Best Business Bank Accounts in Hong Kong (Part 1) – that will be the topic of today’s article. You can find Part 2 here.
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According to Statista, 98 new companies got listed as IPOs on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) in 2021 and 90 IPOs in 2022.
The total value of the funds raised for the IPO companies was worth around HKD 252 billion in 2021. This is an estimated USD 32 billion, and that too, for the IPOs alone.
There were around 4,000 start-ups in 2022, which means that around 4,000 new people started businesses in Hong Kong.
Apart from what is necessary for the business, an entrepreneur would always need to manage their finances.
This calls for a business bank account, which is specialized for business owners and caters to their needs.
Are you from Hong Kong and own a business?
Have you ever wondered about how you can open a business bank account in Hong Kong?
Otherwise, are you trying to find the right type of business account so that you manage your finances efficiently?
Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.
Today, I will be focusing on the process of opening a business bank account in Hong Kong as well as the best options available.
Best Business Bank Accounts in Hong Kong
Now, let us have a detailed overview of the best business bank accounts in Hong Kong. In these reviews covering each business bank account, we will focus on the important details.
The banks that will be covered are HSBC, OCBC Wing Hang, Bank of China Hong Kong, DBS Hong Kong, and Bank of East Asia Hong Kong.
Let us begin.
HSBC Business Account
HSBC Hong Kong offers various business products and services to support businesses of all sizes. This review will assess their business banking products, application process, and fees.
Account opening and eligibility
Opening an HSBC HK Business Express account can be done through their mobile application.
All you have to do is download the app on your mobile device and use a verification code to log in.
If you need help concerning anything, contact HSBC Hong Kong by clicking here.
The application process may take up to 3 working days depending on certain factors.
This avoids the necessity for you to go to a physical branch to apply for a business account.
Before applying for a business account with HSBC in Hong Kong, it is wise to know about the eligibility criteria.
Given below are the eligibility criteria for opening a business account with HSBC in Hong Kong.
— Must belong to any of the categories, i.e., Company, Partnership, or Sole Partnership.
— The business must be incorporated in Hong Kong.
— The business operations should be carried out in Hong Kong.
— The business should not comprise any corporate directors or shareholders.
— The business must have two individual directors, shareholders, or authorized signatories.
This eligibility criteria is for people who wish to open a business account online.
However, those who do not satisfy any of the above-mentioned conditions needn’t worry as they can always apply by visiting the branch.
A video conference or face-to-face meeting may be required by HSBC for identity verification. This is the case when a director or authorized signatory doesn’t have a Hong Kong Identity Card.
Additional documents are also needed to support the application, depending on the type of business and account. For further information, click here.
HSBC provides three types of business accounts in Hong Kong, known as Business Integrated Accounts.
These accounts combine savings, current deposits, and time deposit accounts using a single account number.
Each account offers different types of banking solutions for managing your company’s finances and transactions.
All three accounts allow receiving and paying with 12 currencies, including HKD, USD, EUR, and GBP.
Additionally, you can manage your transactions and investments 24/7 via HSBC’s Internet banking portal or mobile app.
The accounts also support new collection and payment methods, such as QR codes and digital wallets, to help manage your business’ finances more efficiently.
As discussed below, I have outlined the differences between the three options for those who wish to open a business account in Hong Kong.
This information will provide insight into which type of business account from HSBC should you consider and how it’s better than the other.
— HSBC Sprint Account
HSBC provides the Sprint Account for new startups to kick-start their growth.
Some of the exclusive features included are the multi-currency feature, payment cards, accessibility through applications/online, etc.
The account has lower fees compared to the other two HSBC business account options, and fees are waived for the first year.
The required average account balance is HKD50,000, which happens to be lower than that of the HSBC Business Vantage account.
— HSBC Business Direct Account
The Business Direct Account is designed for growing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
It allows same-day remittances to Greater China, which is useful if your business serves customers living there.
Free access to Business Internet Banking and HSBC Hong Kong Business Express mobile app. Additionally, you can also receive notifications on WeChat.
Like the Sprint Account, the required average account balance is HKD50,000, and the credit facility is for up to HKD10,000,000.
— HSBC BusinessVantage Account
The HSBC BusinessVantage account is for established SMEs with a mix of online and over-the-counter transactions.
It has lower costs for over-the-counter operations, which are regularly necessitated by most businesses.
The required average account balance is HKD100,000 for the HSBC Business Vantage account.
At the same time, there’s an auto-sweeping service up to HKD20,000 to cover overdrafts. Payments received from Greater China are recorded in real time, which is beneficial for businesses with operations over there.
