Hong Kong is one of the world's best place to start up a business. It is famous for its low corporate taxes, transparent and free-market policies, fair legal system and simple & fast custom clearance system as well as the gateway to the world's most populous nation, China.
It is the most common types of company in Hong Kong. Companies incorporated in Hong Kong can be public or private and can be limited by shares or by guarantee. Every company must have at least 1registered shareholder and 1 director, who can be a corporate entities or a natural person of any nationality. Each Hong Kong company must also appoint at least 1 company secretary who or which is resident in Hong Kong.
A representative office cannot engage in profit making activities and is not treated as a legal entity. Usually, a representative office has to restrict itself to promotion and liaison activities, undertaking market research and co-coordinating activities on behalf of the parent company. If the representative office decides to enter into a transaction which creates a legal obligation, it must change the business to a limited company or branch office.
Branch office in Hong Kong is a legal entity registered with the Company Registry. If a foreign comapny which establishes a place of business in Hong Kong, must register with the Companies Registry as a ‘Registered Non-Hong Kong Company’ within one month of establishment.
Unlike a limited company, a branch office is not a separate legal entity from the parent and the parent company will be liable for the debts of its branch and required to file its accounts on the public record.