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Top tips for opening a bank account in Hong Kong

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Starting your business in Hong Kong is easy if you have all the right tips, especially when opening up a bank account.  We have compiled the top things startups should do to maximise their success rate when setting up a bank account.

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Why Hong Kong?

The city has a number of advantages which include: no tax on interest on bank accounts, low minimum balances, little foreign exchange control on transferring funds abroad, preferential environment for RMB trade settlements, and a high level of confidentiality and regulation.

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Start on the right footing

It may be useful to consider hiring an agency to get the correct documentation in place before you come to Hong Kong to open an account. There are quite a few documents that are needed and some are easy to miss or difficult to fill out correctly.  It is also noteworthy to mention that any original documentation that is not in English may need certified translations. Finally, before you get started, remember to book an appointment in advance with the bank.

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Get your checklist in order

Companies who are wishing to set up in Hong Kong will require:

  •     A bank account opening form accurately filled out with authorized signatures
  •     Certified copy of Certificate of Incorporation and the Articles of Association of the company issued by the Companies Registry
  •     Document of the board of resolution approving the opening of the business bank account in Hong Kong
  •     Business plan or audited financial statements
  •     Official Business Registration Certificate issued by the Inland Revenue Department (certified copy)
  •     Address proof which includes passport, driving license, bank statements, and utility bills less than two months old
  •     A valid visa
  •     A declaration showing details of principal shareholders and the directors

 

*Remember to check the minimum deposit needed, and have a cheque book handy or transfer ready!

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Make it easy for the bank to say ‘yes’

One of the major reasons for start-ups being rejected from banks is exaggerating income, which leads to problems when you start to proceed with due diligence, so you need to be as accurate as possible.

Other issues that may come up in compliance are dealings with countries which may be considered as havens for crime or known for unsavoury financial dealings.

One is not required to have a Hong Kong office or have all company directors, shareholders and signatories present at the meeting to open an account. This is bank specific, so do check as some institutions allow stakeholders to sign at branches overseas.

While not necessary, it is very helpful to have evidence of at least six months of operational income. This is not particularly ideal for a start-up as in many cases as you are just starting out. In the case where income can’t be demonstrated a business plan may suffice or help your application. The more detail you have, the better.

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Get your business moving by setting up correctly

Consider choosing a bank that is integrated with Xero to conveniently manage your finances. If you are seeking a partner to help with this, don’t hesitate to contact FastLane here.



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