Quite recently, we’ve visited Hong Kong for business matters and happened to have a small talk with some of our partners that render corporate services on formation and maintenance of Hong Kong offshore companies. All of them complained about the local regulatory body’s having become especially strict regarding everything that concerns requirements for Corporate Secretaries. Two illustrative examples are given below.
Corporate Secretarial companies have to publicly release the complete list of companies, which provides a legal address where the firm or its employees act as a Corporate Secretary. Back in 2002, when I first visited Cyprus I was struck by long lists of companies exhibited at the entrance of large legal companies. Recently, Hong Kong started to charge corporate service providers that render services on company registration and maintenance and do not publicly exhibit the list of their clients. In this respect, our partner found a way out: he arranged a large monitor to be fixed in the company’s hall to display the names of Hong Kong offshore companies they are servicing in such a way that they rotated every ten seconds. This was the only possible way out, since they had to pay the office “rack-rate”, which is a topical matter in Hong Kong as well as in Singapore.
As for another example, our partners hired a specialist to be a representative in court on behalf of the Hong Kong offshore companies they were servicing. This was a necessary action, since the tax authorities and regulatory body piled onto the company numerouscourt summons following the violation of annual tax reporting requirements.
So that’s how it is in Hong Kong.