Hong Kong office
Hong Kong Services
Whether you are looking to set up a business or expand your operations in Asia, our Hong Kong team can assist with the range of considerations, including set-up, licenses and tax planning, in addition to legal and regulatory requirements.
The lifeblood of any well-run organisation
Equiom Hong Kong's expert accounting team provide a range of management, statutory and tax accounting services, helping our clients to make informed decisions, maximise profit and ensure full tax compliance.
Our Hong Kong accounting services include:
- Management reporting services with 'snap' profitability reporting and credit control alerts
- Maintenance and submission of statutory accounting records
- Transaction processing services (including foreign currency)
- Budget, forecasting, credit control and trend analysis including KPIs
- Online bookkeeping and payroll services for smaller businesses and contractors
- Internal audit compliance services and application of accounting standards
- Accounting advice and query handling
International Pensions Plans and Employee Benefits
International employee benefit schemes are a key consideration for employers who wish to retain and attract the best talent, ensuring a loyal and dedicated workforce.
Most employees now expect global pension plans and end of service benefits as a vital part of their overall compensation package.
Equiom has considerable experience in this area and offers a number of options when it comes to trustee services for pension arrangements, from employee benefits schemes and pensions to savings and share plans for expatriates and employers.
Our range of services are offered in a number of jurisdictions around the world and include:
- End of Service Benefit Plans
- International Pension Plans
- Employee Benefit Trusts
- Employee Ownership Trusts
End of Service Benefit Plans
End of service gratuity is a statutory obligation for companies across many Middle Eastern jurisdictions and is designed to help fund employees’ future retirement needs. The requirement for a company to pay End of Service Benefits (ESBs) is well known in this region and a frequently talked about subject. Equiom are the market leading trustee in the Middle East with over 20 years of experience and hold the prestigious role of Master Trustee to the DIFC Workplace Savings Plan (DEWS).
International Pension Plans
An International Pension Plan (IPP) involves a defined contribution plan that combines investment, administration and trust services which can be tailored to your company’s specific needs.
IPPs are particularly popular with companies who have employees who work abroad on international assignments or are employed on a globally mobile basis.
IPPs enable organisations to offer an advantageous pension scheme as part of an employee’s remuneration package - essential for attracting and retaining talent for multinational corporations.
Employers have been utilising IPP arrangements over the years as an ideal solution for employees that either:
- Move from their home country and are not able to remain in their home country pension scheme
- Are employed in a country that has insufficient or no pension availability
- Require a ‘top up’ to the local pension provision
IPPs provide flexibility in several areas such as:
- Contribution percentages for both employers and employees
- Currency and type of investment
- Vesting scales for employer contributions
- Number of countries and employer linked entities included in the IPP
- Benefit distribution options – lump sum, annuity, drawdown
- Portability of the members' pension pot
Employee Benefit Trusts
Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) have been established for several years to encourage employee share participation, acting as an important incentive for staff loyalty and productivity.
The term EBT is applied to a number of different types of trust. In general, an employer sets up an EBT as a vehicle to reward, motivate and incentivise employees. The benefits provided may be a share of profits, shares in the employer company, cash distributions or other employee incentives.
The features of EBTs include:
- A discretionary trust holding assets on behalf of a class of beneficiaries
- The trust is funded by the employer company
- The trustees provide employee benefits in recognition of performance and other related factors
- It is at the decision of the trustees only as to whom may benefit from the trust assets and the extent of such benefit
Benefits of EBTs:
- Share warehousing removes complex and costly UK share buyback provisions
- Private equity - allowing the company to buy back shares of a departing executive
- EBTs have been used as a market maker for the sale and purchase of shares in the employer company
- Tax considerations including capital gains tax and corporation tax
Employee Ownership Trusts
An Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is a form of trust which holds the shares in a trading company for the benefit of employees. Unlike a conventional employee benefit trust, any benefit it confers on employees must include all of them (although a qualifying period of up to 12 months is allowed) on the same terms. EOTs allow shareholders of trading companies to sell some or all of their shares, while allowing those companies to continue under the same stewardship, creating a platform for continued growth and success.
Benefits of EOTs:
- Shareholders can sell their shares for full market value (based on an independent valuation)
- The directors and senior management can remain in place and continue to run the company
- No capital gains, income or inheritance tax liabilities should arise on the disposal of a controlling interest in a company to an EOT (or on the subsequent receipt of the purchase price by the former shareholders)
- Companies controlled by EOTs are also able to pay to employees cash bonuses of up to £3,600 each year without any income tax liability, provided that these are paid to all qualifying employees on the same terms
Equiom Fiduciary Services (Middle East) Limited is the Master Trustee and Operator of DEWS and is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
This material is intended only for Professional Clients and Market Counterparties as defined by the DFSA, and no other person should act upon it. However all employers and employees participating in an Employee Money Purchase Scheme will be treated as Retail Clients under the DFSA requirements.