HSBC Hong Kong provides different payment cards for business owners. These cards can be obtained based on their financial situation and payment preferences.
Some of the HSBC payment cards available for businesses in Hong Kong include:
— HSBC Business Mastercard
— HSBC Business Debit Mastercard
— RMB Business Card
— Corporate Mastercard
— HSBC Platinum Purchasing Mastercard
— Company ATM Card
Some of these cards come with additional benefits for business owners depending on the card you choose.
The costs related to each account will vary, yet, let us have a brief look at some of the costs associated with these business accounts.
— Common fees
The common fees related to all of these accounts are as follows.
— Account application fees: HKD 1,300
— Initial deposit: HKD 10,000
— Account closure fees: HKD 500
— Inactivity fees: HKD 350
— Inactivity for more than two years: HKD 450
— Monthly fees
Now, let us have a look at the monthly fees associated with the HSBC business accounts in Hong Kong.
For the HSBC Sprint account, there will be a monthly fee of HKD 200 from the completion of the first year. These fees can be waived during the first year and when the account balance is above HKD 50,000 (even after the first year).
For the HSBC Direct account, a monthly fee of HKD 200 will be charged only when the account balance is below HKD 50,000.
For the. HSBC BusinessVantage account, the fees can be waived when it is more than HKD 500,000. The fees apply below that limit at rates of HKD 450 for less than HKD 100,000 and HKD 200 for account balance between HKD 100,000 to HKD 500,000.
— Transaction fees
Furthermore, let us now see the transaction-related fees with these business accounts.
To receive payments, the fee starts at HKD65, but it can vary based on the currencies and banks used.
When sending payments, the fees are HKD100 for HSBC Groups in Mainland China and HKD120 for all others. These fees may vary depending on the specifics of the transaction.
For counter transactions, the HSBC Sprint Account has a fee of HKD10.
The HSBC Business Direct Account has three free transactions per month and then charges HKD10 per transaction.
The HSBC BusinessVantage Account has waived fees for counter-transactions.
— International transfer fees
If your business in Hong Kong involves international payments, it’s important to understand the fees involved.
International transfers typically have a standard transfer fee and a commission included in the currency conversion.
This means, HSBC HK has its exchange rates for international transfers, which include a fee.
In addition, customers will be charged foreign exchange and administration transfer fees. To learn more about these fees, contact HSBC for assistance.
Representative Example -If the mid-market rate to buy USD is HKD7.85, a bank may charge HKD7.83 instead. The difference between these two rates is the bank’s conversion fee.
OCBC Wing Hang
Now, we will dive into the details of the business account offered by OCBC Wing Hang Bank in Hong Kong.
This account is known to offer the availability of 15 currencies along with services like statement savings and time deposits.
With this account, businesses can handle letters of credit issuance as well as payroll services.
Business account holders can get access to a dedicated team so that they can work closely with SME customers.
Additional services offered by the OCBC Wing Hang business account include:
— Free Business eBanking
— Free Phone Banking
— Business eAlerts via SMS/email
— No costs on Faster Payment System (FPS) transfers
— No monthly charges for OTC (Over-The-Counter) transactions
To access more details or apply for the business account offered by OCBC Wing Hang Bank in Hong Kong, click here.
Given below are some details related to this business account such as eligibility and fees.
Given below are the documents needed for opening an account (for a Hong Kong-registered company):
— Certificate of Registration
— Certificate of Incorporation
— Memorandum and Articles of Association
— Minutes/Resolution of the Board of Directors
— Director’s declaration
— Documents for director(s) and beneficial owners
— Documents for signatories
— Documents for all company officials in Hong Kong
— FATCA certificate
The documents needed for opening an account as an offshore company in Hong Kong include:
— Certificate of Business Registration
— Certificate of Foreign Company Incorporation
— Certificate of Incorporation
— Memorandum and Articles of Association (or) authorized constitutional documents
— Minutes/Resolution of the Board of Directors
— Director’s declaration
— Certificate of Non-Conviction
— Documents for director(s) and beneficial owners
— Documents for signatories
— Documented information on directors, authorized signatories, and beneficial owners of the company
— FATCA certificate
Once you successfully open an account, you’ll become a client of OCBC Wing Hang Bank in Hong Kong.
Despite concerns that the service would be too expensive, OCBC Wing Hang Bank’s rates in Hong Kong are quite affordable.
This is in comparison with European and American financial institutions.
Comparing them to offshore banks is inappropriate due to differences in account status, reliability, and security.
