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Opening a Bank Account in Hong Kong

Updated: Jun 27


Opening a Bank Account in Hong Kong
Opening a Bank Account in Hong Kong









In order to open a bank account in Hong Kong, an individual needs to provide a set of documents and comply with any other requirements imposed by the chosen bank. These may include but are not limited to submitting a minimum initial deposit amount.


Deciding to work with a bank is an important step for individuals who are about to enter employment as well as those who are interested in setting up a Hong Kong company. For business purposes, an account needs to be opened as part of the company registration process and one of our consultants is ready to assist you at this stage.



​Quick Facts

Company local bank account mandatory (Yes/No)

Yes

​Mandatory residency requirements (Yes/No)

​No

Bank account opening time

​Some banks offer same-day account opening for individuals

Corporate accounts are expected to have a longer processing time, approximately 2 weeks

Required documents - company

​Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Companies Registry

Copy of Articles of Association

Statement of directors and identification documents of directors and shareholders

Other documents, especially when one of the shareholders of the company is a corporate shareholder

Required documents - individual

Identity document

Proof of address

Valid visa

Additional documents as requested by the selected bank

​Bank charges

​ATM withdrawal fee (about HK$20)

Card replacement fee HK$50

Other fees apply for deposit accounts and services, remittance and foreign exchange services, etc. (depending on the bank selected)

​Initial deposit

Starting from HK$10, depending on the bank selected

Higher minimum initial deposit for multi-currency accounts (can start from EUR/GBP/USD 200)

​Types of accounts

Current accounts

Saving accounts

Investment accounts

Non-resident accounts

Fixed deposit, etc.

Internet banking

Check with selected bank

International banks with branches in Hong Kong SAR

​HSBC

Hang Seng Bank

Citibank

Bank of China

Standard Chartered Bank

Bank of East Asia, etc.



How to Open a Bank Account for a Company in Hong Kong

In order to open a corporate bank account in Hong Kong, the directors, beneficial owners and nominees (if any) must be present in person. It takes about two weeks to open a corporate bank account in Hong Kong. Documents required to set up a bank account in Hong Kong include a certificate of incorporation or business registration, Articles of Association, proof of business activities and industry experience. Invoices, business plans, references or agreements with suppliers may also be requested, taking into account that each bank has its own requirements.

Foreign nationals who are shareholders or directors of a company must submit proof of residence, such as invoices not older than 3 months and passports.

Those looking to open a bank account in Hong Kong for company incorporation purposes should consider the following steps:

  1. Select a bank: The first step is to choose a partner bank; this can be based on several criteria, such as the presence of the bank in other countries (for international business), the general range of account offers, online and mobile services, and bank fees;

  2. Prepare documents: For Hong Kong corporate bank accounts, Articles of Association are required, and our team of consultants specializing in company formation in Hong Kong can help you draft them;

  3. Submit the application: the bank will require all company documents (for branches, in most cases these will be those of the parent company) and identity documents of the founder or representative of the company;

  4. Choose an option: Depending on the account type selected, favorable pricing, financial assistance, and other features may be available; we recommend taking the time to choose an appropriate bank account.


The documents required to open a corporate bank account in Hong Kong are as follows:

  • ID cards/passports of directors and shareholders of the company;

  • Residence proof of director, shareholder or nominee director in Hong Kong;

  • Copies of incorporation documents such as certificate of incorporation and/or Articles of Association;

  • Initial deposit.

The required documents may vary depending on the bank's specific requirements. Initial payments may vary, and some banks may allow initial deposits to be made within a period of time after account opening. If you need help setting up your company in Hong Kong, we can assist you throughout the process.


Companies active in the online space in Hong Kong, known as e-commerce businesses, are also required to open a merchant account — a type of Hong Kong bank account that allows them to receive and process debit and credit card payments. This account can be opened with the same bank or a different bank. One of our consultants specializing in Hong Kong company formation can help you with more details.

How to Open Other Types of Bank Accounts in Hong Kong

Foreign nationals working in Hong Kong and tourists can open bank accounts in Hong Kong. Foreign nationals working in Hong Kong must present identification documents and a sponsor's employment letter. An invoice is also required as proof of residence.


When opening a personal bank account in Hong Kong, a common and important requirement is to be in Hong Kong and submit documents to the bank in person. This requirement is simplified if using an online submission or a mobile app (where available) facial recognition and also providing an ID photo. Hence, entrepreneurs or employees who are relocating here for work or business related purposes should take into account the fact that they either need to go to a branch to open a bank account in Hong Kong or follow the online procedure available to them of their choice.

All banks in Hong Kong provide cards for ATM withdrawals and online banking services. Additionally, they can offer mobile banking facilities, credit cards and the possibility of online bill payment.


