Hong Kong

At the south-eastern tip of China, Hong Kong covers Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories, including 261 outlying islands. Between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula lies Victoria Harbour, one of the world’s most renowned deep-water harbours.

On 1 July 1997, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law came into effect. The Basic Law is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 

Hong Kong’s economy is characterised by free trade, low taxation and minimum government intervention. Hong Kong is a vibrant city, with the mainland of China as its most significant trading partner. Hong Kong is also a major service economy, with particularly strong links to mainland China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

The Hong Kong Companies Ordinance governs the operations of the Hong Kong Private Limited Company.

    Key features of the Hong Kong Private Limited by Shares Company (“private company”): 

    • No tax on capital gains or dividend, nor is there any withholding tax
    • Company names can be in English, Chinese or both English and Chinese; and they must end with the word “Limited”
    • Articles of Association can be in either English or Chinese
    • Mandatory regime of no par value and the capital can be expressed in any currency
    • Bearer shares are not permitted
    • The keeping and use of a common seal is optional
    • Details of shareholders, directors and secretary are required to be filed with the Companies Registry
    • No public disclosure of beneficial ownership information
    • Every private company must have at least one corporate / individual shareholder and one individual director. Hong Kong residence of directors or shareholders is not required
    • A secretary must be appointed. An individual secretary must be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, whereas a corporate secretary must have its registered office or place of business in Hong Kong
    • The sole director of a company cannot serve as secretary at the same time. A body corporate cannot serve as secretary if the sole director is the only director of that body corporate
    • Where the sole individual shareholder of a company is also the sole director, the company can nominate a “reserve director” in general meeting who will act in the place of the sole director in the event of his death
    • Annual return of a private company should be filed within 42 days after the anniversary date of the company’s incorporation
    • Holding of annual general meeting may be dispensed with by unanimous shareholders’ consent
    • Small and medium enterprise may prepare simplified financial statements and directors’ reports.