Opening a corporate bank account in Hong Kong: 5 do's & don'ts
Following the Hong Kong Bank Ordinance & the KYC (Know your client) obligation, every bank in Hong Kong must obtain details about any potential client. If you (as a non-resident national) are looking to open a bank account for corporate purposes or otherwise, our guide below will give you any hints and tips to success.
The Hong Kong government does not impose any restriction on the import and export of foreign currency; therefore to prevent any illegitimate transactions taking place, as a result of the free cash flow presenting criminal activities risks, all banks in Hong Kong impose strict requirements to open an account for any purpose.
- In order to open an account in Hong Kong, most banks require you to hold a Hong Kong ID card, be a Hong Kong resident OR rent your own office in China.
- Bank account opening for corporate purposes may be difficult if you do not have business proofs related to mainland China or at least Asia.
- Preparation for your interview must be completed to a high standard. i.e. by correctly filling out all requested documents, bringing relevant supporting information and following the business dress code.
- All Hong Kong banks require all company Directors, Shareholders and all beneficial owners to visit the bank to sign any necessary documentation.
- We recommend to go through a reputable service provider who can schedule the appointment on your behalf, and attend the appointment with you to ensure all policies & procedures are adhered to. Click here to see our fee's for this.
Due to Hong Kong's tax & accounting regulations; banks may be strict with applications. Please note that as a foreign individual, the bank make decisions on a case by case basis and even if you request us to accompany you to your appointment, we cannot influence their decision in any way.
Banks will not accept accounts for companies involved in the following types of business:
1. Businesses which should be licensed according to international standards, but are not:
- Broker dealers.
- Mutual & hedge funds.
- Security exchanges.
- Insurance companies and brokers.
- Online casinos.
2. Businesses that offer alternative payment systems (E-Gold, e-cash, bitcoin etc).
3. Businesses which intend to raise funds or capital from the public, sell unregistered securities or MLM Programs.
4. Companies whose business is:
- Adult websites.
- Selling counterfeit diplomas.
- Churches & charities.
5. Where the company's Director and Shareholder come from high risk countries.
Original documents & deposit to bring for bank account opening
- All Directors or Shareholders holding 10% or more shares, beneficial owners & Nominees (if any) must be present at the meeting interview with their passport or Hong Kong ID.
- Residency Addresses proofs less than two months old (a utility bill or bank statement showing both the name and address of the candidate) of all Directors or Shareholders holding 10% or more shares, as well as the beneficial owners and Nominees if any. Original copy’s are required and translated into English where appropriate.
- Certificate of Incorporation; Business Registration Certificate; NNC1 form; Article of Association. All certified true copies.
- Business proofs if you already are running a business (invoices from suppliers, payments from clients etc.). And your business must be related to China or Asia.
- A business plan regarding the activities of your company: customers, suppliers, sales etc.
- An initial payment of HK$ 1,000 for the initial appointment meeting and a deposit of HK$ 1,000,000 to be made within 30 days pending approval (from which HK$ 5,500 will be taken as company details verification search fees).
If your application is successful, your account should be approved and activated immediately or your application will take two weeks to be approved in full.
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