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  +852 2388 8049


+852 2388 8049
Company Formation Hong Kong



Shelf Companies in Hong Kong

Updated on Friday 19th October 2018

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Shelf companies are legal entities that have been registered and are put on hold until they are sold to entrepreneurs. Shelf companies are also referred to as shell or aged companies. The main reason foreign investors are inclined to purchase a shelf company in Hong Kong is the credibility it offers.

Some of the main traits of shell companies, as well as some of their most important advantages, are described in the list below.
  1. They are already registered: this means that they have a Business Registration certificate issued by the Company Registry.
  2. They were not used for trading: this means that they were never engaged in business or commercial activities.
  3. They can be personalized: the name of the company (if available) can be changed and so can the authorized capital; the new owner can also appoint more than one director.
  4. They are a convenient alternative: the business can start more rapidly compared to when an investor opens a new company.
Investors may find that some or all of these characteristics suit their business needs. However, before deciding to purchase an already registered company, it is advisable to perform a due diligence. Many companies that sell these types of companies are credible and offer convenient shelf company packages, however, you can always request additional information from one o four agents who specialize in company formation in Hong Kong.

Registering a shelf company in Hong Kong


The registration of shelf companies is a simple process because it involves no real registration action on the part of the new owner. Once the transfer of shares takes place between the old and the new owner and the sale-purchase contract has been signed, our experts in company formation in Hong Kong can initiate the registration procedure for the bought shelf company.

The company has already been registered with the Company Registry but the ownership details have to be changed once the transfer is complete. As a general rule, any changes in the company ownership or structure are to be registered. This is easily done, usually within one or two working days. One of our experts can help you throughout this stage. 

Options like changing the name of the company, appointing a new director are available for clients purchasing shelf companies in Hong Kong. Foreign investors have the possibility to register shelf companies under the form of limited liability companies or companies limited by shares. Once the Articles of Association of the acquired shelf company are ready and they include the details of the new ownership they must be submitted to the Hong Kong Companies Register together with an application form and the paid registration fee.

The company’s identity can be very important for the new owner. This is why the name of the company can be changed from a general one that was initially appointed to a more targeted business name. In order to do so, investors will need to first check if the new name is available. The ones that have already been taken or that are too similar to a chosen name are included in the Index of Company Names, belonging to the Registrar of Companies. Certain words and abbreviations may be used as they are not necessarily considered to infringe on other names. A guideline for the registration of company names in Hong Kong is available and one of our agents can tell you more about these special considerations. 

The shelf company is in many cases a cost-effective alternative. However, different shelf company suppliers will have different costs and the company can be more expensive if it has been incorporated for a longer period of time and thus it has an `older age`. When faced with the option of purchasing a more expensive shelf company, entrepreneurs can compare the costs related to starting a new company in Hong Kong and decide based on these as well as the time needed to incorporate. In some situations, investors may find that a shelf company suits their business needs completely. If this is the case, then they will be able to use the seniority of the company for gaining more credibility in front of banks and creditors and change the company specifics, such as the name and registered address, once the beneficial ownership transfer is complete.

Our agents invite you to watch a video about the advantages of a shelf company in Hong Kong:

Advantages of shelf companies in Hong Kong


As mentioned above, one of the greatest benefits of purchasing a shelf company in Hong Kong is the credibility an already incorporated company offers to its new owner in regards to business partners and customers. The company can enter into business contracts or business bids much faster than if the investor would choose to open a new LLC in Hong Kong. Also, according to the Companies Law in Hong Kong, in order to obtain a bank loan, companies may be required to prove they were incorporated a while back and bring proof of their corporate history. For example, if a foreign investor wants to obtain a loan for purchasing computers for the company, a proof that the company was registered six or more months before must be provided. Shelf companies can be used for various business strategies, as foreign businessmen establishing companies in Hong Kong can incorporate the background and history of their enterprise in a ready-made company thus obtaining a better image than creating the same image with a new company.

Our specialists in company incorporation in Hong Kong can provide shelf companies based on the investors’ needs and requests. Shelf companies have a set of attractive features, among which we emphasize the cost-effectiveness (in most cases) and the faster set-up process. 

Hong Kong is an attractive business destination in Asia that offers a favorable business climate and low tax rates for companies. You can also contact us for details and advantages of every type of company available for registration in Hong Kong.



  • Jack 2015-05-14

    Hi My requirements for HK shelf company 1. existing firm 2 years old 2. Last year 1Mn & above ITR filed 3. Current year 3Mn turnover projections

    Thank you for your comment and your request Jack. We would be happy to help you. We will reply in private. have a nice day and please feel free to browse our website for more valuable information in regards to opening a Hong Kong company.

  • Rajini 2015-05-27

    need an aged company of 3yrs with a good bank account in Duetsche or barclays banks only

    Hello Rajini and thank you for wrtitng to us. We would be happy to offer you th epersonalized consultancy you require. Please write us in private with more details in regards to you request on office@lawfirmhongkong.com

  • James 2017-02-16

    I want to buy a shelf company. How much is it?

    Hello James! Please send us an e-mail at office@lawfirmhongkong.com and we will reply with our prices for shelf companies. Have a great day!

  • Adal 2017-02-17

    I am interested in purchasing such a company. Do you also make individual offers? To whom should I write my request, please?

    Hello Adal! We can provide you with a shelf company and of course we will make you a customized offer. Please send us details about your project at office@lawfirmhongkong.com and we will reply as fast as possible. Have a great day!

  • Kathy 2017-02-20

    This is a much simpler way to start a business in Hong Kong.

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