Speak to an advisor: +852 5803 2409
Register with Sleek and subscribe to accounting to save HK$2000 OFF T&C apply


HK$2000 OFF

when you

 when you register your company with Sleek

and subscribe to our accounting plans.

register your company with Sleek and subscribe to our accounting plans.


5 Things You Must Know Before Starting a Business in Hong Kong

8 minute read



Hong Kong is known as a dynamic and attractive business hub. With a strong economy and diversity, it attracts a huge number of business trailblazers every year. These individuals come with innovative business ideas, their main goal being to set up a company in Hong Kong and start growing.


There is no surprise that some of the most promising startups can be found in Hong Kong. The workforce is more than skilled, the taxes are low, and the government is willing to help businesses when the help is needed.


If you too would like to start a business in Hong Kong, keep reading and see what exactly you need to know before you set sails for Hong Kong.




Business Plan

Having a business plan is extremely important if you plan to set up a business in Hong Kong.


An individual cannot acquire a visa without a well-prepared business plan. A two-year business plan needs to be your priority, since it will also be submitted as part of your entrepreneur visa application.


In order to get approved, your plan must be stellar. The goal is to convince the authorities that you have something beneficial to offer. That is why you need to lay down all the important details and information.


The plan should show how your business benefits the economy of Hong Kong. Bear in mind that the plan will be strictly evaluated and every detail shall be scrutinized.


A good business plan needs to include the following details:

  1. Business goals – primary and secondary
  2. Business type
  3. Marketing plans
  4. Budget plans
  5. Strong reasons supporting the thesis that your business will make it in Hong Kong
  6. Details regarding your team of employees


Finally, a business plan should not be a lengthy description of your business. Instead, it should be a basic outline that helps authorities determine how you are going to start a business. Of course, the plan can be modified later depending on the growth progress of the company.



There are a number of available funding options in Hong Kong. Thanks to the fact that the region is so advanced when it comes to business, there are more than enough companies that offer funding schemes.


On top of that, the government of Hong Kong is often there to help starting businesses that show potential.

Good government funding schemes to look for include:

  • Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living. This fund subsidizes innovation and technology projects aimed at bringing more comfortable and safer living.
  • CreateSmart Initiative (CSI). This initiative offers financial support to initiatives conducive to the promotion and development of the creative industries.
  • Trade and Industry Department Funding Schemes.  The schemes are designed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong.
  • Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund. Finally, the SIE Fund supports innovative poverty-alleviating projects of different forms and in various stages.


However, if you wish to seek funding from non-government organizations, you should look for VC firms, angel investors, and similar entities:

  • Horizons Ventures
  • Click Ventures
  • AngelVest Group
  • FundForum Asia


Visa Application

Now that the business-related parts are almost covered, let’s go through work and residency permits needed to live and work in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong offers a special migration visa scheme. It is called Entry for Investment and it was designed for foreign entrepreneurs that want to relocate to HK to operate their new businesses.


This entrepreneur visa scheme, in its essence, is a work permit that is issued to the owner of a business as an employee of their Hong Kong company.


Why Visa Is Important

Visa is of high importance and absolutely necessary if you wish to hire workers. To employ staff (especially overseas individuals), you need to demonstrate that a prospective employee has skills and knowledge not readily available in Hong Kong.


This is the employment visa and it also requires the employer to sponsor the proposed employee and lead them through the process of obtaining a visa.

When it comes to business owners, they apply for an entrepreneur visa. The applicant has to be in a position to make a substantial contribution to the economy of the HKSAR, with consideration factors or startup businesses.

Their startup business may have better chances if it is supported by a government-backed program that has a rigorous vetting and selection process.


Documents To Prepare

Applicants are required to submit the following documents:

  • Application form (completed)
  • Copy of the personal details of the passport
  • Applicant’s Hong Kong identity card (a copy)
  • Proof of relevant work experience and academic qualifications (a copy)
  • Copy of the company’s Employment Contract or Appointment Letter (with details regarding the salary, benefits, etc.)
  • Thorough two-year business plan
  • Copy of the Business Registration Certificate obtained from the IRD
  • Copy of proof of the overseas residing place


Understanding Tax

Thanks to its low personal and corporate tax rates, Hong Kong has a highly attractive tax regime. The corporate tax rate in Hong Kong stands at 16.5% on all assessable profits made by a company on a yearly basis. However, there are different tiers and classifications of tax rates that owners should know about.

Companies in Hong Kong have to pay a tax known as the profit tax at a rate of 16.5% of the assessable profits. This is a considerably lower rate when compared to Japan or South Korea (31% and 22%).


Additionally, companies do not have to pay capital gains tax, value-added taxes or sales taxes. Also, there is no withholding tax on dividends and interest and no collection of social security benefits.


The dividends from local companies chargeable to tax are exempt from these. Still, it should be noted that dividends from overseas companies are generally offshore and not subject to tax in Hong Kong.


According to the Inland Revenue Ordinance, an entity liable to pay the profits tax has to meet the conditions below:

  • It carries on a trade, profession, or business in Hong Kong.
  • The company’s trade, profession, or business derives profits.
  • The profits arise in or are derived from Hong Kong.


Finally, bear in mind that taxation in Hong Kong is based on the territorial source principle. This means that companies registered in Hong Kong only pay taxes on profits that come from within Hong Kong.


Annual Filing Requirements

It is recommended to have basic knowledge about annual filing requirements for Hong Kong companies:

  • Both local and foreign businesses in Hong Kong have to meet annual filing requirements with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and Companies Registry. If you’re interested to check out our guide on how to register a business in Hong Kong. Click that link to find out more!
  • Additionally, according to the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance, companies incorporated in Hong Kong have to maintain proper books of accounts and they also have to follow statutory audit requirements on an annual basis.
  • The institution responsible for regulating the accountancy profession in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA).

