Hong Kong Visas for Entrepreneurs

Hong Kong Visas for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs: Hong Kong is calling you

Hong Kong is one of the best cities in the world to be an entrepreneur, and there are a multitude of reasons why. An incentive for business owners is the “Entry for Investment” policy for foreign entrepreneurs. If you can prove that you will benefit the Hong Kong economy, then you can come in with spouse and unmarried dependent children.
Visas are renewed yearly and permanent residency after seven years is achievable, which is great in Hong Kong’s attractive tax environment. To be eligible, you must not have any criminal records or security objections, have a good education background including university degree, along with proof that you will benefit the economy with jobs, and use local suppliers. Sounds daunting? Not really, it’s straight-forward, if you do the right things.

Here is how you do it

Before applying you must incorporate your Hong Kong company first. Documents required (aside from the application form) include passport copy and page of the stamp upon which you arrived, proof of academic qualifications and overseas residence information, details of your work experience and copy of current employment, and Business Registration Certificate obtained from the Inland Revenue Department.

Don’t forget!

You also need to have a local sponsor – company or an individual, who will need to supply their application form, and in the case of a company, the relevant Business Registration Certificate. If it is an individual they need to complete an application, provide their Hong Kong identity card and personal particulars page of their passport.
“Aside from the ease of application, Hong Kong’s tax environment has never been so competitive for start-ups. A new two tiered profits tax rate offers more competitive advantages for unincorporated businesses, which reduces the tax burden on small and medium enterprises, allowing them to use the savings to upgrade their businesses instead,” says Cindy Chui, CEO at FastLane HR Solution Services Limited, an industry insider with more than ten years’ experience helping companies set up in Hong Kong.

This is something you need to spend time on…

An important step is the completion of a two-year business plan which is crucial to your success. You should be ready to demonstrate the viability of your idea, adequate capital investment (including bank statements and loan papers), evidence of at least six months operational costs and establishment of a limited liability company, along with secured business premises appropriate for your operation.
“What I believe is crucial, is to clearly make a case for the business, and why it has an edge over competitors in Hong Kong. Following this, in order to support your business case, you must show a detailed organization chart that includes local headcount, along with the location of your office and rental agreement. With all the covered, your business case will be much stronger,” says Chui.
It also helps to have applied to some of the following government sponsored programmes: Incu-App, Incu-Bio and Incu-Tech programmes administered by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation; Cyberport Incubation Programme; Enterprise Support Scheme administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission; and Design Incubation Programme administered by the Hong Kong Design Centre.

What other types of visa can I apply for?

Depending on your background, the HKSAR also has an Investment Visa eligible for major shareholders of companies, Quality Migrant Admission Scheme and Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS). While applying for a visa is not rocket science, it helps when you have somebody by your side to smooth the process. “Fastlane HR has helped hundreds of clients set up their businesses in Hong Kong. If you are unsure of the details, we provide a step-by-step approach to make things more straight-forward,” says Chui.
Drop us a line at info@fastlanehr.hk and see how we can help you.