​OPEN A BANK ACCOUT IN HONG KONG

​Choose bank

MUTLIPLE CHOICES

Hong Kong is an important financial center with many branches of international banks. The first step is to choose the bank you will work with based on your own important criteria.

​Confirm conditions

FEES AND ADMINISTRATION

Different banks have different charging policies and services provided. The terms and conditions should be read and agreed to. These fees include monthly service fees, ATM withdrawal fees, and more.

​Get papers

PREPARING FILES

Once you've made your decision, it's time to prepare file for the bank account opening submissions. This will include identification, proof of income or employment (in some cases) or company documents for business accounts.

​Focus on service

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Banks can offer standard or premium accounts, as well as other types suitable for businesses. You should decide on your options such as internet banking or mobile banking.

Hong Kong banking industry

SYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS

Hong Kong's banking system is a three-tier system, including licensed banks, restricted licensed banks and deposit-taking companies. They operate according to specific regimes.

​CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS



One of the important steps for those who open a bank account for personal use in Hong Kong is to choose the type of account that suits their needs. It's worth noting that many banks offer standard options, as well as advanced or premium options. While the Basic option does not require an initial deposit, the advance and premier types of accounts will require an initial payment in most cases. The bank determines the amount due, as well as monthly account maintenance fees, which are also higher for advance or premier accounts.


Investors who wish to open a company in Hong Kong as a sole trader (the easiest form of business) rather than a company will also need to work with a bank. In this case, the identity of the founders of the business is not separate from that of the business itself, which means that bank options may be interposed.

When investors open bank accounts in Hong Kong for sole proprietorships, they can contact our advisors for more information on liabilities and running such a business.


Banks in Hong Kong

When they open a bank account in Hong Kong for corporate or personal purposes in 2023, individuals have many banks to choose from. Many of them are international banks, which have a strong influence not only in the Asian market but also in other parts of the world.


Some of the most important banks in Hong Kong a person can select when opening an account are as follows:

  • HSBC: This is one of the banks that provide the most attractive service for enterprises and investment purposes; its service range is extensive, it is present in many countries worldwide

  • Citibank: It is one of the banks that provide some of the most convenient services for individuals, but it also focuses on commercial and investment banking business; it is also a bank with a high score in international service;

  • Standard Chartered Bank: One of the banks with a high score in providing digital services for Hong Kong customers;

  • DBS Bank: Another bank popular with SMEs for the way it serves them;

  • Hang Seng Bank: This is a customer-oriented domestic bank; HSBC Group holds the majority of the bank's equity.

The classification criteria for the above banks is based on Asiamoney's Best Bank in Hong Kong Awards 2023.


Choosing the right bank depends on several factors such as international business or some specific services offered in the bank's special packages for individual businesses in Hong Kong. Some may choose a financial institution with lower minimum balance requirements or one that offers professional, high-end banking services (a criterion that may be important for international companies choosing to expand into Hong Kong). In addition to this, customers are increasingly relying on digital banking options, for which packages banks offer may be an important criterion. Finally, it is important to remember that all banks have special due diligence policies and clients are verified before opening a bank account in Hong Kong.

It is advisable to verify the specific requirements of all the banks mentioned above before making a selection in 2023. We remind investors interested in setting up a company in Hong Kong that working with our experts on company formation purposes can also include guidance and, if required, assistance with opening a company bank account.

Hong Kong Banking Industry

Hong Kong is one of the largest financial centers in the world, with many branches of foreign financial institutions. Hong Kong is also considered one of the top ten banking centers in the world. In Asia, Hong Kong is the second largest financial center. The banking industry is one of the most developed industries in Hong Kong. Hong Kong's banking system is based on a three-tier model, comprising three types of banking institutions: licensed banks (also known as authorized institutions), restricted licensed banks and deposit-taking financial institutions. Under the laws of Hong Kong, only licensed and restricted licensed financial institutions can be called banks in the sense that they can accept deposits from the public. To this end, only licensed banks can take deposits of any size, while restricted licensed banks can only take minimum amounts of public deposits, with no maturity limit.

The Monthly Statistical Bulletin provided by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority provides us with the following data on the state of the banking sector:

  • Licensed banks: As of May 2023, there were 31 licensed banks incorporated in Hong Kong and 121 banks registered outside Hong Kong;

  • Restricted license banks: As of May 2023, there were 10 restricted license banks incorporated in Hong Kong and 5 registered outside Hong Kong;

  • Deposit-taking companies: As of the end of May 2020, there were 13 such authorized institutions and 42 representative offices of overseas banking institutions;

  • Hong Kong dollar deposits: As of the end of July 2020, the total savings deposits of customers were approximately HK$7 trillion.


