Following a waiver of business registration fees from 2010 to 2011, the financial secretary proposed in his budget reintroducing the practice for a year starting next month.
The move, expected to cost the government HK$1.9 billion, is aimed at helping businesses in the face of the uncertain economic situation.
The concession will also help the incorporation of overseas companies that increasingly turn to Hong Kong as a gateway to the mainland at a time when they experience difficulties in their home countries.
The fee for businesses registering will be reduced by HK$2,000, making the one-year Business Registration Certificate free of charge, while decreasing the fee by one third for a three-year registration. However, businesses are still required to pay the levy for the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund.
Most serviced offices offer business incorporation and registration services. For 'ready-made' or 'off-the-shelf' companies, the whole process takes only a couple of days, while the formation of an all-new company takes six to 10 days.
The Bridges Executive Centre's company formation package, that includes all government fees, a one-year company secretarial service and the full company kit, the so called Green Box, used to cost HK$9,900. The company is introducing the HK$2,000 savings from today.
'From March 26, our price will be reduced to HK$7,900 that includes the saving of HK$2,000, on account of the waiver of business registration fees.
'Our effective date is earlier than the government's April 1 because we would like to offer our entrepreneur clients the earliest time for enjoying this waiver by processing the case to match the government's effective date,' says Fion Sen, managing director of Bridges Executive Centre.
The company offers a one-stop shop starting with free consultation, company formation, company secretary, accounting and auditing services, and application for a working visa.
The offices' prestigious addresses in Central and Admiralty can also be used as a company address, whether the applicant uses one as a virtual office or hires space there.
Registering a limited company, liability of its members, such as directors and share holders, is limited to what they have invested into the company, thus decreasing risk. This is more fitting for a fast-developing start-up.
An unlimited company's formation cost is lower, because there is no need to apply for a Certificate of Incorporation. Running costs are also lower since there is no need to submit audited financial reports to the government.