of a general meeting, a written resolution is allowed.
Electronic SignaturePermitted
Time to form5-7 days
Renewal date
Anniversary date of the company / Each Year
Time Zone
Convenient world time zone: GMT+8
Hong Kong offers a high level of anonymity and privacy.


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