Incorporate a Company in Hong Kong

Our consultant team specializes in setting up companies in Hong Kong, providing comprehensive assistance to those interested in setting up a company. From the initial steps - which also include selecting a bank and opening a corporate Hong Kong bank account - to the final registration process and license application.

The process of opening a company in Hong Kong is slightly different depending on the business structure chosen, but remember that opening a business bank account in Hong Kong is mandatory and it will be used for the chosen structure, even if it is a sole proprietorship ( In this case, the assets of the business are the same as those of the individual).

Below, we briefly describe the main types of business forms available for registration:

  • Limited liability company: This can be either public or private, the private limited liability company is the most popular business form as it is an entity independent of its founders and provides protection from business risks;

  • Partnership: For people who share a common business goal, however, the partners share responsibility, with them taking full responsibility for the debts and obligations of the business;

  • Sole proprietorship: The form of business with the highest level of liability; there is no distinction between a business and its owner;

  • Foreign companies: This can be a branch, however, foreign companies can also choose to set up a representative office in Hong Kong for non-commercial purposes only.

The list above contains only a short summary of the available entity types. Those wishing to learn more can read the article on LLCs and other articles on the rest of the business forms. You can contact our consultants when you need more details on how to choose a business form and how to structure your company. After completing these steps, we can help you open a business bank account in Hong Kong.

Generally speaking, investors first choose the company type and name. This is followed by opening a bank account, as in most cases the bank will ask for the company's certificate of incorporation and proof of registration (for a branch, the bank will also ask for the parent company's Articles of Association).

Our accountants in Hong Kong can also assist investors in completing the company registration process and opening bank accounts. We provide bookkeeping and auditing services, as well as solutions for making required social security contributions and properly managing your company's tax liabilities, among other services. Contact us for more information about our services.

Reasons to Invest in Hong Kong in 2023

Hong Kong is the best place to set up a company in the Asia-Pacific region, and there are several reasons why it remains one of the main choices for investors looking to expand into the region. We highlight some of them below.


Strategic location - Hong Kong is adjacent to mainland China and has easy access to most markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The transportation to and from Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai is convenient, and business owners can easily go back and forth within one day. It can also be used by Chinese companies that want to set up their headquarters in Hong Kong (because of the international nature of the city) and keep their manufacturing units in the Chinese city. Ease of doing business - setting up a company in Hong Kong is simple, and opening a bank account is easy and takes just a few steps, as shown in this article.

Tax system – simple and low tax system is another reason why many investors choose to open a company in Hong Kong. The company applies two levels of corporate income tax rates: 8.25% for the first HK$2 million assessable profits, and 16.5% for the rest of the profits (a lower tax rate applies to unincorporated enterprises). Labor is another advantage for investors, with many local talents as well as foreign workers choosing to relocate to Hong Kong in search of business opportunities. According to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is one of the easiest regions in the world to find skilled employees. Good infrastructure - Hong Kong is well connected and has a modern infrastructure that can meet the needs of a growing city. There are several industrial or business parks here, with complete facilities, which reduce the cost of enterprises. More information on the science and technology parks can be obtained through our company formation consultants in Hong Kong. All these business-related reasons, combined with good living and relocation conditions, make Hong Kong a preferred location for starting a business. Some foreign entrepreneurs choose to relocate to Hong Kong entirely, and once they choose to live here, they find the city has a cosmopolitan lifestyle and a mix of cultures and people that make up the uniqueness of the place. The number of companies in Hong Kong is constantly increasing, so is the necessity to open a corporate bank account to meet the conditions for company formation. The Companies Registry, which reveals the true evolution of the number of legal entities, figures for 2022 show an increase of 16,506 entities in the number of companies compared to the previous year. As of the end of 2022, there are a total of 1,391,678 local companies registered under the Companies Ordinance (this figure excludes non-Hong Kong companies). The number of private companies also continues to increase in 2023. The latest data provided by the Companies Registry shows that in April 2023, there were 10,064 registered companies, of which only 2 were public companies and 106 were guarantee companies (the rest were private companies). If you wish to open a company in Hong Kong in 2023, our team can assist you with the steps required, starting with choosing a business form, then the steps to properly register, and opening a business bank account in Hong Kong. Working with a local team of experts is an advantage, especially for investors who cannot be physically present in the SAR throughout the company formation process. Our Hong Kong company formation specialists will help foreign investors set up corporate bank accounts. Clients can also contact us if they need assistance with the business registration process.


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Learn more about how to open a bank account in Hong Kong from our advisors. Contact us now!




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Call +852 35651861 now to make an appointment with our company formation experts in Hong Kong. As our client, you will benefit from the expertise of local consultants in opening a company in Hong Kong. We provide:


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