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Hong Kong Companies

Hong Kong is a former British Dependent Territory which became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China from 1 July 1997. Hong Kong continues to enjoy high autonomy in the running of its affairs under the ‘one country, two systems’ concept. Hong Kong continues to be a major powerhouse in world trade. Despite its comparatively small population of more than 7 million, it is one of the top twenty trading economies; the world's third largest financial centre; and vies with Singapore as the largest container port by volume. Hong Kong remains the most significant gateway into Southern China.
For further information, please visit the government website.
Law & Taxation
Hong Kong's corporate law is largely based on British common law. Local businesses are regulated and Hong Kong regards itself as a low tax centre rather than a tax haven. Taxes are levied on profits, salaries and property at varying rates. Estate duty was abolished on 11 February 2006. Only profits derived in Hong Kong are assessed for tax and genuine offshore transactions are not subject to Hong Kong tax, although the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is extremely diligent in determining what qualifies as onshore or offshore profits.
Due to Hong Kong's role as a major trading and entry point to mainland China and Asia, the bulk of companies formed in Hong Kong are for trading purposes.
Corporate Requirements
Chinese character names are permitted and can be included in a company's Certificate of Incorporation. Each Hong Kong Company must have a local secretary and a local registered office which must be a physical address and not just a Post Office box.
Each company must have at least one director and corporate directors are permitted for companies that are not subsidiaries of public listed corporations.
The company should have at least one shareholder. Details of the company's directors, shareholders and secretary must be filed with the Companies Registry and are on public record.
Each year the company must submit an annual return with penalties imposed for late filings and there is ever increasing vigilance by the Companies Registry for this purpose.
All companies must obtain a Business Registration Certificate from the IRD and are required to file a set of audited accounts with the IRD annually.
Company names may be expressed in both English and Chinese characters.
Local Infrastructure
There are in excess of 1 million companies incorporated in Hong Kong. With the implementation of the Integrated Companies Registry Information System (ICRIS) on 28 February 2005, the new Companies Registry Electronic Search Services became available for checking company information. Numerous banks, stockbrokers and finance houses as well as all the major international legal and accounting firms are present in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is also well-served by local secretarial, corporate management and trust companies, while there is an efficient, modern and dynamic banking system to assist the international business community
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