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Open an offshore bank account for Hong Kong Business

You might be familiar with an offshore bank account for the Hong Kong business, but do you know everything about the procedure and documents required to submit the offshore bank application? An offshore bank account is an account that is not located in the same company where your business is incorporated.

This account works in a different jurisdiction than the selected jurisdiction for operating the business. If you have an established business in Hong Kong and opened a business account in some other part of the country than Hong Kong, you can opt for an offshore business account. It is perfectly acceptable and legal in Hong Kong.

Offshore Bank Account for Hong Kong Business

Offshore bank account for Hong Kong business is one of the best options to start operating the business activities worldwide without any hassle of the bank transferring funds and other transaction errors. Regardless of what you have heard about the international bank account, this banking option is absolutely legal and offers more advantages for some companies than the local banks.

In fact, it helps to put down the political risks on your capital funds. When compared with other types of bank accounts, international bank accounts have high approval and success rate. Let’s walk through the processing and required documents of an international bank account!

What is an offshore bank account?

An offshore bank account is an account operated in a jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction where the business has been incorporated. In simpler words, the account you hold for your company will be different from the country where you have the business. Let’s say you set up a business in Hong Kong but you want to enjoy the maximum benefits of running your business. In that situation, you can choose an offshore bank account in any country other than Hong Kong.

On the other hand, if you want to establish a business bank account in HK other than your selected jurisdiction where your company has been set up, you can also opt for an offshore bank account. Hong Kong banking services is a whole different experience. Being Asia’s major trading spot, Hong Kong connects you with Asia and helps build a strong presence on the international scene.

What are the advantages of opening an offshore bank account?

There are certain benefits of opening an international bank account in Hong Kong. If you are struggling with the dilemma of opening an international bank account, below shared reasons will help you make up your mind.

  • High Approval Rate – The approval rate of the offshore bank account is comparatively higher than other banks. Therefore, it allows clients to share the benefits of having a bank that can be operated worldwide.
  • Multi-Currencies – Offshore bank accounts also offer business founders the advantage of doing the business in different currencies. You can do the transaction in more than one currency or nation because of opening an HK offshore bank account.
  • Flexibility for Accessing the Accounts – You can also experience greater flexibility for accessing the accounts. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world; you can access the funds from ATMs or perform any online transaction. Moreover, phone banking services are like an extra bonus to operate the business bank account at any time.
  • Political and Economic Stability – Offshore bank accounts also offer political as well as economic stability to the business founders so that they can operate the business smoothly.
  • Higher Account Privacy – By moving into international bank accounts, you can enjoy a lot of account privacy from any unfair or speculative hostile behavior.

Open an Offshore Bank Account

After going through the advantages of opening an offshore bank account in Hong Kong, you must be wondering about the process or steps involved. Below shared are the steps to open an offshore business bank account, which you need to follow.

Steps to open an offshore bank account

Many banks allow newly-minted entrepreneurs to open up an international bank account smoothly without a need to visit the bank in-person. When the outbreak of COVID-19 had shaken the world, banks such as HSBC and DBS opened business bank accounts remotely and with video conferencing facilities.

Therefore, business founders can open a bank account without the need to travel to Hong Kong. Here are the steps to ensure a smooth process to getting a bank account opened overseas.

Step 1 – Consult with us

When you consult with us, we provide a consultation on which bank institutions to apply to. We have relationships with a list of banks and can introduce you to them. We are knowledgeable in the banks’ specific requirements and will assist you every step of the way. We highly recommend selecting a bank from this list:

