Opening an offshore bank account is the surest way to secure personal deposits. The stable financial and political environment that is Hong Kong has made it win the best destination for investors. Whether you want to run a branch or have a completely new start-up, a bank account must be opened before operations can commence. In this post, we demonstrate the process of Hong Kong bank account opening.
Acquire a certificate of incorporation for the company
This is the first step in Hong Kong bank account opening. The Hong Kong administration requires that all bank applicants present certificates of incorporation before any consideration is made. You can either register a business directly on your own or use an agency.
To get a certificate of incorporation, you are required to make an application to the Company Registrar’s office by depositing a Memorandum of Understanding, Articles of Association, Minutes authorizing the company formation, and details of the company executives including the company secretary, directors, and shareholders. It takes about 14 days to get the certificate of incorporation.
Select a bank and make the requisite application
The second step in getting a bank account is selecting the bank of preference. Today, there are over 800 banks in Hong Kong. To pick the best financial institution, you should consider the business needs. The best bank is the one that allows its clients to borrow funds, has many branches across the globe, and offers high-interest rates. You should also consider picking a bank that has great customer service for assurance of instant help when the need arises.
Provide all the details required by banks
Opening a bank account in Hong Kong has become very hard as the administration put extra effort to curb tax evasion, fraud, and scams. You are, therefore, required to provide the following details;
- Copies of shareholders, directors, and nominees passports.
- Proof of residence for the directors and shareholders.
- A clear business structure. This gives the bank a chance to understand how the bank will operate.
- Demonstrate proof of business. If your enterprise is a branch or subsidiary office, the bank will want to understand the previous operations. You can demonstrate this through invoices, contracts and bank statements.
Note that even after providing all the details, the bank might still call to ask for clarifications. Therefore, make sure to regularly check your email, keep the phone line open, and follow their updates.
Provide home tax information in line with CRS (common reporting standards)
In June of 2016, Hong Kong passed the CRS framework that allows it to share financial information with other jurisdictions that have ratified the 2014 OECD framework on sharing financial information.
Under this framework, Hong Kong reporting institutions (such as banks) require bank account applicants to provide info related to their home tax compliance. Therefore, the directors and shareholders might be required to provide home tax numbers that can assist banks to establish whether they are high-risk parties. If you are a high-risk party, the account will be categorized as reportable in line with the Hong Kong 2016 CRS framework.
Hong-Kong bank account opening has become more involving as banks become more vigilant to avoid clients with links to fraud or from high-risk countries. Make sure to start by getting a certificate of incorporation and demonstrate that the business is genuine, legal, and committed to good practices.