For an offshore company, the main rates charged by OCBC Wing Hang Bank in Hong Kong are as follows:
— Company search fee: HKD 150
— Initial deposit: HKD 50,000
— Annual account maintenance fee: HKD 800
— Monthly fee: HKD 500 if the average daily total balance is below HKD 100,000
— Free security devices for online transactions (for the first two devices) and HKD 100 for each subsequent one
In general, the actual prices of opening a business account with OCBC Wing Hang will depend on where the company is incorporated.
It is estimated that around USD 2,000 is the approximate cost of opening a business account but the actual costs might differ.
Bank of China (Hong Kong)
Bank of China Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Bank of China, is the second-largest bank in Hong Kong with about 200 branches. They offer services to individuals, corporate bodies, and SMEs.
To open a business account, you must visit a Bank of China branch with all the required documents.
If your business is a partnership, all partners must visit the bank on the day of the appointment.
The documents needed depend on the nature and scale of your business, which are similar across most banks in Hong Kong.
There is also a welcome bonus of up to HKD 10,800 upon successfully opening a Business Integrated Account.
To open a Sole Proprietorship account, you need to submit the following documents:
— A completed application form along with a business registration certificate
— Government-issued ID
— Proof of residence
— HSBC declaration form (or) IRS W form
— CRS self-certification form
— Proof of business
— Product or service information
— Latest business audited report (or) Bank statement
— Proof of source of funds
— Proof of the applicant’s source of wealth
— Notice of participation, which has been issued by MPF trustee
— Relevant employment letter/employee certificate/license
For a Limited Company or Partnership, the requirements are similar to those for a Sole Proprietorship.
However, you also need to provide (for limited company or partnership):
— A signatory list, which should be recording the full names
— ID type
— Number of the account signatories
— Government-issued ID for all partners
— Proof of residence of all partners
— Proof of each of the applicant’s source of wealth
All submitted documents must be certified true copies by a certified public accountant, lawyer, banker, or notary public officer.
The documents must be in English or Chinese, and if they are not, an English translation should be provided.
Even if you apply online, you still need to bring the original documents to a bank branch for verification.
The account opening fee is the same for any of these accounts, i.e., HKD 1,200.
Monthly service fees are around HKD 200 to HKD 450. A business credit card costs around HKD 550 on an annual basis.
Deposits and withdrawals cost HKD 10 per transaction when done through a branch.
Additionally, fees can incur for overdrafts, transfers, early closure, etc.
Bank of China Hong Kong will also charge an inactivity fee of HKD 450 for any of these business accounts.
For more details, you can contact the Bank of China Hong Kong by clicking here.
DBS Bank (Hong Kong)
DBS Hong Kong is an industry-leading financial services provider in Asia. This bank offers various solutions for consumers, SMEs, and corporations.
They are regarded as one of the top traditional banks to consider when opening a business bank account.
Account opening and eligibility
The eligibility criteria for opening a business account with DBS in Hong Kong include:
— Being a registered limited company/sole proprietorship/partnership
— An operational office or principal place of business in Hong Kong or China.
— The entity should not have any corporate directors, shareholders, partners, or authorized signatories.
— The company should have up to four directors, shareholders, or partners. At least one of them should hold a Hong Kong permanent ID.
You should also gather the following information before applying for a business account with DBS Hong Kong.
Basic information about the company:
— Business registration number
— Certificate of Incorporation number
— Registered business address
Basic information about the company’s directors, shareholders, partners, or sole proprietors:
— Full name in English
— Identity document number
— Date of birth
— Contact details (each person should have a unique email address and mobile number)
Additionally, all submitted documents must be certified true copies by a certified public accountant, lawyer, banker, or notary public officer.
The account verification process takes up to 30 minutes and the account opening process takes around three days. You can fund your account within 30 days to activate and start using the account.
Once you have opened a business account with DBS, you may incur the following fees:
— Account set-up fee, which is a minimum amount of HK$1,200
— An annual administration fee, which is a minimum amount of HK$5,000
— A monthly service fee of HK$200.
— Monthly counter service fee of HK$40 per transaction (30 free transactions).
Forex transactions are allowed with this account and you can access 14 different currencies.
To know more details or apply for the DBS Hong Kong business account, click here.
Bank of East Asia
Bank of East Asia Hong Kong offers two different types of accounts for businesses, i.e., CorporatePlus Account and Business Start Account.
