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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:

Bank Fee Initial Deposit Maintenance Deposit Time to Open Bank Account^ Fees & Charges
CIM Banque – Switzerland
Inward Payment Outward Payment Monthly Maintenance Fee Application Fee
USD 15 USD 3.5 USD 40 EUR 150
USD 10,000 USD 1,000 15-20 working days FAQ
Fees and commissions
ABC Banking – Mauritius
Inward Payment Outward Payment Monthly Maintenance Fee Application Fee
No Charge USD 60 – USD 75 (Flat fee) + overseas bank charges USD 30 USD 100
USD 5,000 Not required 15-20 working days Price List
OCBC – Singapore***
Inward Payment Outward Payment Monthly Maintenance Fee Application Fee
SGD 7.5 SGD 43 – SGD 125 SGD/USD 100 SGD 372
SGD/USD 30,000 SGD/USD 30,000 15-20 working days Price List
DBS – Singapore***
Inward Payment Outward Payment Annual Maintenance Fee Application Fee
SGD 5 Per TT* Minimum SGD 20 + specific % of payment amount Minimally SGD/USD 40 Min SGD 2,500 **
SGD/USD 250,000 SGD/USD 250,000 ** 1-2 weeks after meeting Price List

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

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

** Application Fee: Minimum SGD 2,500, additional $500 per corporate layer. Average Minimum Balance to Maintain: SGD 250,000. Fall Below
monthly Fee: SGD 250.

***Personal visit required

# different sums of initial deposits and maintenance deposits are required for each one currency account.

^ 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.

Main Hong Kong BanksWebsiteNo. of Branches in HK
Bank of China (Hong Kong), (BOC)https://www.bochk.com190
Bank of Communications (Hong Kong)
The Bank of East Asia Limited (BEA)https://www.hkbea.com165
China CITIC Bank Internationalhttps://www.cncbinternational.com30
China Construction Bank (Asia)
Chiyu Banking Corporationhttps://www.chiyubank.com20
Chong Hing Bankhttp://www.chbank.com50
Citibank (Hong Kong)
Dah Sing Bankhttps://www.dahsing.com35
DBS Bank (Hong Kong)
Fubon Bank (Hong Kong)
Hang Seng Bankhttps://www.hangseng.com45
Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC)
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) (ICBC)https://www.icbcasia.com55
Nanyang Commercial Bank
OCBC Wing Hang Bankhttps://www.ocbcwhhk.com30
Public Bank (Hong Kong)
Shanghai Commercial Bank
Southeast Global Bank
Standard Chartered Hong Kong (SC)
Tai Yau Bank
Wing Lung Bankhttps://www.cmbwinglungbank.com10

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.