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Startup How-Tos: What licences do I need for starting a business?

Application for various licences is one of the essential preparations for starting a new business. See the information below of some basic licences required: 1. Registration of a New Company A new company is required to complete its company registration at the Companies Registry and obtain a Certificate of Incorporation. The legal liability varies among different types of companies. For example, a limited company must comply with the various provisions in the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 622 of the Laws of Hong Kong) which include the timely disclosure and reporting of specified information about the company, its officers and shareholders, etc. and any changes in such information to the Registrar of Companies so that members of the public can have ready access to the latest information of the company kept by the Registrar of Companies. It simply takes three steps and HK$1720 to register a new company. You may choose to submit you application either electronically through our "e-Registry" or by delivering the documents in hard copy to the CR with the correct fees. Please refer to the website of Companies Registry or Incorporation of a Local Limited Company for further information. 2. Business Registration The Business Registration Ordinance requires every person who carries on a business in Hong Kong to apply for business registration within 1 month from the date of commencement of the business, and to display a valid Business Registration Certificate at the place of business. Under the one-stop company and business registration service, you will be deemed to have made a business registration application at the same time you deliver an application for incorporation of a local company or an application for registration of a non-Hong Kong company. The Companies Registry will issue the Certificate of Incorporation (or the Certificate of Registration of Non-Hong Kong Company) and the Business Registration Certificate in one go if the application is successful. Other businesses have to register with the Inland Revenue Department within one month of business commencement. Check out the website of Inland Revenue Department for further information and fees on Businesses Registration. 3. Particular Business Licence You may need particular licences, permits, certificates and approvals from the Government to start your business operations at individual fields in Hong Kong, for example catering, construction and finance. You may try the Business Licence Information Service to acquire online the kinds of licences you need to operate your business. If you have already made a licence application, you can make use of the Licence Application Tracking Facility to check the application status online. GovHK also provides access to detailed information regarding restaurant licensing, telecommunications licences, environmental permits and licences, etc.   Source: Companies Registry, Inland Revenue Department, Business Licence Information Service, Licence Application Tracking Facility, GovHK   “Startup How-tos” is an introductory guidebook written for entrepreneurship newbies, providing startup tips and related public services information.

Startup How-Tos: Three pillars of e-commerce

Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, online platforms have become popular for consumption which create business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Be sure to check the three bullets below before you start an e-commerce business: 1. Legal requirements The Government has enacted the Electronic Transactions Ordinance to provide a clear legal framework for the conduct of e-business in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Ordinance is to accord electronic record and electronic signature the same legal status as that of their paper-based counterparts; and establish a voluntary recognition scheme for certification authorities to enhance public confidence in electronic transactions. Be reminded to learn about the relevant legal regulations before you start an online service or trade. 2. Information safety Information security is a crucial pillar for e-commerce development. You may refer to the Information Security Guide for Small Businesses - Security Tips for e-Commerce provided by Cyber Security Information Portal of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO). You may also learn about Information Security in Electronic Services from the InfoSec website. The Government Computer Emergency Response Team Hong Kong has been working closely with HKCERT and the industry to share information on security threats and vulnerabilities. 3. Privacy There are legal regulations on how data users should collect, handle and use personal data in Hong Kong. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) has provided advices for business through Guidance for Data User on the Collection and Use of Personal Data through the Internet and Information Leaflet on Online Behavioural Tracking on the collection, display or transmission of personal data through the Internet. You may also learn to handle personal data in daily operations through real-life examples and interactive quiz in the Self-training Module on Protection of Personal Data for SME produced by The PCPD. *Tips* Eligible enterprises may apply the “Distance Business (D-Biz) Programme”, “Technology Voucher Programme” or other funding programmes for developing digital business. For more information, please refer to the websites of individual funding schemes.   Source: OGCIO, PCPD “Startup How-tos” is an introductory guidebook written for entrepreneurship newbies, providing startup tips and related public services information.

Startup How-Tos: How to prepare for my entrepreneurship?

