Using a Virtual Office as a Registered Business Address in Hong Kong
When you establish your business in Hong Kong, you need to keep your company compliant with local regulations. It is mandated under the Companies Ordinance in Hong Kong that every business entity has a local registered office address. This registered address is where all your important government documents and communications will be sent.
What are the Regulations for a Registered Business Address in Hong Kong?
In order to be in compliance and avoid any penalties, there are several regulations you need to follow when you set up your registered office address.
First, you should be aware that in Hong Kong there is a difference between a “business address” and a “registered office address.” A business address is the physical location where the business operates. The registered address, however, is solely used for communications and business documentation.
The government in Hong Kong mandates that all business contracts, agreements, financial documents and invoices, as well as all government mailings be sent to one central address. Official court documents or letters from the Companies Registry and the Inland Revenue Department will all be delivered to the registered office.
Your registered office address does not have to be the place where your company conducts its business activities. However, it must be a physical address, not a P.O box. The registered office must also be located within Hong Kong. Finally, companies in Hong Kong are required to put the name of the business and its liability status in a legible and visible manner at the registered office as well as any other business location.
Be aware that on occasion officers from Companies Registry will visit a company's registered office address to check for compliance.
What are the Benefits of Using a Virtual Office Service for Your Registered Address?
Though a registered office address can technically be from any location, commercial and residential, there are many benefits for foreign companies in using a virtual office service:
You Enjoy a Full Range of Services
Depending on the needs of your business, a virtual office can be a much better option as compared to maintaining a physical office and hiring staff. A virtual office, like the one we manage at T8, givesbusinesses a physical address, a mail forwarding service, courier services and a wide range of essential, office-related functions, such as virtual assistants, secretaries, and a dedicated phone line with professional answering services.
Finally, if you directly rent an office in Hong Kong, you can expect higher expenses since you will need to furnish and maintain the location. Many virtual offices also provide physical office space and equipment as well as meeting rooms.
Your Home Address Remains Private
If you are running your business from a home office, then using a virtual office service for your registered address has some additional benefits. First, in order to use a home office in an apartment you are renting, you must get written approval from the owner of the property. Typically, this will be included in your tenancy agreement. Not all owners may agree, however.
Second, when your registered business address is located at a virtual office, it protects your privacy. A company's registered office address is public information that can be easily looked up by anyone. When this address is at home you can expect to be flooded with numerous solicitations and junk mail.
You Receive All of Your Critical Mail
Government entities, such as Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and Companies Registry (CR), will often send out reminders for the annual requirements and new initiatives. If these important statutory documents are overlooked it could lead to numerous fines and other penalties.
Our mail-forwarding service will collect, organize, and immediately scan all of your critical mail while filtering out all of the junk mailing. We can then send a digital copy of the mail to your email or forward it to almost any location in the world.
It Adds Credibility to Your Company
Finally, using a virtual office service as your company's registered office address demonstrates to your customers and suppliers that you are a serious operation. You care enough about your business and its financial management to ensure it is done properly.
Want to learn more? We offer a full range of virtual office packages, so please get in touch to find out how T8 Corporate can help you.