Start an Offshore Company in Hong Kong

Requirements for opening a company

An offshore company opened in Hong Kong must appoint at least one director but their number may be unlimited. It’s not mandatory for them to be Hong Kong residents.

Minimum one shareholder is required and maximum fifty. The shareholders may be natural persons or companies.

The company created in Hong Kong must also appoint a local individual or corporate resident to have the role of company’s secretary.

Procedure for starting your business in Hong Kong

The foreign investors have two choices in incorporating an offshore company in Hong Kong. They may register a new company or buy an already registered one.

The companies that are only registered but do not pose any liabilities or assets are called shelf companies and may be purchased by investors that have no time to wait until a new company is incorporated. After buying it, the investors may invest directors and secretary of the company, increase the share capital and change the name and the registered address.

The investors that wish to register a new business must know a few facts. First, the company’s desired name must be checked at the Companies Registry. If it’s not a duplicate or too much alike with another one, it can be reserved.

After that, the following documents must be submitted to the Registry:

• the registration application form,

• the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Incorporation,

• the passport copy of the founders,

• bank reference letter for non-resident shareholders or directors,

• copy of Hong Kong identity card for Hong Kong resident shareholders or directors and copy of parent company registration

• documents (only for corporate shareholders).

After 14 days from registration, the offshore company established must also deposit the following documents:

• notification regarding the registered address,

• the decision of appointing the director(s) and the secretary and their consent to act in that position

• other documents requested by the Business Registration Office, depending on the nature of the business.

A bank account must be opened and within a month since the registration, the company must be registered at the Inland Revenue Department.

Special requirements for operating a business

Operating a trading company, a retail shop, a travel agency, a restaurant, an employment agency, an education business, a financial services agency, an event management agency are activities that requires receiving a license, so it is important to apply for it at the competent authorities. The type and number of required permits and licenses vary greatly from business to business. We recommend taking the help of a qualified lawyer or business consultant in Hong Kong for professional advice, which will certainly help you rest assured you start your business proper and in the legal framework of this city-state.

Only if the above steps are completed, the foreign investors may start operating business and enjoy the benefits of having an offshore company opened in Hong Kong.

Starting a Cleaning Service – Legal Structure

At this point you have decided to start a cleaning service, but you don’t know what your business structure should be – a sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, or Corporation. The information is confusing, there is paperwork to be filed, and it costs a lot of money to get advise. Well, not really, I am here for you.

Most cleaning services start out as sole proprietorship. For some this works, but I strongly caution against this. Before I explain why, you need to know the differences between different structures.

Sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business that directly ties the owner to the same without providing any protection to his/her assets by being a different entity. Basically, the owner is solely responsible for all debt, benefits from all income, and the business is he or she for any legal purposes.

A corporation is an entity for itself and the owner becomes a shareholder of the same. In essence, this means that the corporation itself is liable without the owner being subject to any liability through his personal assets. The actions and debts of the business are all on the business and therefore do not affect owners private assets. Special taxation rules apply as well as both entities including the owner and the corporations have to pay separate taxes.

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a mix between the two. This legal structure is maintained by the states and not the federal government, so all income flows through to the owners, however, any liability is limited to the company only and owners personal assets and owners as an entity are protected.

For a cleaning service, I strongly recommend the LLC structure. You will work in expensive homes, offices with confidential information, and businesses with proprietary technologies and processes. If something happens due to your mistake or the mistake of your employees, you want to make sure your personal assets are protected and off-limits in case of a law suit.

Formation of an LLC can appear to be a daunting task, but services such as LegalZoom and others offer to complete the entire process for you for as little as $150. I would highly recommend using such a service as they do a great job at an affordable price and ensure that all is right. Please be aware that before you can form an LLC, you need to obtain a FEIN number from the IRS. Many websites will try to charge you upwards of $50 for this, but you can easily obtain this number online from the IRS online system in less than five minutes. As an alternative many states offer a free formation service online or free forms for you to complete yourself.

Ready to Set Up a Company in Qatar? Here Are the Steps!

Setting up a new company in Qatar, the world’s most successful business arena is not as simple as one may think. Company formation requires a list of very important steps that cannot be avoided. For one that is unfamiliar with the market there, it can be challenging to say the least.

Many choose to hire a company consultant to help with company formation in this desirable market. Regardless, below are the steps listed out. Take a look and consider how a consultant can help.

Step One: Company Name

A completely unique company name must be chosen as the first step to company formation. If the name is already registered at the MBT or Ministry of Business and Trade it cannot be used. An in person visit to the Commercial Registration area of the MBT is required in order to do a search and then register the name.

Step Two: Open a Temporary Bank Account

Once a letter is obtained from the MBT, one can take this letter that is addressed to a bank in Qatar and open an account with the amount of capital approved by the MBT. There are no fees associated with this step.

Step Three: Approval for Articles of Association

The business owner must obtain approval for the Articles of Association. This also comes from the Ministry of Business and Trade. These meet the standards set forth by MBT and include the name of the company, home address, and objectives.

Further they contain the fixed term of duration, capital amount, any restrictions upon transfer of shares, shareholder names, capital structure, profit and loss distribution plans, and names of management. Company formation in Qatar depends on this step and the previous three, all of which take at least a day each.

Step Four: Deposit Required Capital

The business professional must then deposit the capital as set forth in the agreement at the bank they’ve opened the account with. The bank must give them a letter as proof that the deposit was made. The bank will need the letter from MBT listed in the second stop, and copies of the shareholders’ ID’s. This step can take up to a week.

Step Five: Obtain Other Necessary Documents

There may be several other documents necessary for commercial business registration. Tourism and engineering sectors require extra documents, as well as others. The Industrial Project Licence from the Ministry of Energy and Industry is necessary for all industrial businesses. These are just a few examples.

Step Six: Approval for Incorporation

These documents are obtained from the Ministry and are easily obtained by a law office. The Articles of Association are an example,this step can be skipped by establishments as it is not required.

The articles are then authenticated by the Ministry of Justice which should take no more than one day.

Step Eight: Commercial Registration

• There are a variety of documents needed for this step at the Commercial Registry of the MBT. The step takes at least a day. Owners will need:
• The application signed by the GM and owner for the company.
• ID card copies for the general manager, owners, shareholders and partners if any.
• The deposit bank letter from step four
• Receipt for proof of payment for review of Articles of Association from the MBT
• A signed declaration form by Qatari shareholder (if necessary)
• Approval of the new company’s name

Company formation then depends on registration with the Qatari Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The fee for this is 560 QR to 5510 QR in 2015, or dependent upon the amount of capital and company objectives. The final steps include the company seal, trade license and signage license. So as anyone can see, this process will take at least two weeks. Obtaining a consultant in Qatar that is skilled in company formation can save anyone a huge headache.