OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT:

May 10 2019

Hong Kong is considered to be one of the most attractive hubs in the world for international business, the third easiest city in the world to make business according to The World Bank in 2017. However, its regulations to open up a bank account are very tight mainly due to an extensive de-risking process.

 

The basic documents and proof needed to open a corporate bank account are the following:

1. Certificate of Corporation

2. Business Registration License

3. Articles of Association

4. Company Incorporation Form NC1

In addition to the basic documents previously mentioned, the following states a procedure that can be expected:

GUIDELINE FOR OPENING CORPORATE BANK ACCOUNT IN HONG KONG 

1. Introduction of the Company

It is important for the bank to understand the background of the company, including the date of incorporation, the nature of business, the reasons to set up business in Hong Kong, and the details of the director(s) and shareholder(s). 

2. Business Plan

It is essential for the bank to know the objective of the company in terms of the expected turnover and the strategy that would be applied to achieve the established target. Moreover, the company must indicate how the opening of a corporate bank account would facilitate the business operation, for example, the number of internet banking transactions requiered and the provision of specific banking products. 

3. Business Proof

To convince the bank that the company has operated well with business partners and most importantly is still going on, several kinds of documents are necessary to serve as business proofs, including signed contract or agreement with suppliers and buyers, invoices, packing, lists, bill of lading, or bank transaction records. The ideal would be three to five of each documents and the issue date should be within three to six months from the date of application. Other than the above, client list, product catalog, professional license (if applicable) and official website would be useful materials as well. 

4. Organizational Chart (applicable to the company with parent company outside of Hong Kong)

The company must demonstrate the company's structures and the relationship between the company in Hong Kong and its parent company overseas, in terms of the sources of funding, the distribution of profit and the co-operation between them in doing business. 

5. Proof of Experience

With reference to the objective of the company as mentioned in point 2, it would be very helpful to provide the bank with relevant document(s), for instance, the CV and applicable certificate(s) of the company's director(s) to prove that he/she/they has/have experiences in the industry and such experiences would be useful to run the business. 

6. Reference Letter from Bank and Bank Statements

To prove the director(s) and/or the parent company overseas has/have good bank credits, it is suggested to have a reference letter from a bank related to the personal account(s) of the director(s) and/or corporate account of the parent company overseas, together with a bank statement issued within 3 months from the date of application. 

Important Notes:

1. If the documents are not in English, an English translation of the same should be provided. Translated documents should be presented together with a certificate (stamped and signed) from the translation company. 

2. True copies should be certified by a certified public accountant/lawyer/notary public in a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) member*/comparable jurisdiction acceptable to the bank, or Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) member. 

3. The interview will be held in English or Chinese, therefore, the director should be a fluent English speaker. 

*Financial Action Task Force (FATF) member acceptable to the bank: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea (i.e. South Korea), Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America. 

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