If you want to comply with the Hong Kong law, meeting annual filing requirements and keeping an eye on the accounting standards (HKAS) should be prioritized.


Wrapping Up

Without a doubt, Hong Kong is one of the best business hubs in all of Asia, if not the best. Thanks to its diversity, taxes, modern legal systems, and geographical location, Hong Kong is widely recognized as a successful enterprise center.


If these benefits sound attractive, why wait any longer? Don’t waste a fantastic business idea. It is time to incorporate a company in Hong Kong.


What now?

Well it’s simple! If you have any questions about getting your business started, get them all answered by having a free consultation call with our experts.

Ready to grow your business?

Our expert team is here to help you. Explore our incorporation services or contact our team to get personalised advice today.

Start a business in less than 3 hours with us. Talk to our experts today.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our jam-packed newsletter covers monthly compliance updates, upcoming events and exclusive offers

Other articles that might interest you

Related content

Phasing out of Company Registration Number: What is Unique Business Identifier and What Every Hong Kong Limited Company Needs to Know

The Unique Business Identifier (UBI) system is intended to provide a streamlined approach for businesses operating in Hong Kong, increasing communication effectiveness between them and government departments. This blog post delves into what this means for companies here. How can it help improve business operations and ensure they remain competitive within this rapidly changing commercial environment?

Maximize Prosperity: Top Feng Shui for Business Success 2024

As the Wood Dragon Year approaches, businesses worldwide are eager to harness its energy to maximize prosperity and success. In this blog post, we explore the ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui for business success 2024, which offers a wealth of strategies to help businesses thrive in the dynamic and transformative energy of the Wood Dragon Year. From understanding the Wood Dragon energy to optimizing office space and aligning with the Fire element, let’s delve into the world of Feng Shui and uncover its secrets to business success.

Your Comprehensive Guide to Business Registration in Hong Kong

Are you considering expanding your business horizons and tapping into the thriving market of Hong Kong? With its strategic location, business-friendly environment, and robust legal framework, Hong Kong is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and investors alike. But before you can start your business ventures in this dynamic city, you must first understand the ins and outs of business registration in Hong Kong.

Contact us

We’d love to help. Share your contact details and we’ll call you back

Contact us

We’d love to help. Share your contact details and we’ll call you back

Start a business in less than 3 hours with us. Talk to our experts today.

WhatsApp Us

Get HK$2000 off on
your first Sleek
service purchase!

Offer valid when you register your company with Sleek and subscribe to our accounting OR audit and tax plans. T&Cs apply. Privacy policy.

Terms and Conditions of the Promotion:

Before participating in this promotion, you must carefully read and agree to abide by the following terms and conditions.

  1. Eligible Users: To enjoy this offer, customers must purchase Incorporation package with registered address and audit and tax/accounting services at the same time. Valid customers will receive a fee waiver of HKD 2,000.
  2. Promotion Period: This promotion is valid from Jun 19-Jul 2, 2023. Sleek reserves the right to end this promotion at any time without prior notice to customers.
  3. Fees and Payment: Customers must pay the service fees according to Sleek’s standard payment terms. The HKD 2,000 waiver will be applied as a discount on the customer’s invoice.
  4. Governing Law and Jurisdiction: These terms and conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong. Any dispute arising out of or in connection with these terms and conditions shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Hong Kong.
  5. Confidentiality: Sleek shall treat all information provided by the customer as confidential and shall not disclose such information to any third party, except as required by law or with the customer’s consent.
  6. Limitation of Liability: To the extent permitted by law, Sleek shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising out of this promotion.
  7. Disclaimer: To the extent permitted by law, Sleek shall not be responsible for any loss or damage arising from the customer’s use of this promotion. Sleek does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, reliability, timeliness, suitability, or availability of the website and its content. Sleek reserves the right to change the website and its content at any time without prior notice to customers.
  8. Cancellation of Orders: If customers wish to cancel an order, they must contact Sleek’s customer service department within 24 hours of submitting the order. Orders cannot be cancelled if they have already been processed
  9. Links to Third-Party Websites: Sleek’s website may contain links to third-party websites that are not under Sleek’s control. Sleek is not responsible for the content, privacy policies, or practices of third-party websites and does not endorse or recommend them. Customers should carefully read the terms and conditions and privacy policies of any third-party website before using it.
  10. Accuracy of Registration Information: Customers warrant that all registration information provided is accurate, complete, and up-to-date. If a customer’s registration information changes, the customer should update their account information promptly. Sleek shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from the customer’s provision of inaccurate or incomplete registration information.
whatsapp icon

Chat with us on WhatsApp from your mobile


30 Days Money Back Guarantee

Our refund policy:

We care about you – within 30 days from your purchase, if you’re unhappy with our services, we’ll refund our fee. Email or call us, and we’ll process the refund within five working days.

What it doesn’t cover:

We will not be able to refund Government fees once the application has been submitted, nor any third-party processing fees.

When it applies:

We cannot guarantee any specific legal outcomes when you use our services. For instance, a company registration might be filed correctly but still get rejected by the Company Registry for reasons beyond our control. We can only refund our fees for issues we are directly responsible for. In the case that you purchase a service and later change your mind, we can’t issue a refund.

Our customer support team is at your disposal for any questions or issue you may face.

Need help?

Our sales team is available from Mon - Fri 9am to 7pm (Hong Kong Time)

Let's get in touch

Book a time with our experts to guide you in finding the best solution.