Opening a business in Hong Kong

I'd like to open a limited liability company here in HK, and had a look through your site, but surprisingly didn't find anything (maybe my search wasn't complete).  I've had a look at the Tax department and the company registry sites, and it seems to be relatively simple, but, having owned businesses in other countries I know it is often better to do it through a trust company or accounting service who then does your secretarial, legal, tax and accounting stuff for you.

My questions are - is this correct, what should it cost and does anyone particularly recommend or not recommend the services of anyone here?  I'm small so I don't want to pay the top dollar, a 2nd or 3rd tier reputable company would be fine for me.

Any other advice would be appreciated.

re: opening a business

I had a limited company from 1998 for a few years, before returning to employment with a larger company. It is very straightforward to open and run a company in Hong Kong.

When I was thinking about it whether to start or not, I got a copy of 'Establishing a company in Hong Kong' by Stephen Terry, ISBN 962 661 037 9.

Next I set up the company, I used a company introduced by a friend. They were called 'Parkfield' I think - though I can't find them on the internet. That gave me the papers to take along to the bank to open a business account, and after that I was ready to roll.

Some time later when I thought it was time to find out about taxes, another friend running a small business introduced Julian Walsh, Tel: 2521 0859. He handled our accounts for us, gave lots of good advice, and was very easy to work with.

I did the rest of the paperwork myself, with occasional calls to a lawyer friend for help. I think I missed a few deadlines there and paid some small fines. If I was doing it again I'd probably have the accountant handle the company secretarial stuff too.

I haven't spoken to Julian since I closed the business, but I can still see his details mentioned on several local websites. So I'd start with a call to him.

It's exciting to be starting a new business - best of luck,



It depends on the trade that you wanna be in.

If it is a simple “buy & sell” trading business, then you only need the Business Registration. If you are going into the food business, then Food and Environmental Hygiene Department is the first port of call.  Next comes Fire Services Department.

You don’t need in house Certified Public Accountant, (CPA), just someone with book keeping knowledge will do.  But, at the year end you need CPA to audit your book & negotiate with the Inland Revenue Department.  Good CPA will guide you towards tax saving.

One of my friend runs the trading business, without any in house accountant.  He throws the invoices & receipts in the carton box, then his CPA collects it monthly & returns with nice & tidy box folders, and prepared the cheques for the payments.  (a cost saving measure as my friend settles the invoices with his suppliers once a month!)

Frankly speaking, if you commission the BIG accounting house, they have better bargaining skill & power with the tax people, but the price tag can be thrice as dear.  A small to medium local accounting house may offer better services as every customer is “big” to them.

all the best