Owners with plans to expand their businesses abroad can do so with a grant from the SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF). There are certain criteria which must be fulfilled by any Hong Kong SME seeking to receive a grant. These criteria must be fulfilled so that the government of Hong Kong will be able to verify that the SME in question is operating in a legitimate manner and is genuinely deserving of an EMF grant.


Eligibility Requirements

1)    The most important requirement to be fulfilled by any SME which is to receive an EMF grant is that the SME in question must have been registered in Hong Kong.  

2)    This registration must have been completed according to the specifications of the Business Registration Ordinance which governs all business activities in Hong Kong.  

3)    The SME must also be able to be officially defined by the government of Hong Kong as an SME. Manufacturing companies are SMES if they employ fewer than 100 employees in Hong Kong. Any other company is an SME is when it employs fewer than 50 employees in Hong Kong.  

4)    When an SME applies to the authorities in order to obtain the grant, the SME must also be having substantive business operations in Hong Kong at that time. 

5)    Should the SME have its primary location of business operations outside Hong Kong or hold a shell business registration, it will be denied this privileged status. 


Grant limitations

If the SME in question has received EMF grants in the past, the total value of all the grants received by that SME must not be in excess of the current upper limit for cumulative grant value received. Enterprises with similar business registration details will be regarded as enterprises which are connected. For such purposes, all such connected enterprises are regarded by the authorities as being the same enterprise.  

Therefore, the total value of all the EMF grants received or to be received by each of the connected enterprises are combined, and this combined value is not to exceed the upper limit for cumulative EMF grant value.

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To receive an EMF grant, a SME must also not be the organizer, service provider, co-organizer, or a related company of the organizer, service provider, or co-organizer of the export promotion activity which is directly related to the application for the grant in question.  

All EMF grants and all Hong Kong SMEs’ eligibility for them is determined by the Trade and Industry Department (TID). The TID is the department which oversees the business activities of small businesses and traders which operate within the international market. It also promotes Hong Kong’s international trade activities by international and intranational trade agreements. Thus, it oversees SMEs’ applications for the receiving of EMF grants. 


International Taxation 

Another area related to the operation of Hong Kong businesses which conduct business activities abroad is that of international tax planning. If you have any issues regarding international tax planning matters related to your company, we at Paul Hype Page & Co will be able to assist you. We will work with you in order to enable you to best understand the methods and strategies which could be used for your company to fulfill its tax obligations. We will also help you understand how to use international tax planning to save on tax expenses in a legal and ethical manner. 


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