Ten Steps of Advices for New Startup Entrepreneurs in Hong Kong

Follow the ten steps when you are new to form your own business in Hong Kong (HK).

  • Have an idea for a product development.
  • Run a market research. The market may whether be the local market (i.e. Hong Kong), or some other regions/countries (Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, or others). This is a good way to validate your idea before diving all your resources and time into the project.
  • Secure any intellectual property, if you have any.
  • Set up your brand. It will make it easy for your marketing plan that is to follow.
  • Find one or two co-founders. For example, you may not be able to do it all alone. If you are a great programmer yourself, you may need a partner (or co-founder) who is good at business and/or sales.
  • Go through a Hong Kong company formation and get your business legally registered.
  • Write down your business plan. The plan must include priorities for the main projects.
  • Find a workplace (or a co-working space) as an office space.
  • Apply for a funding scheme or an accelerator program
  • Raise capital for your company.

When you set up a company you must comply with the local laws (i.e. Companies Ordinance). All companies that are incorporated in Hong Kong must have a local HK based secretary who must reside in HK (if the company secretary is a person). If the secretary is a corporate, then it must be a company legally registered in Hong Kong. In terms of duties, the HK company secretary must ensure that your company is in compliance with the statutory requirements (that is set out with Hong Kong Companies Ordinance). Your company must maintain the statutory books and records of the business. If you (the founder) and the co-founders are shareholder (or director) of the business, then you or the co-founders cannot be the company secretary. In this case, you may appoint a nominee secretary through a third-party business service.

Assume your newly formed company is a digital startup, and then co-working spaces are always a great choice to start with. Rent in Hong Kong may be expensive. To save overhead cost, you may want to start with a small office space. You and your co-founders may work from an office space that provides much flexibility. When you are growing a tech/product startup, you may have to hire programming staffs and/or administration staffs. Co-working spaces are where you can let your employees to work from (before you invest into a more proper standalone office). Coworking is a working model which involves individual persons working independently or collaboratively in a shared office space (with other people of other companies). Usually in a co-working space office, you will get internet access (i.e. WIFI connections). Hot desks and private rooms are mostly available for use.

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