HK Office

Rm A 15/F Hillier Comm Bldg 65-67 Bonham Strand East Sheung Wan

(+852) 27858778

24/7 Customer Support

Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:30

Online Inquiries Always Open

Introduction to Hong Kong Readymade (Shelf) Company Registration

Table of Contents

Making a non-profit company in Hong Kong is easy but buying a shelf company in Hong Kong is better when you have to settle down in a Hong Kong company for urgent purposes. Once you decide you buy a new shelf company in Hong Kong, you will see a lot of potential there.

Hong Kong companies are readily waiting for investors to invest in their companies in the form of a shelf company. But everyone knows that buying a Hong Kong shelf company cannot be done without fulfilling some requirements you have to follow.

If you are interested in operating your business in Hong Kong, there are only two ways in which you can easily make a Hong Kong company in the country.

  1. The first way to make a new company in Hong Kong is to open a Hong Kong company by completing the registration process. This way is good because it will help you get a complete company name of yours.
  2. The second way is to buy a shelf company in Hong Kong, which is a very quick and easy method compared to the first one. This one will help you when you have to open a business urgently.

The shelf companies in Hong Kong are a better alternative when you have a short time for opening a new company. There are many reasons behind this, which we will discuss later but first, we should know more about shelf company.

Shelf company/Readymade company:

Company formation in any country is not an easy task, but Hong Kong shelf companies have made this very friendly because of its straightforward process. But on the whole, what is a shelf company, and how does it work.

Shelf companies are known as ready-made companies that come up with a corporate legal entity already registered in the companies registry. It also has a certificate of incorporation. These companies have done all of these processes, but they are not operating till you invest in them.

The shelf companies are never operational because they need an investor ready to buy their readymade company and then invest their money in it. These companies are based on the mutual benefit of the giver and buyer.

The ready-made company is made for sale purchase contract available for the business people who want to carry out their business activities urgently in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong limited company  allows this type of company formation.

Characteristics of a shelf company:

The ready-made company you will buy from Hong Kong companies register should have the following features that enable it to work like a readymade company.

  • The shelf companies have never been engaged in business activities, making them completely unused business entities.
  • The shelf company is already a registered company in Hong Kong.
  • Shelf company has a complete company kit which includes common seal, statutory registers, and company chop. That’s why it is known as a readymade company.
  • Buying a shelf company is a quick and easy process than new company formation in Hong Kong.
  • Shelf company proves to be a convenient alternative and cost-effective alternative for sure.

Benefits of buying a Hong Kong shelf company:

The already registered company in Hong Kong proves to be very beneficial compared to another method of making a new company in Hong Kong. So let’s talk about the advantages it offers you for sure:

No need for incorporation process:

When you want to make a new company in Hong Kong for your business setup, it requires an incorporation process that the government of Hong Kong needs to prevent any legal issues later.

Incorporation process: You have to prepare and submit all the documents, which take some time to complete. Then you will receive a business registration certificate issued by a Hong Kong company.

But shelf companies provide you the ease by already passing the incorporation process. For getting a shelf company in Hong Kong, you only have to pay fees, and then you will become a business owner.

If you demand to change the name of your shelf company, then this process will take some time, but then you can choose from company names that you want to call your company because you are a new owner.

Fast and straightforward process:

Hong Kong companies made these shelf companies for the convenience of those people who want to make urgent setup for their business or commercial activities. The process is easy because they are already registered in the companies registry of Hong Kong.

If you want a new company with a unique company name, you have to register your company in Hong Kong with the help of your company secretary. Still, getting a business registration certificate will take at least a week.

On the other hand, the acquired shelf company allows you to get it in less than two working days in Hong Kong, which means you can become a new owner very easily. This process is easy and can easily be done by the company secretary.

More attraction towards customers:

As we have mentioned earlier, shelf companies in Hong Kong are made without engaging in business or commercial activities, which means they are left to age until someone comes to and invests in it.

A shelf company is registered in companies registry whether it will get a new owner in a month or a year. So when that company is transferred to new owners, it will offer them many customers.

When you have a company built a year ago, you will get more customers because they will feel more confident while going towards your new company. The customers will feel more comfortable while working with you.

Quick business operations:

Your company secretary is sending you the certification of becoming a new owner of the shelf company in 1 to 2 days. Doesn’t it sound great to you rather than a new company formation? If you need company ownership urgently, then a shelf company is best to invest in.

It allows you to start business operations when you get the business registration certificate. That’s why it is a quick process. Many foreign investors want to invest in shelf companies rather than new companies.

Process of buying new Hong Kong company as a shelf company:

The process is very easy which have some requirements which you have to follow, or your company secretary can do all of this for you. Usually, the Hong Kong company refers you to follow the process through a private limited liability company.

You can get the process done by various companies available in Hong Kong for this purpose. They will give the registered office address and a company secretary, which will help throughout the process.

Let’s guide you in a step-by-step process that will help you a lot in getting companies as new owners.

Step No 1:

You will place an order to the Hong Kong company along with some payment of incorporation registration fee so that they will do the work further.

