Doing business in Hong Kong 2021

The 2021 Doing Business in Hong Kong guide has been prepared to assist those who are interested in doing business in Hong Kong. It features topics such as setting up business entities in Hong Kong, import issues, tax and financial systems, financial reporting and audit standards, and labour and employment.

Retaining the reputation as a leading international trade, finance and business centre, Hong Kong where enjoys free-market economy with well-developed banking & finance ecosystem is a prime location for foreign investors. This small but dynamic city exercises a high degree of autonomy as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since 1997.

Endorsing the city’s position as major financial hub in Asia-Pacific, Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the world’s 5th and Asia’s 3rd largest stock market in terms of market capitalization as of 30 September 2020. Hong Kong also tops the global ranking for IPO and M&A attractiveness according to Global Transactions Forecast 2020. Despite prevailing uncertainties during the economic turbulence, Hong Kong stays relatively competitive in the global context.

Widely perceived as the freest economy in the world, Hong Kong is an ideal place for investors to do business in this stable and high-efficient cosmopolitan. According to the Doing Business 2020 ranking issued by the World Bank, Hong Kong ranks the world’s third easiest place to do business. Its strategic location, simple tax system and free flow of capital brings enormous opportunities to prosperous business.

Hong Kong is located at the heart of Asia-Pacific while sharing the same time zone with key financial markets in the region. Leveraging its geographic advantage, Hong Kong continues to attract overseas investors as a launching pad to Mainland China markets while serving as a platform for Mainland China enterprises for global expansion.

Hong Kong boasts one of the lowest tax rates in the world, complimenting a simple tax system. With the free trade policies, no tariffs will be charged on import or export of goods except for only four types of goods. The favourable tax measures and liberal economic system have encouraged many multinational corporations to set up regional offices and seize new business opportunities in Hong Kong. As a result, global foreign direct investment inflows to Hong Kong amounted to US$68.4 billion in 2019, ranked 7th globally and 3rd in Asia according to UNCTAD World Investment Report 2020.

2020 has been another bumper year for Hong Kong due to social turmoil since June 2019 and the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. Facing further economic setbacks arising from the unprecedented threat of coronavirus, it is unavoidable that Hong Kong’s economy suffers from the recession and experiences economic slump. However, due to the agility of Hong Kong diversify economy, the city remains its core competitiveness and shows the signs of recovery. Businesses gradually adapt to the new normal and Hong Kong will be continuously poised as a favourable business environment.

This guide aims to provide key indicators for business and economic conditions in Hong Kong, which is a practical resource while you consider doing business in Hong Kong. Mazars in Hong Kong is pleased to provide you with further information and assist you to flourish your business with confidence. For more details, please don’t hesitate to contact our experts listed on the last page.

This guide will give you an overview of Hong Kong on the following topics:

  1.  General information 
  2.  Establishing an entity
  3.  Foreign business restrictions
  4.  Investment incentives
  5.  Work permits and visas
  6.  Foreign currency control
  7.  Taxation
  8.  Employment
  9.  Audit and accounting
  10.  Country quirks