Monthly Archives: September 2013

Macau: One of the Best Places to Start an Offshore Company

Macau is a city located on the southern coast of China at the south of Guangdong province. It is situated just about 60 km west of Hong Kong and 145 km southwest of Guangzhou. It has a humid subtropical climate and relies on the freshwater supply of Xijang River. It has a stable company and a good infrastructure.

Macau’s SAR Offshore Law has been in effect since the first of November 1999. It is the Macau Monetary Authority which regulates the offshore business in the city. On the other hand, it is the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institution which regulates and supervises the offshore non-finance business.

Requirements for Operating Offshore Service Business

Any investor who wishes to put up an offshore company in Hong Kong must first obtain an approval from the IPIM. There are some rules which investors must abide by in order to be eligible for operation.

  1. To target only non-Macao residents as customers
  2. To use only non-Macao currency in all activities
  3. To focus on non-Macao markets

It is a must for investors to register an offshore company according to the commercial laws of the Macao SAR. The names of offshore institutions must include the phrases “Macao Offshore Commercial” or “Macao Offshore Auxiliary”.

Tax Incentive for Offshore Companies

In Macau, any offshore institution is exempted from the following taxes:

  • Income tax
  • Industrial tax
  • Stamp duties

Non-Macao residents who are employed by companies as managers and specialized technicians are exempted from salary tax for the first three years of their employment.

Setting Up an Offshore Institution

Offshore institutions can be formed as a branch or subsidiary in Macau. There are differences between the two. A subsidiary is a separate legal entity which has its own memorandum and articles of association. It has to bear its own legal liability. On the other hand, a branch is not a separate legal entity.  It bears its own liability.

The minimum capital required of an offshore institution in Macau is MOP25,000. It has to have at least one director and one shareholder which can be an individual or a corporation. However, if the director is a corporation there is a need to appoint an individual to carry out the duties of a director.

Offshore Services which Can Be Operated in Macau

There are two types of offshore institutions which can be established in Macau and they are offshore auxiliary services and offshore commercial services. Some of the following services which can be offered are:

  • Tests and technical analysis
  • Software consultant
  • Data processing
  • Hardware consultant
  • Research and development activities


Incorporation Options for Hong Kong Offshore Companies

Registering an offshore company in Hong Kong is quite easy and quick compared to other cities in the world. Hong Kong, a city located in the Asian region, is popular for its tax schemes, political stability and positive image in the financial community.

Investors who want to set up Hong Kong offshore companies have two options; they can register a new Hong Kong company or purchase a Hong Kong shelf company.

New Company Registration in Hong Kongy

For investors who want to incorporate a Hong Kong company with a particular name, there is an option for Hong Kong incorporation of a private company. The registration of a company in Hong Kong is easy and only takes about a week.

Getting a Shelf Company in Hong Kong

For some investors the name of the company is not of importance. There are also some investors who can no longer wait for a new company to be incorporated. For these situations, it is best to buy a ready-made Hong Kong shelf company.

What is shelf company? It is an incorporated company in the city to be sold on a later date.  It is a paper company which has been legally registered and does not have any liabilities and assets. If an investor purchases a shelf company, he or she will have the liberty to change the name, increase the capital, appoint personnel and change the business address of the company.

Most businesses which opt for a shelf company are those which need to do business immediately and require registration in the city. Shelf companies which are already years old are beneficial because it will convey to people longevity and reliability.

Incorporation Facts for Hong Kong Offshore Companies

Any name proposed for companies must be approved by the Hong Kong Companies Registry. The company must have at least a single director but can have any number of directors. Directors can be a resident of the city or not and can be of any nationality.

There must be at least one shareholder and only a maximum of 50 is allowed. Shareholders can be companies or natural persons and they can be Hong Kong residents or not and they can be of any nationality. 100% local or foreign shareholding is allowed and the sole director can also act as a shareholder.

Companies are required to appoint a secretary who can be an individual or a corporate resident.  The sole director or shareholder cannot be a secretary.



World economy has been conquering newer frontiers and in such a quest, it is only natural that every country would like to be part of this great success story. Emerging markets across the continents have thrown open new business opportunities and greater employment opportunities. As part of cashing in on this success, every country has liberalised its bureaucracy while dealing with new business set ups. Some great initiatives by different governments across the world to encourage offshore company incorporations include lenient tax structures, better and faster clearance systems for licenses and single window processing structures. A few advantages are listed below:

  • Tax exemption to offshore incorporated organizations.
  • These companies can act as holding companies for bigger global conglomerates.
  • Wonderful platform for international trade.
  • Great investment climate.

With so many countries looking to take advantage of this globalization and new business markets, one country which has been in the fore front has been Hong Kong. Located in the oriental part of the world, this country is a great mix of modernisation as well as the old world. While one part of the country hosts some big names in world of business, another part of this great country is also home to some ancient world. Some advantages that encourage offshore incorporation in Hong Kong can be listed below:

  • Lenient tax structure.
  • Single license fee to be paid annually.
  • Great legal system that is transparent as well as fast and efficient.
  • A free trade window that helps international business.
  • Financial hub and home to many great financial organizations like HSBC (
  • A global platform to launch and integrate organizations.
  • Absence of stringent foreign exchange control, thereby enabling free currency trading.

Not to mention, even Hong Kong has benefited immensely by opening its markets to multi national companies. The real estate in this country is one of the most sought after and with so many organizations having opened shop, the employment opportunities have also risen considerably. Education and skill development programmes have found a new market to show case their portfolio. Though it is considered to be relatively easier to incorporate offshore companies in Hong Kong, there are a still a few regulations that are in place to ensure that all businesses that originate or pass through the country are legal, hassle free and completely clean. Some legal requirements that accompany formation of such companies in this country are the following:

  • One share holder to be legally an adult; i.e more than 18 years of age.
  • One board member/share holder to be a resident of Hong Kong.
  • Registered address to be in Hong Kong.

As an organization specializing in providing services that enable organizations to set up offshore platforms, we help in organizing requirements that help to set these up. These include registered address formulation as well as helping in acquiring of organizations in this country so that the new company has a readymade platform to start business. It is not without reason that this country has been voted as the best international location to start business for ten consecutive years by an international survey platform.

Company formation Hong Kong shouldn’t be much of a hassle. After all, you’ve got a business to attend to. Discuss with a Hong Kong company incorporation authorized agent today.