Hong Kong Overview
Hong Kong companies are ideal vehicles for international trading or consulting activities which are not sourced in Hong Kong and therefore can be conducted free of tax. The same is true for companies holding real estate which is located outside Hong Kong. There is no capital gains tax and dividends received or distributed by a Hong Kong company are also tax-free. Even the standard rate of profits tax applicable to Hong Kong sourced income is very competitive at 17.5%.
Hong Kong is a very well respected jurisdiction and largely does not figure on any blacklists. It is ideally positioned at the centre of rapidly developing East Asia. Hong Kong was established as a British colony in 1841 and, under the terms of the Joint Declaration of the British and Chinese Governments of 1984, reverted to Chinese sovereignty on 1 July 1997. At that time, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China retaining its current economic, social and legal system for a minimum period of 50 years after 1 July 1997. Since the handover, Hong Kong has continued to run its own affairs with complete autonomy. Hong Kong is the world's freest economy (Heritage Foundation 2014) and is a major trading centre with total volume of trade in goods and re-exports in 2002 of over US$400 billion making the territory the 10th largest trading economy in the world. Hong Kong is also a major international international financial centre with a large representation of banks, insurance companies, merchant banks, fund managers, venture capital companies and other financial intermediaries. It has a world-class infrastructure and very efficient communications.
The legal system in Hong Kong is based on English common law and an increasingly comprehensive body of statutory law passed by the local legislature. The language of the law and largely of business is English. The local language is the Cantonese dialect and Mandarin Chinese is increasingly spoken in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Government has generally adopted a policy of 'Maximum Support and Minimum Intervention' and provides the most business-friendly conditions possible, including the rule of law, personal liberty and a clean and efficient administration. Also, Hong Kong has signed a bilateral free trade agreement known as the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Mainland China.
Some of the many advantages of Hong Kong include:
- Economic and Political Stability, Strategic location and a major Financial and Trading Centre
- Well established legal system based on the Common Law and transparent regulations
- Premier gateway for trade and investment into and out of mainland China
- Freest economy in the world with low corporate and personal taxes
- No restrictions on capital flows into and out of Hong Kong
- Convertible and stable currency linked to the US Dollar
- A global communications hub and has excellent communications infrastructure
- World class International Airport and the world's busiest Container Port
Taxation in Hong Kong is based on a territorial source principle. Hong Kong companies only pay tax on profits sourced in Hong Kong and the rate of taxation currently is 17.5% on assessable profits. There are no withholding taxes on dividends or interest and no taxes on capital gains. However, withholding tax on royalties does apply, currently being 5.25%, and is only imposed on royalties paid to non-resident recipients not related to the payers. If they are related parties then a tax rate of 17.5% is applicable.
Henley & Partners in Hong Kong
No matter how complex your needs are, Henley & Partners Far East Ltd. and the global network of Henley & Partners will be able to advise and assist you.
The specialised services of Henley & Partners are also a resource and complement to major law and consulting firms. We can help other firms and their clients with the unique and specific details required by incorporation and the proper management of Hong Kong companies, as well as provide all necessary related business services.
We provide all clients with individual advice and comprehensive yet cost-effective solutions. Please contact us for more information and individual advice.