Entrepreneurs face many challenges when setting up and running a new business. Deciding on the best location in which to incorporate the business, the most efficient ownership structure, raising capital, hiring employees, managing accounts and obtaining necessary licences and permits are all substantial hurdles that have to be negotiated. Most start-ups also have significant budgetary constraints and their focus is necessarily on commercial issues, often at the expense of administrative, legal and corporate governance obligations. It is, however, hugely important to lay proper foundations if you have the ambition to scale up your business.

    To assist start-ups, Sovereign has assembled a package of services that is designed to support the growth of your business without placing too high a burden on your cash flow.

    For a full breakdown of the special fee arrangement offered as part of the start-up package, please contact William Probert at the details below:

    Contact William Probert

    Registered Office and Company Secretarial Services

    A Hong Kong company – or a foreign company registered in Hong Kong – is required to have a registered office that is situated in Hong Kong. Both must also appoint a company secretary. If the company secretary is a natural person, he/she must ordinarily reside in Hong Kong. If the company secretary is a body corporate, its registered office or place of business should be in Hong Kong.

    Sovereign will provide both a registered office address, serve as company secretary and provide standard company secretarial services for free as part of the start-up package. Examples of services would include:

      • Amending signatories on a bank account;
      • Opening another account with the same bank;
      • Establishing a code word facility or online viewing access;
    • Applying for a corporate credit card;
    • Changing a company name;
    • Increasing authorised share capital (plus government duty);
    • Changing company directors;
    • Transfer of shares and/or beneficial ownership.

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    Accounting Services

    Maintaining a proper set of accounts is essential for all businesses and start-ups are no exception. All Hong Kong companies are required to maintain proper bookkeeping and accounting records, in accordance with the requirements of the Hong Kong Companies and Inland Revenue Ordinances, to enable assessable profits to be ascertained. Adequate records must be retained for seven years from a transaction date.

    Other reasons to keep accurate business records include the ability to:

      • Offer enhanced levels of business control by assisting with financial planning and decision-making;
      • Demonstrate professionalism to existing or potential partners, suppliers, investors and banks;
      • File accurate and timely tax returns;
      • Reduce compliance and audit costs.

    For newly incorporated private companies, the first set of audited accounts should be submitted to shareholders, at the AGM, within 18 months of incorporation.

    Sovereign provides a highly competitive full service accounts facility that ensures compliance with local authorities, leaving you free to focus on your business. Sovereign will set up and manage an online accounting and invoicing platform, providing the client with a real-time overview of its cash position and accurate and timely accounting reports on a monthly or quarterly basis.

    For a full breakdown of the special fee arrangement offered as part of the start-up package, please contact William Probert at the details below:

    Contact William Probert

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    Payroll Services

    Companies in Hong Kong must pay the salaries of their employees in a timely manner, make contributions to a Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme and comply with all Hong Kong labour laws and Inland Revenue Department reporting obligations.

    Sovereign provides professional, accurate and responsive outsourced payroll support. By outsourcing payroll, business owners can get on with running and growing their businesses without compliance concerns, while freeing up time and resources to focus on other important roles and responsibilities. Our payroll services include:

      • Comprehensive and accurate pre-payroll calculations;
      • Payroll summary reports for final approval;
      • MPF and other deductions to meet local requirements;
    • Meeting mandatory reporting requirements;
    • Payroll remittance to employees;
    • Employee pay slips provided in required formats;
    • Client payroll reports issued in pre-agreed formats;
    • Electronic delivery of pay information and on-line information for employees.

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    Immigration and Relocation Services

    Sovereign is able to help its clients to secure their immigration status in Hong Kong by assisting them to obtain either an employment or business investment visa, as well as visas for their dependents. Sovereign’s immigration services include:

    • Advice and consultation on the appropriate application strategy;
    • Conducting correspondence with the Immigration Department;
    • Preparation and completion of forms;
    • Initial and subsequent submissions;
    • Full case management throughout the process.

    General Employment Policy (GEP) – Professionals

    Professionals from overseas, who possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value to, and not readily available in, the HKSAR may apply to come to work under the GEP. The proposed employee must be sponsored by an employer in Hong Kong, which must demonstrate that the applicant has a confirmed offer of employment and is employed in a job that is relevant to their academic qualifications or work experience and that cannot readily be fulfilled by the local work force. The remuneration package should include income, accommodation, medical and other fringe benefits, that are broadly commensurate with the prevailing market level for professionals in the HKSAR.

    Residents of Mainland China who have graduated in Hong Kong and possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value to, and not readily available in, the HKSAR may apply under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP).

    General Employment Policy – Investment as Entrepreneurs

    This scheme requires the applicant to be in a position to make a substantial contribution to the economy of the HKSAR, either by registering and setting up a company in which they are the major investor or investing in a Hong Kong-based company. If they are investing in an existing company, applicants will also need to produce details of the viability of the proposed business and their financial position.

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    Standard Documents

    Every business needs to make sure that it is operating on a sound legal footing and that it is able to protect its shareholders, staff and assets. Sovereign understands the risks faced by startups and is also sensitive to the cost/benefit balance that they must maintain. We are therefore happy to offer standard documents as part of this package on a reduced fixed-fee basis. These might typically include subscription and shareholders’ agreements, intellectual property agreements, non-disclosure agreements and employment contracts. If formal legal advice is required, particularly for more complex documents, Sovereign will be happy to recommend local law firms and obtain fee estimates if required.

    For a full breakdown of the special fee arrangement offered as part of the start-up package, please contact William Probert at the details below:

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    Contact George Ayiomamitis