We understand being able to quickly open a bank account for your new company is one of the major concerns when starting your business.
We have more than 30 years experience assisting clients to open bank accounts and FinTech accounts in Hong Kong and overseas and are familiar with the current requirements. We can help you get your business started by advising you on the right choice of bank or FinTech account for your company based on your company’s intended business activity and we can guide you on the account opening requirements and the account opening process. We cannot however open a bank account for your company as banks will only liaise with a company’s owners and directors to open accounts.
All banks are required to comply with international Anti-Money Laundering regulations which require the banks to:
The objective of the regulations is to ensure banks avoid providing banking services to criminal or terrorist organisations.
You will need to provide the bank with a summary of your company’s intended business activity including:
It is important to understand the bank has no prior knowledge of your company hence your summary needs to provide sufficient information to ensure the bank can properly understand the intended business activity of your new company.
All banks will conduct a business background review to verify your business experience is relevant to the intended activity of your new company in order to prevent bank accounts being opened by criminals posing as legitimate business operators.
The information you will need to provide to the bank will depend on:
(1) if you are a Hong Kong resident, or
(2) if you are an overseas resident and own an existing business in your country of residence, or
(3) if you are an overseas resident and your business experience has been gained from employment.
The information required for each category is detailed below:
If you are a Hong Kong resident you will need to provide the bank with:
If you are an overseas resident and own an existing business in your country of residence you will need to provide the bank with:
If you are an overseas resident and your business experience has been gained from employment the banks will be more cautious about opening an account for your new company and will usually only open an account if you can show the bank you have a minimum of 5 years relevant business experience. You will need to provide the bank with:
In all cases to assist the bank with their background review we suggest you 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.
Please note the Hong Kong Monetary Authority requires all banks operating in Hong Kong to conduct account opening meetings in Hong Kong before opening a business account.
It should also be noted the banks in Hong Kong will usually only open accounts where it can be shown the company will be selling to or buying from companies in Asia (preferably Hong Kong or 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.
It is possible to open an account with a FinTech company without visiting Hong Kong.
FinTech companies are licensed by the Hong Kong Government to provide online multi-currency payment platforms for the receipt and payment of funds and are increasingly used as an alternative to traditional bank accounts. As with a traditional bank account your company will have its own unique account number enabling your company to receive payments from and make payments to traditional bank accounts.
The benefits of opening an account with a FinTech company are your account can be opened online without needing to visit the FinTech company, the account opening is faster than opening an account with a traditional bank with the account usually operational within 1 week from submission of your account opening application and the ongoing charges for operating the account are also significantly less than a traditional bank account.
We take the opportunity to refer you to our guide to the process to open an account with a FinTech company.
In cases where a client’s Hong Kong company will have no business activity in Asia we usually suggest opening an account with an offshore bank. We would be pleased to provide further details based on your planned business 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.
We take the opportunity to refer you to our guide to the process to open a bank account in an offshore bank.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about opening bank accounts.