Information you need to know about Setting up a Representative Office in Hong Kong
A Hong Kong representative office is usually setup for marketing and research purposes. It gives the advantage of checking out the market and area before opening a company in Hong Kong.
You will have several advantages for opening a representative office in Hong Kong. They are as follows:
1. There is no minimum share capital needed. You will not be a separate legal entity in Hong Kong.
2. You do not have to register with the companies registry.
3. You do not have to file a tax return in Hong Kong.
4. You are free to conduct market research for your parent company.
5. You can establish business contacts and contact suppliers that you may need in case you become a Hong Kong company, in the future.
6. You may open a bank account in Hong Kong, after you have received your certificate.
7. Registration is quick and easy and may only take two working days.
There will also be several disadvantages over normal businesses. Here are some to consider.
1. Your parent company will be liable for your actions. There is no separate entity protection. Any problems with the parent company will affect the representative office also.
2. You will only be a temporary administrative office. This means that you cannot conduct business like selling or shipping goods. This also includes charging fees for consulting.
3. You must have the same name as your parent company.
4. You must hire someone from your country to run the office, but you may hire local help for staff support.
Some may think that a branch office and a Hong Kong representative office are the same thing. However, this is not the case. A branch office is similar, except a branch office is a legal entity and may conduct business in Hong Kong. This includes sales and shipping products, as well as charging fees for consultations.
A branch office is subject to Hong Kong corporate taxes and it must file an annual return.
Even though a representative office in Hong Kong does not have to file with the companies registry, it must file for a Business Registration Certificate. It must be done within the first month that it starts up. There are two basic requirements.
1. The chief officer must be appointed and must present proper identification to apply for the certificate.
2. An application form must be completed.
When a Business Registration Certificate is given, it must be in plain sight at the place of business, at all times.
A Hong Kong representative office is usually setup for marketing and research purposes. It gives the advantage of checking out the market and area before opening a company in Hong Kong. There is no share capital minimum and registration is a simple process. A representative office in Hong Kong cannot conduct any type of business for profit. This includes sales, shipping, and consulting. Representative offices and branch offices are not the same thing. A branch office is a separate entity and may conduct business for profit. There is more information on setting up business at GuideMeHongKong.com
If you want to setup or move your business to Hong Kong, you must know the detailed information on Hong Kong company formation, business registration, taxation, immigration and ongoing compliance matters. For up-to-date information on Hong Kong company registration