Setting up your business in Hong Kong as a foreigner or expat has always been more than plausible. Go through the steps mentioned below as your checklist.
The 7 Steps
Step 1: To make your business legally recognized, you can simply go through Hong Kong company incorporation. The good thing about formally incorporating your company is that you may have business partners working with you from the start. For example, many technology start-up companies would have more than one co-founders in which one would take care of the business and sales side of things, the other partner would take care of technology/programming and the product.
Step 2: Another reason for a company formation is for the possibility of investment. At some stages later, your tech product company will definitely require more fund for faster growth i.e. for growing the user base of your product from 1,000 users to more. You will look for angel investors who are willing to invest in your product or business in long term. Having a business formally incorporated as a limited company is the first prerequisite to attract the funding from venture capitalists.
Step 3: Once you have registered your business, your company will be able to leverage from the low tax rate of 8.25% (on taxable/assessable profits), which is a relatively much lower rate than the profit tax rate of neighbor regions/countries.
Step 4: When marketing your product, you will need to reach out to the world, or simply at least your local market in Hong Kong. You would have quite a few vendors, partners, and/or customers who you have worked with in your previous employment. Make good use of your connections. You have have their contact details in your email inbox, as business cards, through social network sites (e.g. LinkedIn). Create a solid plan with a message when reaching them through emails, phone calls, instant messaging, etc. You may not get sufficient positive responses from the beginning, but do give it a bit of patience.
Step 5: To reach out to new users in HK, you may have to consider other areas of marketing channels. Other areas would include social media and search engine optimization (SEO). With Facebook, you may be able to reach out to many local Hong Kong audience (should your tech product is developed for the local audience). Through social media such as Facebook, you may be able to join groups and hopefully look for potential users for your tech product. Make a plan to regularly market your product on Facebook, while it is free marketing. Spend at least half an hour per day for the next one year, and review the results.
Step 6: Building a tech product is one thing, but you will always need a website to host and/or display your product. You may develop a very simple company website that shows the basic items i.e. the company about page, the contact information, the main tech product. Add a blog when you have the time to write articles and maintain the blog’s content. Build all the on-page elements of SEO onto your company website and blog.
Step 7: Once you get your investment fund from your angel investors, you may put a portion of it into your marketing plan. You may consider online advertising. You have previously set up your Facebook account for free marketing. Use this as base, and start putting a few HK dollar to advertise your product through Facebook Ads. Make sure to properly set up the performance tracking of your Facebook Ads by adding the Facebook pixel onto your website.