Hong Kong is the ideal place to do business in Asia. It’s stable, business-friendly and cosmopolitan. Here are a few of the many benefits this unique city has to offer:
1. English as official language
One of the biggest factors which make Hong Kong such an attractive destination is the fact that almost all business professionals speak excellent English, the usual language of business. Many people also speak Cantonese and Mandarin. It not only facilitates daily activities but makes the process of hiring and recruiting employees a lot easier. Hong Kong thrives on strong work ethics, efficiency and a can-do attitude. Its people offer a winning combination of international savvy and knowledge of Western/Chinese business culture.
2. Low and simple tax regime
Hong Kong has a simple, predictable and low tax system. Not surprisingly, it is considered by many as one of the most tax-friendly economies in the world. According to an official government web page, some of the benefits include:
- Profits tax is capped at 16.5 percent.
- Salaries tax is a maximum of 17 percent.
- No sales tax or VAT, No withholding tax, No capital gains tax, No tax on dividends.
- Freeport and easy customs procedures: Duty is only paid on very few products.
- “Territorial source principle of taxation”: profits made outside of Hong Kong are tax-free.
The ease of submitting tax returns is another attractive part of Hong Kong’s business environment. Many people complete their tax returns themselves. Others rely on Hong Kong’s many accountancy firms, large and small, for cost-effective tax services and advice.
3. Ease of setting up a business
As a foreigner, you are permitted to own 100% of a Hong Kong company and you are eligible to be the sole director and shareholder. In most cases, it is an easy, inexpensive and swift process. There are no requirements for you to be a local resident or of a specific nationality. You are not even required to have a physical address, it suffices to have a holding address. Regarding setting up a bank account: To be fair, it’s become a bit more difficult to set up business bank accounts. In the past few years, all banks have been forced to comply with a lot more new “anti-money-laundering” laws which lead to more thorough and lengthy application processes. Still, with the right paperwork and patience, you will be able to set up your accounts. Once you have an account, most banks will also allow you to open multi-currency accounts.
4. Government support for companies
Hong Kong offers generous support to help companies set up and expand. There are various programmes designed to help overseas and local SMEs set up in Hong Kong. These include Incubator programmes, loan guarantees and funds for marketing. Examples of incubator programmes include the “The Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks incubator scheme”, the “Design Incubation Programme (DIP)” and the incubation programmes run by Hong Kong’s Cyberport. Examples of financial aid programmes are the “SME Loan Guarantee Scheme (SGS)”, the “SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF)” and the “SME Financing Guarantee Scheme”. Chamber of Commerce of many countries also help to get your feet off the ground. An easy google search will quickly provide you with results.
5. Strategically located for business in Asia
Hong Kong is ideally located for growing companies that want to do business with Mainland China and Asia. Hong Kong is strategically located in the heart of Asia, alongside many of the region’s most exciting business markets:
- Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Perth are all in the same time zone as Hong Kong.
- Over 100 airlines offer flights to about 190 locations.
- All Asia’s key markets are less than four hours’ flight away.
- Half the world’s population is within five hours’ flight time (!).
6. The gateway to Mainland China
Hong Kong offers easy access – commercially and geographically – to Mainland China business opportunities. The Pearl River Delta (PRD) region is immediate to the north of Hong Kong and business people commute regularly and easily between the two. The PRD, as it’s commonly known, is China’s largest and most productive manufacturing region. It is home to tens of thousands of factories owned or managed by Hong Kong and overseas companies. As a result of its manufacturing success, the major cities of the PRD – Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Dongguan – are now among the wealthiest in China and have become strong markets for consumer goods and business services in their own right.
7. International, transparent and efficient
Hong Kong is one of the world’s most business-friendly cities. Free market policies, the rule of law and a free flow of information mean a level playing field for all companies. Hong Kong, Asia’s most popular city for international business, is a city that works. Its enduring appeal is built on political stability, the rule of law, free market principles, free flow of information, and English as the language of business. In comparison to the surrounding countries, Hong Kong provides stability and worldwide recognition. All businesses in Hong Kong benefit from:
- One of the world’s most open, and corruption-free economies.
- No foreign ownership restrictions.
- Free movement of capital, talent, goods and information.
- Fully convertible Hong Kong dollar separate from the Renminbi (RMB).
- Autonomous executive and legislative powers.
8. World-class business infrastructure
Hong Kong’s efficient travel, logistics and telecommunications infrastructure makes international business easy. High-quality infrastructure is essential to the efficient operations of any business. Hong Kong offers one of the most advanced business infrastructures in the world, including:
- Efficient and convenient local and regional transport
- World-class telecommunications and connectivity
- World-leading sea and air cargo system
- International connectivity
For business travellers, managing multiple markets from Hong Kong is simple. Flights are available to more than 190 cities, including 50 locations in Mainland China, with popular destinations often served by multiple daily flights. Hong Kong International Airport is one of the world’s busiest international airports and a hub for many international airlines.
9. High standard of living
Hong Kong is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that welcomes expatriates. Excellent schools, healthcare and an exciting culture make it a great place to live and work. For the past 150 years, Hong Kong has attracted people from around the world to set up businesses and explore opportunities. Today the city is still home to a diverse and vibrant business community. As Asia’s most cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong boasts all the services and support structures it takes to feel like a home from home for international residents, while still maintaining its own distinct culture and identity. That’s why it's sometimes referred to as Asia’s world city. Its compact size, buzzing nightlife, beautiful scenery and friendly international community all combine to offer the best expat living in Asia.
Although most people associate Hong Kong with its busy urban streets and iconic harbour skyline, it’s surprisingly easy to enjoy the city’s plentiful green spaces. Over 40 percent of Hong Kong is made up of protected country parks, mountains and beaches. At the weekend, many Hong Kong people head for the city’s numerous hiking trails, or to the beach. If you opt for hiking, we recommend the Dragon's Back Trail. Another popular option is a day cruise around Hong Kong’s attractive coastline on a junk.
As we stated before, setting up a company in Hong Kong should be an easy, swift and economical procedure. If you need help setting up your company in Hong Kong, just send us an email and we will link you to professionals who will provide just that. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.