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How do I open a business account in Hong Kong? Proof of business?


in Hong Kong by @omar6yr  | 6 comments

Hello guys, I was wondering if anyone had any experience in opening a business bank account in Hong Kong. Iโ€™m getting all the paperwork ready to incorporate in Seychelles and open the bank account but the agency that is helping me says Hong Kong bankers are getting more picky. They are asking me for business โ€˜proofโ€™ since iโ€™ve always ran my sites as an individual I wonder if just proof of payment from ad networks is enough. If you have any advice it would be much welcomed.

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@hknomad4yr

Itโ€™s quite difficult for startups to open bank accounts in Hong Kong, also see this article: Hong Kong: The worst place in the world for a startup to open a bank account?. It depends on several factors whether or not your will have a hard time opening an account:

  1. Age & size of your business. This is actually a very important factor. While many banks claim or people think that the reason itโ€™s difficult is because of strict anti-money laundering policies this is is only part of it. Banks will be reluctant to go through their expensive due diligence process for a customer that wonโ€™t give them a certain amount of profit. Because HK banks are old fashioned, their processes are not always very optimized and cost effective and often itโ€™s a commercial decision not to onboard a startup rather than a risk one.

  2. Almost any bank will require you to be present for face to face meeting. If you are not physically present it is normally going to be difficult.

  3. It is more difficult for non-residents, especially of certain nationalities, to open corporate bank accounts in HK

  4. If you are running a (high) tech startup or new business, the bank may not understand the nature of the business and are reluctant to research. Even if your business is completely legitimate, you may be rejected simply because of a new business model or tech that is not understood by traditional banks.

If you do have troubles opening a bank account; you can check out Neat Business, that would allow you to open a business current account online, from anywhere.

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@kethle5yr

The Nomad Capitalist has a dedicated podcast to this topic - pretty informative and grounding.

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@karenchen5yr

Yes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to open company bank account in Hong Kong. Proof of business and experience is a must. The best and most efficient way is to engage a local service provider who has experience in dealing with banks. This way, it saves you a lot of time, effort to identify the bank that is interested in your business. Also, the chance of getting the account opening approved is much higher. Of course, the downside is you have to pay an arrangement fee to the service provider.

Set up a Hong Kong company to conduct business offer many benefits. To name a few: tax savings as maximum corporate profit tax rate is only 16.5% (in some cases can be as low as zero); better corporate image as HK is one of the major financial centres in the world; very simple, easy to understand and flexible business system.

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@kmander6yr

Incorporation still incurs fees to get started and ongoing (accounting, filing returns etc). So considered those as taxes. Plus, it requires mental capacity to work through. Youโ€™ll want to someday repatriate the income into your personal pockets and this then exposes you to tax liabilities where you are. Being โ€˜outsideโ€™ of the system in your own state also could create future complications (social welfare, credit scoring etc). Itโ€™s very โ€˜coolโ€™ to be offshore and itโ€™s a natural entrepreneurial drive to minimise tax payments, but I think some nomads get lost in this. Make a lot of money first, then consider navigating this.

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During the last couple years, opening a business bank account in HK has become increasingly difficult. Now, only certain banks will actually do this in practice.

To your question, business proof would be items like supplier and purchase contracts, business plan, etc. Anything that can substantiate your business as actively trading and โ€˜lower-riskโ€™ in the eyes of the bankโ€™s compliance department.

However, since you state that you have payment from ad networks - the nature of your business is likely as an online affiliate. Most Hong Kong banks would classify this as higher risk, more so with a seychelles company. Worse case scenario, you open the SY company and then cannot open the bank account in Hong Kong.

Your better bet would be to open a Hong Kong company OR to search for a bank account elsewhere. For instance I could set you up with a first tier bank in Singapore with a Seychelles company.

There is a list of different options to incorporate here: Incorporations.io that we made for this exact purpose, to help entrepreneurs decide on the best place to incorporate by comparing different options side by side.

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@pau6yr

Iโ€™ve been told that you can open a business there and pay 0% taxes as long as the activity is out of Hong Kong. I will also be interested in that :stuck_out_tongue:

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Hi guys,

After the Netherlands, the Bay Area, Colorado and being on the van life for 8 months, I am now in Sedona, AZ with a few other digital nomads. We are sharing a home here and are wondering if there are more like minded people in the area.

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Are there any tax issues I have to be aware of?


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Holร  ! What's the internet / wifi situation in Sayulita ?


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by @donaldbough8mo 8 months ago | 1 comment

My fiancรฉe and I are most likely moving to NYC (maybe DC) in August, and as a technical startup co-founder I'd love to meet new people that are also into startups. Would joining a co-working space be worth the money to do this?

I work for a big tech company that has an office in NYC, but it's mainly sales so I wouldn't be able to meet others that are related to any of my 9-5 work or likely into tech.

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Are there any digital nomads in the Islands e.g Bermuda, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis?


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Is La Gomera a nice place to stay?


in Norway by @kvarsten9mo 8 months ago | 1 comment

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I have two passports from different countries and am trying to understand where can I travel now. Is there a publicly available map of countries open for visitors by passport country that I can use to see what are my options? I was pretty sure such a thing should exist, but cannot easily find any.

Maybe at least there're maps for specific passports? Mine are Russian and American.

If there's no such thing, I'd be down to build one, let me know if interested to collaborate :)

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in Seville, Spain by @antoine_th10mo 9 months ago | 0 comments

Hello Everyone

I'm planning to stay in Seville for 6 weeks for mid January - end of February. Do you any recommandations for a coliving or a place to live in?

Thanks ๐Ÿ™

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Are restaurants, cafes and malls working in Mexico City taking into account COVID situation?


in Mexico by @thateverdmitriy10mo 9 months ago | 1 comment

I am planning to travel to Mexico City next weekend and stay for 7-10 days there. I wonder if cafes, stores and other places like these work? And if cafes work, do they work as usual or only for take away&delivery? Will be very thankful if someone can help here.

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