Steps to set up a Hong Kong Branch Office

6 min read|Last Updated: October 13, 2021|

Basic Requirements to register office branch in Hong Kong

If you want to bring the presence of your foreign company in Hong Kong through a branch office then you will need the following;

1. Name

The name of the proposed branch office should match the name of the overseas parent company. However, it is still possible for the Hong Kong Companies Registry to disallow the name in the case that the name of the parent company is already in use by a different company in Hong Kong or if the name is deemed as improper or misleading. That implies that the first step is to conduct a name search to help determine the authenticity of the name.

2. Officers

A branch office in Hong Kong needs to appoint at least one person who is a resident in Hong Kong and allowed to receive legal notices that are being served to the company. The authorized representative can either be a corporate body or an individual who is qualified to accept legal notices. Paul Hype Page can act as an authorized firm for your branch office activities.

3. Physical place of doing business

A branch office needs to establish a physical location where it will execute its administrative duties. The place must be a physical location where the company stores its statutory documents among other legal documents.

4. Constitution and Activities

The company’s structure and its activities are directed by an overseas parent company. That implies that the branch office will use its Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA). Therefore, a branch office will be operated in accordance with the constitution of the parent company.

5. Required documents for the registration

When registering a branch office in Hong Kong, you will require the following documents;

  • A duly filed form that captures the details of the branch office you are about to register in Hong Kong. Such information includes registered address, local representative, particulars of the parent company, among other essential company details.
  • A certified copy of the parent company’s constitution that is the Memorandum and Articles of Association for the parent company.
  • A copy of the Registration Certificate of the parent company.
  • Identification documents of the proposed local branch office.
  • The latest accounts documents of the foreign company whose branch office is intended to be set up in Hong Kong.

The Procedure of Registering an office branch in Hong Kong

Foreign companies need to engage professional firms when they want to set their branch office in Hong Kong. The good news is that Paul Hype Consultant services are such a branch professional firm that has experience in setting up such branch offices. It is also a requirement that the branch office applies for registration within a month of establishing a physical place of doing business in Hong Kong. The two simple steps that are involved in setting up a branch office in Hong Kong is;

1. Approval of the Company Name

The name of the branch company that is to be set up in Hong Kong needs to be the same as that parent company’s name. The name will generally be approved unless it;

  • Infringes the trademarks
  • Is offensive or contrary to Hong Kong’s public interest
  • Is similar to the name of another company that is already incorporated with the Hong Kong Companies Registry

2. Application of the Branch Office Registration

The second step after approval of the proposed branch office name is to submit the necessary registration documents to the Companies Registry. If the name approval was successful and all the required documents presented as required by the companies registry offices, then the approval of registration follows immediately, and the Certificate of Registration of the Non-Hong Kong Company is issued immediately. The certificate must be collected physically at the Companies Registry offices. However, if the presenter sends another party to collect the certificate, then they must send them with a well-written authorization on the same.

The Next Steps to take after the Registration

1. Apply for the Certificate of Business Registration

All branch offices must register their business with the Inland Revenue Department to permit them to receive Business Registration Certificate. It is a requirement that all companies in Hong Kong be registered with the Inland Revenue Department must be done within one month from the date that the entity was incorporated in Hong Kong. The business registration number that is usually indicated on the Business Registration Certificate is also the company’s tax filing number. It is required that the business registration certificate be always displayed at the business premises.

2. Opening of a Bank Account

Once you complete the registration process with the Companies Registry and Inland Revenue Departments, the next step is to proceed to open a corporate bank account for your company. You can choose the bank account that you are willing to open your corporate account with since numerous good banks will offer you banking services in Hong Kong. Again, if you are having any difficulties in choosing a bank that will offer you the desired services then you can consult with our professional team that will help you make an informed decision on the same. However, if you choose to register your company with us, we will help you to choose the best bank that will suit your needs depending on your business idea.

3. Obtaining a Business License

Most Hong Kong businesses don’t require licensing. However, if the industry within which your business falls requires you to obtain one then you will have to acquire it before commencing on your business. It is therefore important for you to inquire if your line of business operations require licensing or not. Paul Hype Page is a consultation service firm that will offer you free consultation services if you are not sure the types of licensing or even if it is needed for your business to operate.

Nonetheless, the following industries or sectors will require that you have a business license to permit you to do your business.

  • Education business
  • Travel Company
  • Employment agency
  • Event Management Company
  • Trading Company
  • Financial Service Company
  • Retail business
  • Restaurant and food business.
Steps to take after the Registration

Benefits of Setting up a Hong Kong Branch Office

Some of the advantages that come with setting up a branch office in Hong Kong include;

  • The process is fast, easy, and cheaper.
  • It is a better and easy way to reach the Hong Kong market without necessarily having to present your business portfolio and the least effort in accounting and other business operation requirements

In summary, since setting up a branch office in Hong Kong has numerous benefits, which include low costs of maintenance and tax benefits it is one of the best ways to expand the presence of your parent company from anywhere. Therefore, if you have been thinking of setting up a branch company in Hong Kong you better hurry to have that dream come true by contacting our professional team that will ensure that your branch company is set and fully operational.

Steps to set up a Hong Kong Branch Office FAQs

Is a branch office expected to file its taxes?2021-04-06T02:35:54+00:00

Yes. A non-Hong Kong company that sets up a branch in Hong Kong is expected, like with the case of any other Hong Kong Company, to file its annual taxes with the Inland Revenue Department and the tax rate is 16.5%. However, the tax is only applicable to the trade or businesses that are done in Hong Kong.

What are some of the benefits that I can when setting up a branch office in Hong Kong?2021-04-06T02:35:25+00:00

There are numerous advantages of setting up a branch office in Hong Kong and they include among others;

  • Tax advantages
  • Access to new market since the parent company sets its presence on a new market
  • A branch office is relatively easy to set up.
  • A branch office has a relatively low maintenance cost.
  • It is a way of expanding your business.
Can foreigners set up a branch office?2021-04-06T02:35:20+00:00

Hong Kong does not restrict foreign ownership for any type of business entity. Therefore, a business can be fully owned by a foreigner as long as there is at least one permanent representative resident in Hong Kong.

What is a branch office of a foreign company?2021-04-06T02:27:37+00:00

A branch office is an extension of a foreign parent company and the parent company is often responsible for the liabilities and any other debts that the parent branch company runs into. In as much as a branch office is not a spate entity, it has to be registered with the Companies Registry.

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