Registering a business in Hong Kong is surprisingly quick and easy, with only one form to fill in! I guess that if you have visa issues or want to start a larger business it might be a bit more complicated but for me (as a sole trader) it took well under an hour.
You can register a business online, but I decided to go to the Business Registration Office and do it all there in the hope that someone would be able to help me if I got it wrong! The Business Registration Office is on the 4th floor of Revenue Tower (5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai). It was a little hard to find but if you walk on the elevated walkway into Immigration Tower and turn left (instead of turning right to Central Plaza) there are some escalators. Go down the escalators to the ground floor and you get to a lobby area. There are some doors opening out onto a square, go through these and walk across the square. The building in front of you is Revenue Tower.
On the 4th floor is a waiting area and through an opening is the Business Registration Office which has lots of counters. On the wall of the waiting area is a display case holding lots of different forms. I took the form for a sole trader and completed it – it was very easy to fill in. It just asked me for things like my name, the company address and nature of the business.
I then went into the Business Registration Office and took my form to the counter marked ‘New Business Registration’. The lady there took my form and checked it through and asked to see my Hong Kong ID card. And that was it. She gave me a number and so I sat and waited for that number to be called.
I only had to wait about 15 minutes. My number came up on the electronic board, so I took my number to the payment counter and queued there. When I got to the front, I paid the HK$450 1-year registration fee and received my certificate. I was then a registered business!
I hope this has been useful to anyone thinking of registering a business in Hong Kong. Obviously, I can only talk from experience, so I don’t know what else would be involved if you wanted to set up a larger company, but I found the system to be very quick and painless for a sole trader.
Thanks for reading!