Wondering how to implement your ideas and start your own business? Follow the five steps below and be prepared for your entrepreneurship journey now! 1. Set Products and TargetsProspective entrepreneurs can try to observe and get information from daily life or the Internet to establish product/service and set their goals. Entrepreneurs also need to determine the business direction based on market conditions. Read the stories of our “Social Entrepreneur Series” and be inspired! 2. Assess economic and financial conditionsBefore you start a business, you can assess your own financial ability and feasibility of the business by "Budget Analysis Worksheet for Starting up Business". In addition, various types of funding schemes are provided by the Government to support young entrepreneurs. Try to look up the funding scheme that suits you best with our Funding Schemes Finder!  3. Develop a business planA detailed business plan can provide clear information to form business concepts and operation plans. It can also be used to raise funds or apply for related venture funding. For more tips on writing a business plan, please refer to the Business Start-up Information Service provided by SUCCESS. 4. Conduct market research and investigationMarket research and investigation can be divided into product/service, sales, marketing, promotion and other parts. Entrepreneurs who are interested can define survey questions and objectives first, formulate research plans, collect information for analysis and finally summarize and write research reports to obtain more marketing information. Please refer to the article “Market Information” for further information. 5. Establish good psychological flexibility In the process of starting a business, you may encounter different levels of psychological stress and difficulties, such as time and money constraints. Therefore, it is important to be highly flexible and develop a quality mindset. Entrepreneurs can accommodate themselves to situation changes by learning and experimenting new things, while learning to be patient and courageous to embrace challenges and to bear the pressure and risk.   Source: Life Planning Information of Education Bureau, SUCCESS “Startup How-tos” is an introductory guidebook written for entrepreneurship newbies, providing startup tips and related public services information.

Startup How-Tos: 3 Considerations for Entrepreneurs-to-be - Advice from a Mastermind of Eyewear Brand

What does an entrepreneur need to consider before starting his/her business? Brian is an award-winning glasses designer who produce distinctive glasses with a wide variety of materials including granite slabs, ebony and walnut wood. In 2017 he founded his handcrafted eyewear brand “Unsuikyo”. To conclude his entrepreneurial experience, Brian found that a designer simply cares about problems on one dimension: design; an entrepreneur, in contrast, need to concern about various aspects comprehensively. (The video is conducted in Cantonese) Brian suggests interested youngsters to plan well on the three factors below before starting their own business: 1. Capital There are quite a few expenditures involved in business operation, for instance, rent, salary, raw materials, machines, etc. Calculate your cost before you start your business and find a stable source of fund. In the case of Brian, he applied the “Youth Development Fund” and received a seed money for setting up his enterprise. 2. Sales Nowadays sales campaigns are not limited to stores but the online world as well. Sales channels and customer groups vary among different business sectors. Research the preferences of your target customers and choose a suitable mode of sales to boost the effectiveness. To provide you with further support, sharing among practitioners and professional consultation services will also be arranged by the funded organisations of the “Youth Development Fund”. 3. Mindset Being a boss may imply greater stress and concerns than being an employee. Prepare your mind, stay calm in challenging situations, and never give up easily! Starting your own business may not necessarily bring you success but lessons that will be useful for a lifetime.   Source: Youth Development Commission - Facebook page “Startup How-tos” is an introductory guidebook written for entrepreneurship newbies, providing startup tips and related public services information.

Startup How-Tos: Incorporation of Local Limited Company DIY

You would never miss to set up a “body” to house your innovative business ideas.  The very first baby step to grow your business is definitely to incorporate a company.  To start a business in Hong Kong, you may first consider your preferred scale, sector and ownership mode of business and choose a suitable form of business entity.  There are many companies offering comprehensive company registration service.  However, you can also save cost by filing the registration yourself.  Start it up easily with a 1-2-3!   1 |   Think Twice the Type and Name of Company  The liability of every member of a company limited by shares differs from that of a company limited by guarantee.  Company members should well understand their liability in a company and choose the type of company that suits them the best.   Before choosing a company name, you should go through the Guideline on Registration of Company Names for Hong Kong Companies for the point to note and conduct a company name search through Cyber Search Centre service provided by the Companies Registry to avoid using a name used by another company, which may render your application being rejected.  Another search in the Trademark Register maintained by the Intellectual Property Department should also be conducted to prevent infringement of intellectual property rights.  2 |   Get Ready for Application After reaching a consensus, you should get ready the signed incorporation form, a copy of the company's articles of association and a Notice to Business Registration Office.  Bring along the application fee (HK$1,720) and correct business registration fee and levy to the shroff on the 14th floor of the Queensway Government Offices for lodging the application. The Companies Registry also accepts application through their electronic filing service, the e-Registry. Founding members and directors should register as individual users to sign the e-incorporation form with their digital certificate or password and submit thereafter. 3 |   Get the Certificate and Kick Off! You will receive a notification to download or collect the Certificate of Incorporation and Business Registration Certificate if your application is approved, meaning that you have already incorporated your new company.  If you have filed electronic application, certificates in electronic form will normally be issued within 1 hour via email. For applicant who filed hard copy application, certificates in hard copy form will normally be issued within 4 working days and the presentor will be notified by fax or other means.   If you wish to obtain more information about incorporation of local limited company, you may refer to the website of Companies Registry. Setting up a new company is just the beginning of building your business.  To get away from any violation of laws, you are always reminded to spend time on studying the roles and duties of a member or a director of the company.  You should also apply for licences relevant to your business operations.  It is no bed of roses managing a company!  “Startup How-tos” is an introductory guidebook written for entrepreneurship newbies, providing startup tips and related public services information.