I think most young people who would like to start a business are freshly graduated, or those who would have just joined the labour force and suddenly want to start a business. These people are like a blank sheet. Usually we face two main problems: lack of capital and market information. How can we solve these problems? Click to see our pages "Startup - Start from zero", "Startup - Capital", "Startup - Market information" and "Startup - Business tips", may offer you some help.
Youth Employment Start (Y.E.S.) of the Labour Department provides free self-employment support services to young business starters. The support services include free use of business workstation, business room and design corner of Y.E.S. Young business starters can also make use of the free professional consultation services, or enroll in business foundation courses for building up strong foundation for their newly set-up businesses. There are also experience-sharing sessions by youth entrepreneurs.
The first problem of setting up business is: no cash. But, no worries. The Government and related organisations operate a number of funding schemes and programmes to help industries develop innovative ideas as well as to support the long term development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong. You can also turn to banks and financial institutions for a loan. Though interest payments are tax-deductible, your assets may become collateral for the loans.
You must go to the Inland Revenue Department to apply for business registration for your business within 1 month of the commencement of that business. To incorporate a local company, you should first go to the Companies Registry. Business licences may also be required to conduct specific regulated businesses.
Meanwhile, to protect the intellectual property rights of your inventions, you are advised to get intellectual property registration.
To physically start your business, you have to seek an office property. There are three main property types for business entities in Hong Kong: office, commercial, and industrial. Property rental or buying is expensive in Hong Kong. You can examine the rental or price indices and average rents or prices from property statistics.
It may be your first time to lease business premises. There are leasing reminders on tenancy agreements and security deposits, etc to bear in mind. In addition to rent, there are also expenditures on rates, government rents and stamp duty. Check with your landlord if these expenditures are included in the rent.
Sometimes you cannot run your business by yourself. You need good employees to grow the business. There are many mediums through which you can post your recruitment notices.
If you are a first time employer, be responsible and follow the labour legislation & guidelines to provide various benefits and protection to your employees. Good labour relations keep us out of labour disputes.
In addition, be careful about occupational safety and health in order to minimise the chance of your employees getting injured, as well as improving work efficiency.
Employers in Hong Kong follow equal opportunities. We all have to guard against discrimination against sex, disability or family status.
Also you must be aware of violating the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance when managing personal data of any staff. Awareness of privacy protection is growing in our society.
Starting from employing the first employee, you have to meet the employer's tax obligations. You need to report to the Inland Revenue Department the remuneration paid to your employees, and maintain payroll records and keep these records for at least 7 years.
Marketing is a key to business these days. Without effective marketing means, your products will never reach your potential customers. When planning your campaigns and deciding which medium to use, bear in mind that your focus must be on your customers.
Young people are willing to face challenges and take risks. Therefore, some of you will choose to start your own business. Youth Business Hong Kong provides financial access for business start-ups and business mentoring. It helps to encourage involvement in the local community, by inviting established business executives and experts to coach young business starters not only in the area of business, but also by sharing with them gleaned wisdom on developing the right attitude towards life through periodic courses and seminars on how to set up businesses.
The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited ("HKMC") launched the Microfinance Scheme, which offers 3 kinds of loans to assist people who wish to start their own businesses, become self-employed or achieve self-enhancement through training, upgrading of skills or obtaining professional certification. The Scheme also provides supporting services, including mentorship and entrepreneurial training, to business starters and self-employed persons on a need basis.