The CorporatePlus Account is a convenient way to manage multiple banking products under a single account number, which are:
— Savings sub-account
— Current sub-account
— Time deposit sub-account
— Investment sub-account
This account is suitable for various entities like sole proprietorships, partnerships, firms, companies, and charitable organizations.
With all the supporting documentation, the account opening process can be done completely online.
The applicant is required to attend an appointment at any of the bank’s business centers.
New customers get preferential interest rates, free membership in employee benefit schemes, and other financial privileges.
With the CorporatePlus Account Card, you can handle ATM transactions for up to three accounts at JETCO ATMs. These transactions can be done in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Macau.
Deposit Card allows for depositing cash or cheques with the help of Bank of East Asia ATMs.
Business Start Account
The CorporatePlus Business Start account is designed for newly established businesses and SMEs in Hong Kong.
Banking services offered with this account include account management, cash management, e-banking, and trade services.
The account features no minimum balance requirement, free online banking, free monthly e-statements
The requirement for initial deposit requirement is low, i.e., HKD 1,000.
The account also comes with a Visa Business Debit Card, which allows businesses to make purchases and withdraw cash from ATMs.
The account has a monthly service fee of $150, which is waived for the first 36 months.
Business registration search costs HKD 200 and Limited company search costs HKD 200.
Cash deposits/withdrawals, cheque deposits/withdrawals, and transfer withdrawals cost HKD 10 per transaction.
The CorporatePlus Business Start account does not offer interest on deposits.
Businesses can open an account by visiting a BEA branch with the required documents, including the business registration certificate, identification documents for the account signatories, and proof of address.
Other features of this account include commercial loans, trade finance, and corporate credit cards.
To know more details or apply for any of these two business accounts offered by BEA Hong Kong, click here.
General Information about Business Bank Accounts
Before we get to the main discussion, let us have a brief insight into the general information on business bank accounts and businesses in Hong Kong.
Why start a business in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is famous for businesses based on various influencing factors, which have been detailed below.
Hong Kong is situated in a strategic location in the heart of Asia, making it an ideal location for businesses. This makes it easy for such businesses to access the fast-growing markets in Asia and beyond.
Hong Kong has a business-friendly environment with features such as follows.
— Simple tax system
— Low tax rates
— Minimal government intervention in business affairs.
Another great aspect for businesses in Hong Kong is the world-class infrastructure.
The infrastructure includes a modern transportation network, advanced telecommunications, and state-of-the-art logistics facilities.
Hong Kong has a strong legal system, which is based on the British common law system.
With the help of this legal system, businesses can access a stable and transparent legal framework.
Hong Kong is among the global major financial centers and has a specialized banking system.
Adding to that, this country is known to have many talented professionals in the finance and investment sectors. This makes it an attractive location for businesses looking to raise capital or access financial services.
Hong Kong is often seen as a gateway to China, providing businesses with a bridge to the world’s largest consumer market.
Keeping all these aspects in mind, Hong Kong can be a great choice for entrepreneurs to start their businesses there.
Business Bank Account definition
As the name suggests, a business bank account is a specifically tailored bank account designed for businesses.
Through this account, a business owner can deposit and withdraw funds, make and receive payments, and manage their finances.
Advantages of business bank accounts
Now, let us have a look at some advantages of having a business bank account.
— Separate management of finances
One of the main aspects of a business bank account is that it allows you to separate your finances from your business finances.
By doing so, you can manage your finances more effectively, simplify tax preparation, and avoid confusion.
With a business bank account, your business gets a professional image in the eyes of investors or banks.
It shows that you are serious about your business and that you are taking steps to manage your finances responsibly.
Business bank accounts come with specialized features for acquiring debt. This means you get access to credit cards, loans, and lines of credit, which can help you grow your business.
— Payment processing
Many business bank accounts come with payment processing services that allow you to accept credit card payments from customers.
— Online banking
Business bank accounts often come with online banking services that allow you to manage your finances from anywhere with an Internet connection.
— Record keeping
Business bank accounts can help you keep track of your business expenses and income.
This simplifies the process of preparing financial statements and filing taxes compared to what it is usually.
In this way, a business bank account is a valuable tool for managing your business finances and can help you smoothen your financial operations.
All the information provided within this article is up to date and accurate at the time of writing this. However, there is a possibility of expecting changes in the information by the time you read this.
It is always better to know the complete information of a business account before applying for one.
That’s why I’ve provided links to each bank so that you can find more details or contact the bank’s support team.
There will be a second part in which I will discuss other banks in Hong Kong that are known to offer the best business accounts.
Having said that, I strongly hope you find the information to be useful while selecting a business account.
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