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Setting up representative office

Representative Office of an Overseas Company

1. Representative office

Where an overseas company, i.e. a company incorporated outside Hong Kong, establishes a place of business in Hong Kong, this is a representative office. The setting up of a representative office in Hong Kong by an overseas company is governed by Part XI of the Companies Ordinance.

If an overseas company is prepared to conduct business in Hong Kong with the use of its own name rather than by way of setting up a new company, it may consider setting up a representative office. In case the company name is in clash with the name of an existing company, the overseas company will need to adopt another name for the representative office in Hong Kong. A "place of business (representative office)" is defined in the Companies Ordinance to include a share transfer or share registration office, any place used for the manufacture or warehousing of any goods, and any place used by the company to transact any business which creates legal obligations.

2. Procedure for Setting up a Representative Office

In order for an overseas company to establish a place of business in Hong Kong, it must complete the registration procedure with the Companies Registry within 1 month of the establishment of the place of business.

Persons who conduct business in Hong Kong must register with the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department within one month of the commencement of business.