Hong Kong is located at the south-eastern tip of China, with a total area of 1,104 square kilometers. Its population is about 7 million. Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. On the 1st July 1997 it became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China, after 150 years of being under the British administration.
Hong Kong is a leading financial and business center. In 2011, Hong Kong ranked 9th in the world for GDP per capita, and its GDP was $353.7 billion US dollars.
Hong Kong government is acclaimed for preserving the city's business-friendly environment and maintaining the city's reputation as the easiest place to do business. The government adopts economic policies of free enterprise and free trade. Therefore, entrepreneurs from around the globe are setting up companies in Hong Kong.
The business environment is competitive and yet full of business opportunities, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are the backbone of the Hong Kong's economy, and comprise 98% of business entities in Hong Kong.
A simple taxation system is the major attraction for doing business in Hong Kong.
The profit tax is on a flat rate of Two-tiered profits tax rates regime:
8.25% on the first HK$2 million of profits;
16.5% on profits above HK$2 million.
More importantly, profit arising outside of Hong Kong is not taxable. There is no sales tax, VAT, or dividends tax in Hong Kong.
There are 5 types of business vehicles in Hong Kong – sole proprietorship, partnership, company limited by shares, company limited by guarantees, and branch office. The most common type is company limited by shares. This type of company is a separate legal entity, and it can enjoy limited liabilities to the par value of the issued shares.
Prime gateway to China and Southeast Asia;
Free trade agreement (CEPA);
Lower withholding tax for dividend and royalty in China.
Stable economy and financial sector
Leading financial and business center, high GDP;
No foreign exchange control;
Legislation based on English Common Law.
Solid Business Environment
World-class infrastructure; business opportunities especially for SMEs;
Fast, cheap and simple company set up;
No restriction on business scope;
Attractive foreign investment policy; no restriction on foreign ownership.
Simple Tax System
No VAT, capital gain dividend tax and withholding tax;
Non-HK source tax exemption;
16.5% flat rate profit tax;
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements.
Hong Kong as a gateway to Mainland China
Simple tax regime – a flat rate of 16.5%
Excellent reputation of banking and financial system
Fast, cheap, and simple company set up
Attractive foreign investment policy – no restriction on foreign ownership
Distribution of dividends is not taxable, inheritance tax has been abolished
Legislation based on the English Common Law
Pros & Cons of setting up a Hong Kong company
Requires a local company secretary
Requires to file annual return, and financial/audit report