A foreign company may establish a representative office in Hong Kong to undertake promotional and liaison activities on behalf of its parent company. The office, however, directly or on behalf of its parent company, must not be engaged in business, conclude contracts, provide consultancy for a fee, undertake transshipment of goods, or open or negotiate any letters of credit.
Foreign companies keen on exploring the viability of doing business in Hong Kong or interested in using Hong Kong as a launching pad into the Asia Pacific, may wish to set up a Representative Office (RO).
Registration of a Representative Office should be considered when a foreign company wants to test the business environment in Hong Kong before making investment decisions.
However foreign companies should be aware that incorporation of legal corporate entities with the Companies Registry (Registrar of Companies) will be necessary to maintain their operations in Hong Kong in the long term.