What you need to know to open a bank account remotely
If you are thinking of setting up a company to expand your business, Hong Kong is an excellent choice; strategically located in Asia, with a low tax regime and a safe legal framework, opening a company is fast, easy, and cost effective.
Basically, as a foreigner in Hong Kong, you can own 100% of the company, where you can be both the sole shareholder and director, and you don’t need to be resident in Hong Kong.
After the company has been incorporated, you would need a bank account for the business transactions.
The current account opening process has changed in recent years.
“Some traditional banks in Hong Kong like HSBC or DBS have started initiatives to facilitate online bank account opening for corporate customers.”
First, international anti-money laundering controls have given rise to banks to intensify the customer due diligence (CDD) process for existing and new customers.
On the other hand, COVID-19 outbreak and travel restrictions have changed the business scenario worldwide. And in Hong Kong too. The banking sector have been forced to adapt to the new situation, and new initiatives are booming, allowing businesses to open their corporate bank account without a direct presence in Hong Kong.
In this new situation, you have new ways to operate and to set up a Hong Kong bank account adapted to your needs:
Traditional Bank Accounts
Some traditional banks in Hong Kong like HSBC or DBS have started initiatives to facilitate online bank account opening for corporate customers. Others are coming, and it is expected that this will be spread further.
Each bank has its own procedures and requirements. However, you will commonly be asked for a deposit (starting from 10.000-50.000 HKD), and generally the following procedure can be expected:
You should first collect the required documents and submit them to the bank.
- Corporate Identification documents of the Hong Kong company. (f.i. Certificate of incorporation and Articles of Association, Business Registration, Board resolution).
- Corporate Identification documents of Corporate shareholders, owning more than 10% of the shares. (Certificate of incorporation and Articles of Association, Certificate of Incumbency. Organization Chart).
- ID/Passport and address proof from directors, authorized signatories, and beneficial owners (owning more than 10% of the shares).
- Business proof, showing that your business is real (Business Plan for the Asia region and/or last Audited financial statements).
Wait for the Internal approval by the bank
- Once the bank gets all documents, they will start the internal Due Diligence and may require additional documents
Online meeting with the bank officer
- Next step comes when the pre-Due Diligence is approved. The bank will organize then a call with the Directors of the company before final approval.
Bank account activation.
- After the bank’s approval, the business bank account is opened, and you may use the online banking freely and easily.
These business accounts can be opened for free, and they allow you to make and receive local and international payments and integrate them with major online payment gateways (Paypal, Stripe, Amazon Pay).
“Banks like Currenxie, Statrys or AirWallex are offering smart solutions to operate in Hong Kong in Multicurrency accounts”
Procedure is usually simple, as you can also open the account online (without being in Hong Kong), and preparation of documents are easy to comply with (basically, copies of the passports of all the directors and shareholders with more than 25% shares and a brief explanation of the company’s business model)
This is a growing option as it offers all basic banking services for most companies, and it’s the fastest option, too. It can take between 2-7 days only to open your fintech bank account.
“It can take between 2-7 days only to open your fintech bank account”
Sometimes your own bank in your home country can be a good alternative to open your bank account. For those cases, it will basically depend on a case-by-case basis, considering your business model as well as your financial background.
Additionally, some private banks in other jurisdictions don’t require meetings, so you may also be able to open the bank account for your Hong Kong company based on certain conditions.
We have covered the main areas related to opening a bank account online for your reference. To be updated and answer your actual circumstances, we will be happy to assist. Contact us or book a meeting with our consultants here to know more.