Any underlying investment options which may be selected in the structure can carry investment risk, whereby the value of the underlying investments can go down as well as up.
Payroll & People Services
Equiom Hong Kong’s payroll bureau relieves the pressure associated with the increasingly complex technical requirements of running a payroll and ensures your payroll and mandatory social/pension contribution requirements are compliant, accurate and paid on time.
We also calculate net pay, tax, pensions (MPF) and other deductions, while taking into account changing legislation.
A valid visa or work permit may be required for all non-residents to live in or carry out business in a jurisdiction. With various types and classes of visas and work permits, it is essential that you submit the correct application. Equiom Hong Kong’s team of multilingual experts can assist with applications for permanent residency or work permits for company staff or individuals. By understanding your personal goals and intentions, we can ensure that you are supported every step of the way during and beyond your application process.
Our Hong Kong people and payroll services include:
- Confidential payroll administration – monthly salary, bonus calculations and issue of payslips
- Social insurance (health, pension – MPF, labour) enrolments and cancellations
- Preparation and submission of employer’s return tax form
- Annual withholding tax and social insurance reporting
- Visa (work, dependent, investor, China) and immigration applications support
- PR applications support
Structure Set Up & Support Services
Our corporate insight gives you valuable foresight
For clients thinking of setting up a new business or restructuring an existing company, Equiom Hong Kong simplifies the process by providing an appropriate solution and structure for that company.
Equiom has been providing its market-leading company services for over 40 years, helping clients to meet their personal and business needs, while protecting their ownership and controlling interests every step of the way.
We offer the following structure set up & support services in Hong Kong:
- Company incorporation and registration in Hong Kong and multiple jurisdictions (e.g. BVI, Cayman Islands, PRC, Seychelles, Singapore, UAE and others)
- Formation of limited partnerships in jurisdictions like BVI or Cayman Islands
- Corporate administration of special purpose vehicles (e.g. SPVs for PE or RE funds)
- Key personnel, including company directors, nominee shareholders and company secretarial services
- Provision of registered office and correspondence address
- Provision of dedicated phone lines and co-working space
- Drafting of articles of incorporation in English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese
- Notarisation of articles of incorporation
- Registration of non-Hong Kong companies, branches and representative offices
- De-registrations and liquidations
- Corporate restructuring
- Bank account opening
- Escrow services (e.g. M&A, real estate transactions)
- Know your customer (KYC) compliance services
- Hold mail services
There’s no problem too complex for our tax experts
We guide, support and build effective structures that work in harmony with efficient tax strategies.
Working closely with our client relationship teams and clients’ professional advisors, we support our clients’ tax advisory requirements drawing on our substantial experience and knowledge in a variety of areas.
Our experienced team in Hong Kong have developed a range of tax services appropriate to our client's requirements.
Our Hong Kong tax services include:
Ensuring tax compliance as required by the Hong Kong government:
- Profits tax return (PTR)
- Employer's return (ER)
- Salaries tax return
Providing tax advice, obtaining advance tax rulings and / or representing taxpayers in tax investigations, with respect to amongst others:
- Offshore tax claim
- FATCA & CRS
Trustee & Fiduciary Services
Trust is something that is earned
Over the years, we have earned an enviable reputation as leading professional trustees, dedicated to maintaining our clients’ prosperity. We aim to give you more control over your assets today, and more confidence about your holdings tomorrow – helping ensure that your family, employees, or favoured charities are well looked after for years to come.
Our fiduciary specialists in Hong Kong identify the most appropriate structures to protect and enhance your private wealth or corporate assets.
We guide you through the complexities of local laws and regulations to find the right solution for you, arranging the initial establishment of a trust or foundation and administering it carefully to maximise the benefits. We ensure its legal and tax status is maintained and provide regular accounting and financial reporting.
Our Hong Kong fiduciary services include:
- Establishment and administration of trusts and foundations, which can hold a variety of financial and non-financial assets
- Arranging trustee appointments in Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Monaco, Singapore, South Dakota and UAE
- Estate and succession planning
- Estate administration
- Independent trustee and advisory
- Dedicated accounting and financial reporting
- The establishment and maintenance of banking relationships
- Establishment of family office structures and other jurisdictions such as Singapore and UAE
We can also assist with:
- Reserved powers trusts
- Discretionary trusts
- Fixed interest trusts
- Stand by trusts (e.g. US domestic “pour-over” trusts)
- Private trust companies
- Pre-IPO trusts
- Employee benefits / shares trusts (e.g. ESOP)
- Charitable trusts
- Purpose trusts
- Will trusts
- Executor services
- Estate administration services
- Excluded property trusts (e.g. non-domiciles living in the UK)
- Foreign grantor trusts or FGTs (e.g. non-US settlor benefiting US person)
- Intentional defective grantor trusts (“IDGT”)
- Granny trusts