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International Financial Centre Review - Hong Kong as a Tax Haven

Hong Kong The Global Financial Center

Hong Kong has a world-class corporate and financial sector as is a prestigious and well regarded tax haven with strong corporate laws wide-ranging investment opportunities with a company formation market that is amongst the world's most renowned markets for non-resident business incorporation.

Hong Kong has been rated the world’s freest economy by the Index of Economic Freedom for the 20th consecutive year, though that might radically change with the recent move from China to keep Hong Kong under its thumb. Having successfully steered through major worldwide ups and downs, the territory continues to have a high level of market openness (measured by freedom in finance, trade and investing).

This is enhanced by a regulatory environment that is transparent and a tax system that’s competitive making it an effective tax haven. To top it off, Hong Kong’s highly spirited labor force and strong labor freedom fuel its economy with vigor and an unmatched ability to quickly recover.

Currently, Hong Kong is the absolute best option out there for a multi-currency corporate account (10 different currencies), with internet banking at one of the largest banks in the world, in one of the world’s premier and largest offshore banking jurisdictions.

No bank or reference letters are required under this program! However, once the account is pre-approved, physical presence is now necessary at the bank in Hong Kong. Only HK 10,000 (around US$1,400) is needed as a minimum account opening balance.

Bank account opening is accomplished within 3 business days after HK company is formed and once the signatory has visited. There is no need for all directors or shareholders to visit. This is one of the most hassle-free bank account opening options we know of worldwide.

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Table of Contents:

Advantages of Hong Kong as a Tax Haven

  • Hong Kong incorporates more companies per annum than any other jurisdiction and most of these are trading companies doing real business rather than asset protection or tax avoidance vehicles so there is no immediate suggestion that the company is also being used for tax avoidance.
  • Hong Kong is a well-known and respected jurisdiction that is not blacklisted anywhere.
  • Forming a Hong Kong company through our special service allows you to obtain an account in Hong Kong with one of the largest financial institutions in the world without the usual requirement of reference letters of any type.
  • A Hong Kong company is an essential element of doing almost any type of business in Mainland China.
  • Hong Kong is a PayPal approved jurisdiction and one of very few no-tax jurisdictions where it is possible to have an unrestricted PayPal account. (The only other two jurisdictions where this is possible are Cyprus and Gibraltar).
  • No tax treaties with any other countries except for a double taxation agreement with China. China, which controls Hong Kong, is unlikely to be pressured by OECD countries.
  • World-class multi-currency banking available with some of the largest international banks in the world.
  • Good banking secrecy. The company can be anonymous if you use our nominee director/shareholder services or set up a foundation to own all the shares in the company.
  • English is the main business and banking language.


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Things to Consider

  • Directors and Shareholders are public information (using our nominees can resolve this)
  • Annual accounts must be audited and filed (but information is not publicly available)
  • Local resident secretary must be appointed (nominee provided)
  • Annual fees are higher than what is normal in most other IBC jurisdictions, because of the requirements for filing company financials.

In-Depth Information

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Hong Kong is on the south east coast of China and consists of a large number of islands and a part of the mainland totaling approximately 1,025 sq. km. The principal areas are Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. These areas were ceded to Britain in perpetuity in 1842 under the treaty of Nanking, and in 1898, the New Territories were leased by Britain from China for a period of 99 years. On 1 July 1997 all of Hong Kong reverted back to China and became a Special Administration Region within the People’s Republic of China.


The population of Hong Kong is currently 7 million made up mainly of people of Chinese origin and is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Political Structure

Until 1 July 1997, Hong Kong was a British Crown Colony. A governor appointed by the Queen presided over the Hong Kong government, which consisted of the executive and legislative councils.

On 1 July 1997 Hong Kong elected its own legislature and maintained its court structure. The head of the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is the Chief Executive Officer. The Legislative Council is the legislature of the Hong Kong.

Infrastructure and Economy

Separating Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon peninsular is Victoria Harbour, which is recognised internationally as one of the world’s perfect natural harbours. It varies in width from two to ten kilometers. An additional 13,517 sq. km of land has been reclaimed in the New Territories to provide additional dockyard and warehousing facilities. It is estimated that well over 100,000 containers per month pass through the port.

Hong Kong is the leading South East Asian centre for both finance and commerce and ranks as the world’s third largest financial centre after New York and London. There are more than 160 licensed banks with more than 130 foreign banks having representative offices in Hong Kong and a further 225 licensed deposit taking finance companies all of which play an active role in the financing of international trade and commerce.


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The official languages are English and Chinese, with English being used in the commercial and political context and Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese used widely in industry and domestic trade.

Exchange Control

There are no exchange controls in Hong Kong.

Type of Law

Common Law based on English Common Law.

Principal Corporate Legislation

Company Formations in HK is regulated and enshrined in the Companies Ordinance (Cap 32).


Taxation of Offshore Companies

Local Hong Kong Corporations in Hong Kong are currently taxed at 16.5%. Companies that have non-resident status, or that or owned by a non-resident are able to benefit from the many tax exemptions that come from special businesses and investment funds. What makes Hong Kong a tax haven is that there is a 0% tax rate on all foreign-sourced income. Meaning if you own a company that is incorporated Kong Kong and are a non-resident and all the income is derived from outside the country, then you have no tax obligations.


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Hong Kong as a Tax Haven: Offshore Solutions from Offshore Protection

Visit these pages for more information on Hong Kong-based offshore company formations available from Offshore Protection:

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***Please Note: If you are a resident of a country that is a signatory of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) (or a US citizen) your tax reduction possibilities are limited. Due FATCA, CRS, and CFC laws you may not be able to completely eliminate your taxes without moving your residence. While opening an offshore company can increase privacy and asset protection, your tax obligations remans tied to your ownership of overseas entities. Offshore company's are often not taxed in the country where they are incorporated, rather you as the owner are obligated to pay taxes in the country where you reside. Please make sure you know your tax obligations, as we are not tax advisors. Please seek a local tax professional for help regarding your situation. 

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