Step No 2:

In the next step, you will get a shelf company list from the Hong Kong company, which permits you to choose at least one or two company names from the list according to their choice from the list they provide you and tell them.

Step No 3:

While confirming the company name of your preference, you will send a list of documents, including ownership details and some necessary information by email or post. The list of documents needed for this process for the foreign investors is given below:

List of documents needed:

  • photocopy of passport
  • residential addresses of shareholders (if he is Hong Kong resident)
  • residential address of directors (if more than one director)
  • brief description of principle business which company specifics
  • residential address of company secretary
  • registered office address

Step No 4:

Once you provide the required documents to Hong Kong companies, they process them by passing them through all the relevant laws and registered capital for the diligence process. It will make then incorporate documents for beneficial ownership transfer.

Incorporated documents:

  • notification of change of secretary and director of the shelf company
  • letter of appointment of first directors
  • time of first directors meeting for the company registration process
  • Share capital transfer instruments for bought and sole notice

Step No 5:

The company registry then signed all the documents from the new owners and directors for getting targeted business. If you can come to the Hong Kong company office for the company registry, then come. It is a necessary due diligence process.

Step No 6:

Aged companies registry then requires to file the following documents to companies incorporated of Hong Kong.

List of Documents:

  • Notice of situation of the registration process from the registry offshore company
  • notification of changing of director and company secretary

Step No 7:

The company registered needs company documents for the business entity, which is then transferred to the Hong Hong company for getting a business registration certificate. You can easily get the business registration ordinance from the inland revenue department in Hong Kong.

Step No 8:

In the last step, you will receive a company kit from your company secretary, including all the required documents for getting company limited from a private company very easily. You will then become a new business owner with a new company’s identity.

Company name requirements in Hong Kong:

Shelf company in Hong Kong has some requirements while making your company a new name according to the business needs. It would help if you focused on a more targeted business name that attracts your customers widely.

You can give your company a name only in English or Chinese because Hong Kong hits the Chinese market; that’s why it is a requirement in Hong Kong companies to register from the share capital. Shelf company in Hong Kong proposes the name in these two languages.

You can change the name of shell companies according to a private limited company that needs another process you have to follow. You can pay the increased capital duty for arranging the setup for changing the company name.

Things to know about Hong Kong before making a shell company:

Hong Kong is situated in the heart of East Asia, which has become a developing country for investors to invest in expensive shelf companies. There are many reasons behind this popularity for making private limited company.

Hong Kong provides an effective business environment without capital gains tax and withholding tax. Moreover, you can easily open bank accounts in Hong Kong, which offers vast business opportunities.

Hong Kong has a well-maintained internet bank account opening through which you can run any business very easily. Withholding tax, one can open any bank account, which is completely good for your business entity.

Easy Tax System:

Hong Kong has a non-HK source tax exemption, and there is no VAT and capital gain tax.


The official language of Hong Kong is English which is the international language used by most businessmen for fulfilling their business needs. That’s why it is easy to work in Hong Kong by buying a shelf company.

A good way towards china:

Hong Kong is located on the south-eastern boundary of Chine, which has become the prime geographical location in China. Through Hong Kong, you can easily make your way towards China and run a business there.

Well-structured banking system:

In any country, the problem comes with opening a new bank account, but Hong Kong is the best in this regard. You can easily open your bank account because Hong Kong has no restrictions on foreign exchange control. Hong Kong offshore company secretary provides a convenient banking system.

WEll-maintained business environment:

Hong Kong is popular in investing on shelf company list because of its well-focused business environment for all. Moreover, the country offers a good quality workforce. They also have a world-class infrastructure making it perfect for every business, whether you are foreign or a resident of Hong Kong.

Shelf company setup’s requirements in Hong Kong (Brief description):

Starting a new business in Hong Kong is easy because there are no restrictions on your business needs. There are simple and few requirements you have to follow to make a new shelf company in Hong Kong. It includes:

Directors & shareholders:

There is no nationality restriction in Hong Kong for being a director or shareholder of a new companies registry. A corporate or single shareholder is acceptable.

Capital needs:

Share capital is acceptable in Hong Kong for shelf companies. There is no par-value for share or share(s).

Company name:

Only Chinese and English names are allowed from the shelf company limited liability company in Hong Kong.

Company registry secretary and registration process:

You can appoint them according to the Hong Kong companies’ ordinance. The registration process requires a registered address.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the legal status of a shelf company?

Shelf Companies are legally registered CIPCs that may also be VAT or COID registered.

Do you know what a $2 shelf company is?

$2 companies are proprietary companies with an issued share capital of $2, consisting of two $1 shares. There is a limit of $2 on the collective liability of shareholders in such a company.

Do I need a shelf company?

Buying a shelf company can be a time-saving option for many entrepreneurs. It was easier to start a business immediately after purchasing a shelf company rather than setting up their own. This allowed them to quickly access third-party equity and corporate debt financing (for example, from investors and banks).


Hong Kong is a country that offers an effective business environment with many benefits that you can get no matter you are a foreign or local investor. That’s why it is recommended to buy a shelf company in Hong Kong for your desired business setup as soon as possible.

We hope this article will guide you because we have put all the efforts to aid you in this regard. Best Of luck!