Setting up a Corporate Bank Account in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is world-renowned for its open policies on foreign investment, and with that comes some very rigorous compliance methods. When you have as much foreign capital flowing into a small region like Hong Kong, the local government needs to take every precaution possible to ensure the flow of funds is in a transparent, and law abiding manner.
With that in mind, one of the more tricky parts of starting a business in Hong Kong is setting up a corporate bank account. On top of government regulations, the banks are quite fastidious in their criteria for choosing customers — after all, many of their customers won’t even be living in Hong Kong.
Here are the prominent mandatories you’ll need to comply with to be able to even make an application to open a corporate bank account in Hong Kong:
- You must (nearly always) have Asian customers or suppliers for your business.
- Your partners cannot be resident in, or your company affiliated with the following countries:
- Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa)
Straight away, you might foresee some problems for your own operation, but do not fear, there is usually a solution to be found. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to open a corporate bank account in Hong Kong, as well as your options outside of a traditional bank.
We will also be making the assumption that you have already set up your Hong Kong business. If you haven’t done that yet, you can read our article What Are the Different Types of Business Entities in Hong Kong?
Option 1 — Using a Hong Kong Bank for Your Business Bank Account
The most common option has traditionally been to open a business account with a physical bank branch in Hong Kong. In recent years however, it has admittedly become harder to do so due to more stringent regulations and policies.
In 2020, you will almost always have to prove that you are doing business in Asia, by showing your financials for the previous six months.
You would also generally have to fly to Hong Kong to visit the bank in person as part of their mandatory Know-Your-Customers (KYC) / due-diligence procedures.
Here’s an example of the approximate criteria and services of a traditional Hong Kong Bank:
|Support & Certification Included with:||Mid Shore and Onshore solutions.|
|Credit Card:||Yes. Limit of HKD 100,000 per day.|
|Minimum Deposit/Balance:||HKD 50,000|
Penalty of HKD 200 per day if min. balance not met.
Must deposit funds within 30 days.
|Opening Account Fees:||HKD 1,200 (to be paid directly by credit card).|
|Timeline For Opening Account:||Approximately three weeks.|
Related Read: 51 reasons Hong Kong is a great place to do business »
Option 2 — Using a Hong Kong Fintech Company for Your Business Bank Account
Fintech lenders have become an increasingly mainstream option in the last few years, as they have fewer restrictions on opening a business account. You can open a business account with a fintech company quickly, and you don’t have to visit Hong Kong to do it. It will also allow you to accumulate six months of internal financial activity to present to a physical bank in the future.
The downside to this ease of application is the fact that you won’t receive as many account services as you would with a traditional Hong Kong bank. For example, you can’t get a bank loan, you may only receive a debit card (as opposed to credit), and the account will be in Hong Kong dollars only.
Here’s an example of the approximate criteria and services of a fintech lender:
|Support & Certification Included with:||Offshore, Mid Shore, and Onshore solutions.|
|Credit Card:||Depends on the fintech provider.|
|Minimum Deposit/Balance:||HKD 1,000.|
Deposit within 30 days.
|Opening Account Fees:||Free.|
|Timeline For Opening Account:||One Week.|
Option 3 — Opening Your Business Bank Account With a Bank Outside Hong Kong
Contrary to the belief of some, it is actually possible to have a business account that is outside of Hong Kong. It would not be the first recommended option, but possible nonetheless.
A good Hong Kong incorporation service provider should be able to take care of this on your behalf — see what they can do to accommodate your individual needs.
Conclusion — Where to Next for Opening Your Hong Kong Company Account
Although it is entirely possible to open your Hong Kong company bank account yourself, we highly recommend you seek the advice of a trusted Hong Kong incorporation service provider. It will almost always save you time, frustration, and ultimately money, by delegating the task to experts.
If you’d like help expediting your corporate bank application, HKCR has an expert team of specialist bankers to help you ensure your successful expansion into Hong Kong.
If you have any questions about how you can open a corporate account in Hong Kong, please do contact us — it’s both our job and pleasure to assist.
- Can a foreigner open a bank account in Hong Kong?
- Yes, a foreigner is allowed to open a bank account in Hong Kong with the relevant documents and criterias. It is advised for foreigners to engage a professional corporate service provider to assist in opening a bank account.
- What are the documents required to open an account with a Hong Kong bank?
- Original documents of the company certified by HKCPA.
- Proof of Hong Kong office address dated less than three months.
- Proof of financial activities (invoices paid, signed contracts, bank statements for the last six months in connection with an activity in eligible Asian regions.
- What options are there to open a Hong Kong Corporate Bank Account?
- The 3 popular options foreigners can take note of are:
- Using a Hong Kong bank for your business bank account
- Using a Hong Kong FinTech company for your business bank account
- Opening your business bank account outside Hong Kong
- Can you open a Hong Kong bank account online?
- Due to Hong Kong’s strict anti-money laundering rules, you are not allowed to open a Hong Kong bank account online.
Let Us Help You Set up your Business Bank Account in Hong Kong Easily
Our experienced team at HKCR consists of banking advisors who can help you successfully set up your corporate bank account in Hong Kong.