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ACCOUNT OPENING REQUIREMENTS

ACCOUNT OPENING REQUIREMENTS

OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT FOR YOUR NEW COMPANY

 

We will be pleased to provide guidance on the choice of bank for your new Hong Kong company helping you to select a bank in Hong Kong or overseas that is best aligned with your intended business activities.

The following is a summary of the information and documents you should expect to provide to the banks when applying to open an account for your new company.

 

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS

 

When opening a bank account for your company it is important to understand that all banks are required to comply with international Anti-Money Laundering regulations which require the banks to:

  • gain an understanding of the intended business activity of their client’s new Hong Kong company.
  • conduct a business background review to ensure their client’s business experience is directly relevant to the intended business activity of the new company.
  • meet with the company’s owners and directors during the account opening process to verify their identity…. some banks will however use videoconference in place of a physical meeting.

The following sections detail how to ensure your account opening application complies with these requirements.

 

HOW TO ILLUSTRATE THE INTENDED BUSINESS ACTIVITY OF YOUR NEW COMPANY TO THE BANK

 

You will need to prepare a brief presentation to give to the bank that will clearly illustrate the intended business activity of your new Hong Kong company including:

  • details of the products or services to be provided by your new company preferably supported by a website or a brochure to illustrate the product or service.
  • an estimate of your new company’s annual turnover, an estimate of the average transaction value and an estimate of the frequency of transactions.
  • details of the target market for your new company’s products or services including disclosing the countries where major customers are located.
  • details of any orders or contracts secured by your new company including relevant supporting documentation.
  • details of where your new company will source it’s products if your new company will engage in trading activities.
  • details of how your new company will operate including disclosure of who will manage the day to day operations of the company and disclosure of the address from where your new company will operate.

 

BUSINESS BACKGROUND REVIEW

 

All banks will conduct a business background review to verify your business experience is directly relevant to the intended activity of your new Hong Kong company as this is considered an essential requirement in the prevention of money laundering.

You will need to provide the bank with:

  • a copy of your CV to illustrate the relevance of your business or employment background to the intended activity of your new Hong Kong company.
  • a copy of relevant professional or technical qualifications.

The background checks are more stringent where the owners of the new Hong Kong company are overseas residents. Most banks will usually only open accounts in cases where the owner either has a minimum of 5 years relevant employment experience or preferably owns an existing business in their country of residence where the business activity of the overseas company is similar to the intended activity of the new Hong Kong company. In the latter scenario the banks will require:

  • the name of the overseas company and documents showing the current ownership of the company.
  • the website address of the overseas company or a copy of a brochure.
  • a copy of invoices or contracts to support a recent transaction undertaken by the overseas company in order the bank can verify the activity of the overseas company.

In order to assist the bank with their background review we suggest you also provide the bank with a reference letter from your existing banker detailing the length of banking relationship and stating the relationship has been maintained in good order.

OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT WITH A BANK IN HONG KONG

 

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority requires all banks operating in Hong Kong to conduct account opening meetings in Hong Kong.

All shareholders owning 10% or more of the shares of the new company, a majority of the board of directors and all authorized signatories must attend the account opening meeting and present their passport and a utility bill (or bank statement) showing their current residential address which is dated no more than 60 days prior to the date of the meeting. It is not possible for the account opening meeting to be held by video conference or at an overseas branch of the Hong Kong bank.

It should be noted in cases where the owner of the Hong Kong company is an overseas resident most banks in Hong Kong will usually only open accounts where it can be shown the new company will be doing business with companies in Asia (and preferably China) or holding investments in Asia.

We take the opportunity to refer you to our guide to the process to open a bank account in Hong Kong.

 

OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT WITH AN OFFSHORE BANK

 

In cases where a client’s Hong Kong company will have no business activity in Asia we usually suggest that the company open an account with an offshore bank and we would be pleased to provide further details based on your planned activities.

In most cases accounts can be opened with an offshore bank without the need for clients to visit the bank hence this is a perfect solution for international clients as they can incorporate a Hong Kong company and open a bank account without the need to travel to Hong Kong.

We take the opportunity to refer you to our guide to the process to open a bank account in an offshore bank.

 

NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPENING BANK ACCOUNTS OR DETAILS ABOUT OUR COMPANY INCORPORATION SERVICES?

 

Contact us today on +852 2877 2290 or via email at info@acshk.com to learn more about opening bank accounts and for details about our business registration and company formation services.