BankFee Initial Deposit Maintenance DepositTime to Open Bank Account^Fees & Charges
CIM Banque – Switzerland
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentMonthly Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
USD 15USD 3.5USD 40EUR 150
USD 10,000USD 1,00015-20 working daysFAQ
Fees and commissions
ABC Banking – Mauritius
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentMonthly Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
No ChargeUSD 60 – USD 75 (Flat fee) + overseas bank chargesUSD 30USD 100
USD 5,000Not required15-20 working daysPrice List
Europacbank – Puerto Rico
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentMonthly Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
USD 16 – USD 103USD 30 – USD 110USD 30N/A
USD 500USD 36015-20 working daysPrice List
Standard Chartered – Singapore
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentMonthly Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
SGD 10Min. SGD 15 – Max. SGD 50SGD/USD 50 for each accountN/A
SGD/USD 30,000. Other currency USD 10,000 equivalentSGD/USD 30,000. Other currency USD 10,000 equivalent2-3 weeks after video conferencePrice List
OCBC – Singapore***
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentMonthly Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
SGD 7.5SGD 43 – SGD 125SGD/USD 100SGD 372
SGD/USD 30,000SGD/USD 30,00015-20 working daysPrice List
DBS – Singapore***
Inward PaymentOutward PaymentAnnual Maintenance FeeApplication Fee
SGD 5 Per TT*Minimum SGD 20 + specific % of payment amountMinimally SGD/USD 40SGD 500 or SGD 2,500 **
SGD/USD 50,000SGD/USD 50,000 or 100,000 **1-2 weeks after meetingPrice List

All fees are for reference only and remain subject to change.

*TT charges comprises of 3 components – Handling Commission, Cable Charge and Commission in Lieu

** Application Fee: Minimally SGD 500 for operating/ trading entities; SGD 2,500 for investment / holding companies. Maintenance Deposit: an average daily credit balance of SGD/USD 50,000 for operating entities or SGD/USD 100,000 for investment holding companies.

***Personal visit required – Singapore

^ Upon completed compliance procedures

Update on October 2020: CIM Banque has changed their compliance requirements, please contact us at Startupr for more details. We can further assist you if you’re interested in opening a bank account in Singapore.

Step 2 – Collect Fees

We provide a fee breakdown that details all the documents required to set up a meeting with the bank of your choice. Each fee is accounted for and must be paid in order to proceed with the next step.

Step 3 – Provide Documentation of Your Business & Personal Details

After we collect fees, you’ll receive an email with a list of documents you must provide. This includes personal due diligence documents, business information, and account application form for offshore banks. Please be aware that banks reserve the right to decide whether or not to open a bank account. We are neither responsible nor liable for the bank’s decision.

The documents needed here are:

  • Received or issued invoices: You can start making your first customers’ invoices to show the intentions and transactions of your business.
  • Business Description: It is like a business roadmap. This roadmap should include all the business details and must be signed by the primary shareholder or the company’s director.
  • A business certificate of the previous firm: If you had owned a firm with the majority of shares, you could also attach this document with the bank application file.
  • A letter attesting to your professional standing: A clear evidence that outlines your professional standing.
  • Agreement with the suppliers if there is any.
  • A reference letter from the previous bank: A document that identifies your relationship with any other bank, if you had one.

Step 4 – Communication with the Bank

We officially start off the application process with the bank of your choice. During this process, there is on-going communication between us and the bank on the specific documents needed. To avoid delays in the process, please make sure all the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date. The entire process could take as short as 15-20 business days to complete, but extend for months if information cannot be verified in a timely manner.

Step 5 – Meeting with the Bank

You receive a formal email from the bank notifying you of the results. In case your first choice of bank rejects your application, you may reapply with us for another bank – without any fees. In case your bank accepts your application, you proceed to the next step in the process, which is to meet with the bank. Typically, a bank meeting requires you to be physically present. However, due to the latest COVID-19 updates, a few banks in Singapore are allowing video conferencing. To prepare you for this stage, we will provide guidance and assistance.

Step 6 – Final Sign-off

After final sign-off from the bank following your physical or virtual visit, you will receive an official email about your newly-created bank account. You are advised to deposit the minimum set by the bank (please see list for individual bank specifications and terms).

Apply for an Offshore Bank Account with Us!

As your company service provider, we will assist you in every way possible. From accompanying you in completing and submitting required documents to supporting the international banks with proper documentation, we’re here to make sure your process doesn’t have to be tedious, lengthy, or dreadful.

Hire a great agency like us to help you open an offshore account. We partner with some of the leading overseas banks around the world and we’ll make sure the process is easy, straightforward, and streamlined! Contact us now!

In the chance that you wish to open a general business account with a Hong Kong bank, you may also contact us for assistance.

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Note: The above shared list of banks are based in Hong Kong but each of them has a different function. Also, not all of these banks are good for SMEs. So, before you choose your bank and contact them, it is advised to consult us so that we can help you make the right choice.