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Hong Kong branch office registration

Introduction to Hong Kong Branch Office Registration

Table of Contents

Hong Kong is an excellent place for business owners to establish a successful business. The Hong Kong government has provided an ideal business structure to their residents and tremendous opportunities for foreign companies.

If you want to establish your business in Hong Kong, a branch office and a representative office are two excellent options. However, a non-Hong Kong branch office is an extended company of a foreign parent company that requires companies registry.

A Hong Kong branch office does not have a separate legal entity and depends entirely on the foreign parent company. If the branch office faces any loss, the parent company will be fully responsible for it. A non-Hong Kong company will require a registration certificate for their business registration.

Although many other options are also available for a foreign company, a branch office is the most suitable one. The business registration procedure for a non-Hong Kong company incorporated by a parent company is straightforward.

This article will deliver an in-depth guide to all the new business owners who want to do business in Hong Kong. If you are also a foreign business owner with foreign corporations and want a Hong Kong-based company, you must read the article.

Other Business Options In Hong Kong For An Overseas Company

Hong Kong government departments are providing outstanding facilities to foreign investors. But, not all businesses can get these facilities. There are two most popular non-Hong Kong companies other than branch offices doing great work in Hong Kong.

Subsidiary Company:

A subsidiary company is like a private limited company with its business entity. It is also an extended branch of a parent company and requires business registration from the inland revenue department. But, the subsidiary company will be responsible for all the debts and losses.

Hong Kong Representative Office

The following business option is a Hong Kong representative office. A representative company doesn’t require any companies registry but must get a business registration certificate from the inland revenue department to open a representative office.

A subsidiary company and Hong Kong representative office are good options for foreign companies to register a non-Hong Kong company. However, these representative offices are only allowed to do promotional stuff and cant involved in earning.

Branch Office In Hong Kong

The branch office is another business structure that allows foreign parent companies to get involved in different business activities in Hong Kong. A branch office in Hong Kong is a local representative of a foreign company that has no legally incorporated entity.

A branch office in Hong Kong is a liaison office that doesn’t count in the list of local companies. It is only a representative office of an overseas company with few authorities. A branch office in Hong Kong also gets tax advantages.

A branch office is a tremendous foreign-sourced income for Hong Kong. However, the parent company owner has to get a company registry to start a branch office completely.

Business Registration Requirements For A Branch Office In Hong Kong

Few are the essential requirements for a branch office in Hong Kong.

Company Name

A company name is the essential identity of a parent company in Hong Kong. So a branch office must have the name of the foreign company. But if two companies have the same company names, then the company’s name needs to be changed.

Office Representative

The Hong Kong branch office must hire a Hong Kong-based person to represent the company. This person can be a corporate body that has the authority to accept legal notices and can employ a company secretary.


The parent company’s memorandum will direct all the constitutions and other business activities in the branch office or representative office.

Business Place

The physical location of a branch office in Hong Kong matters a lot. Even if you have limited companies, it is vital to have a business place. The business place should be located in Hong Kong and keep all the statutory documents.

Minimum Capital Requirement

The minimum capital requirement does not apply to a branch office. It is not a separate legal entity; that’s why they get extra tax advantages compared to other representative offices.

Required Documents For Hong Kong Branch Office

Following are necessary registration documents that you need to submit to a business registration office for your branch office registration.

  • Firstly, you will need to submit a parent company’s certificate and a list of the particulars involved in the parent company. Also, you need to provide the complete details of the local representative of the branch office.
  • Also, submit a certified copy of the parent company’s memorandum.
  • You will also need to provide a certified copy of the registration certificate of the parent company.
  • Then, you need to submit a complete detail of the latest accounts of the foreign parent company.

Lastly, if the foreign company’s documents are in a different language, you have to translate them into English or Chinese before submission. Manuscripts will get rejected if even a single line will not be in English or Chinese.

Business Registration Procedure

Once you are done collecting the required documents, it’s time to register your branch office. Ensure that you apply for the business registration certificate within one month of the establishment.

Also, you need to get an agreement of the branch office name in the form of a written authorization. If the name fringes trademark or have offensive content, it will get rejected from official channels.

Once you are done with the approval of the branch office name, you will get a registration certificate from companies registry. After checking the documents, the company registrar will issue a certificate of registration that will allow you to do business in Hong Kong.

Make sure that the certificate will get collected in person, but if you cannot manage it in person, you will have to mention the excuse in a written authorization.

Post Registration Requirements

Apply For Business Registration Certificate

You will require a business registration certificate to start your business in Hong Kong, like representative offices. The inland revenue department will issue this certificate. You will have to write a successful receipt to the inland revenue department for the certificate issuance process.

Also, make sure that the application is written within one month of the Hong Kong branch office registration. The certificate also has a business registration number that will also be the mailing address of the branch office.

Open A Corporate Bank Account

The last step is to open a bank account once you are done with all the legal work like registration in companies registry and inland revenue department. To open a bank account is compulsory for every business type, whether it’s a Hog Kong representative office or a Hong Kong branch office.

You can choose any Hong Kong bank account as a corporate bank account for your Hong Kong branch office. However, you have to pass a bank interview to open a bank account in Hong Kong.


Doing business in Hong Kong is now straightforward. A small business can register its company in Hong Kong to increase the growth of its company. Having a branch office in Hong Kong is better than a representative office.

Although the branch office and the representative office’s registration process are similar, the branch office is a more suitable option. If you have all the legal documents, you can quickly start your business journey in Hong Kong.

We hope our article provided an in-depth guide!