Besides being a prestigious business address, Hong Kong has a variety of benefits to offer for those who are looking to or already own a company in China. Ranging from financial over legislative to cultural reasons. Below are your top 7 benefits from opening up a company in Hong Kong together with a WOFE in Mainland China.
While you are expecting to pay 25% income tax on your profits in China, with a Hong Kong company under your name you are able to send said funds across the border for a 5% transfer fee. This method can save you a considerable amount of money, especially considering that funds can be transferred between China and Hong Kong companies without currency controls. What that means is, when sending money from China abroad, usually, there are extremely high fees in place as well as a maximum amount of money that can leave the country per person or company per year.
Additionally, Hong Kong operates under a territorial tax regime. This means that there is a zero percent tax rate on money that is not earned in Hong Kong. Profits earned in Hong Kong are subject to a 16.5% tax. On the other hand, startups are eligible for VAT tax refunds. Either way, income tax in Hong Kong is significantly less than on the mainland. The exact tax break will always depend on the industry of your company as well as the location of your WOFE. In the QianHai zone in Shenzhen, for example, companies are given a particularly generous tax break.
To find out about this in more detail, contact Incorp China to get first-hand tax advise from local accounting and tax experts.
Imports from abroad to Hong Kong are significantly easier to arrange and cheaper than transporting goods straight into Mainland China. Under CEPA, an agreement between Hong Kong and China with the aim to encourage trade, Hong Kong goods can even be imported into China under zero tariffs, as long as said goods and your company complies with CEPA rules. (http://www.hktdc.com/resources/MI/Article/cepa1/2009/06/274914/1244104141867_cepapdf.pdf) If you are planning on regularly moving cargo across Chinese borders, Incorp China would strongly advise talking to us about setting up an entity in Hong Kong.
Other than in Mainland China, Hong Kong takes into consideration the prior use of intellectual property when filing for trademarks, patents, copyrights, etc. China, on the other hand, operates under the first-to-file principle. If you are interested in finding out about the Chinese trademark system in more detail, please read more about it here.
Whether tax law, intellectual property registration and enforcement, an open economy or the general bureaucratic processes, Hong Kong offers a much more Western mindset when it comes to legal systems and business culture. Familiar documents, consistent bureaucratic procedures and English speaking government officials can offer a smoother entrance into the Asian business world, not just for inexperienced businessmen. Bureaucratic processes can furthermore be executed more rapidly in Hong Kong than they would in China. For example, changing the structure of your company by reallocating shares would take about two months in China, whereas such an action would only require about a week in Hong Kong.
The proximity to the mainland and its open, capitalist mindset make Hong Kong the perfect connecting point between East and West. Strong economic ties with the ASEAN countries as well as a trustworthy environment for Western investors make Hong Kong a fertile ground for businesses from all around the world. The combined understanding of both the Western and Eastern business and cultural mentality will prove to be beneficial in more ways than you would expect.
…especially if you are turning to Incorp China to help you out! We are offering a free initial consultation to help you figure out how to open up a company stress-free.
Hong Kong companies take less time to open in comparison to Chinese enterprises. More importantly, government institutions are considerably more straightforward and consistent regarding their requirements for opening an entity. In Mainland China, rules and regulations can change unexpectedly and abruptly, making it absolutely essential to have a team on the ground that is tirelessly checking up on your application and actively pushing it forward. On top of legislative changes, in China, it is common that institutions like banks or government bureaus will change their mind unexpectedly about a signature or document they require on top of what you were instructed to provide. Don’t let this discourage you as this is a commonly observed phenomenon, especially towards foreigners.
Opening a Hong Kong entity makes applying for a Chinese WOFE significantly easier. Hong Kong incorporation documents are filed in English as well as Chinese which speeds up the process of incorporating a company on the Mainland.
Setting up a limited liability company (LLC) in Hong Kong can protect you from lawsuits even in Mainland China. Since each shareholder of an LLC can only be held accountable for the capital they have invested and the Hong Kong company is liable for the registered capital in Mainland China, in case of a lawsuit, your personal capital outside of your business would be protected.
No doubt, a Hong Kong company can be highly beneficial to those planning to open up a company in China and even those who already own one. Nevertheless, if you are unsure or would like to talk to us about your specific situation. Don’t hesitate to contact us by calling us (+1 (561) 729 6508) or sending us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).