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Starting a company in Hong Kong

 Technology Voucher Programme

We talked about the BUD fund in our QRC seminar hall two months ago. One participant asked me during the Q&A section whether there are funding specifically for developing IT solutions. The answer is YES. Hong Kong is one of the easiest places for business in the world and the support from Government is amazing.

If you want to develop new IT solutions for your Hong Kong company, you can enroll in the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP). This programme supports companies in adopting new technology solutions to improve productivity or to upgrade its business process. The funding is up to HK$600,000 for each company.

Who can apply?

In order to be eligible for the program, a company must fulfill the following requirements.

  1. Your company must be registered under Chapter 310 – Hong Kong Business Registration Ordinance or registered under Chapter 622 – Companies Ordinance.
  2. Your company must be a non-listed company in Hong Kong, and not a government sub-vented entity.
  3. Your company must have material and solid business operation in Hong Kong. A shell company with virtual address will not be regarded as having material operation in Hong Kong.

In order to determine whether your company has solid operation in Hong Kong, the Government may consider the followings.

  1. What is your business nature and actual operation?
  2. What is the size of your business in Hong Kong?
  3. Do you have workers or direct staff in Hong Kong?
  4. Do you pay tax in Hong Kong?
  5. Do you have customers in Hong Kong?
  6. What are the backgrounds of your customers?

What documents do I have to provide?

  1. MPF record of employees
  2. Transaction history which shows salary payment
  3. Audited accounting report
  4. Record of profit tax return filing
  5. Business contracts
  6. Rental agreement
  7. Utility bills

Funding Amount and Project Duration

To make sure your application is genuine, companies shall contribute at least 1/4 of the project cost in cash. For example, if the project is HK$60,000, then your company must bear HK$15,000. The Government will only sponsor 3/4 of the cost, i.e. HK$45,000.

The Hong Kong government understands that some companies may not have enough cash flow to start a project. If the applicant is willing to sign an agreement with the government, the government is willing to make an initial payment (i.e. 25% of the project fee). Upon completion, the authority will release the final payment.

Applicants can apply for the scheme for at most 6 times and the cumulative ceiling of the sponsor is HK$600,000. Applicant should note that you can only undertake one project at one time. You can only submit a second application after the first project is completed.

If you have been following our blogs, you would have known that the Government is very careful in calculating the cumulative funding. They will also consider whether you have applied for the fund with a related enterprise. If you have two or more companies, which you have at least 30% of shares, all would be treated as one single enterprise. Hence, the maximum funding you can get is HK$600,000.

Time duration of the project should not be more than twelve months. If there is any delay, you have to inform the government in writing. The Government has sole and full discretion in approving the changes or time extension. To avoid hassle, you should monitor the development status carefully to make sure the project is on track.

What are the items covered by the scheme? 

When you think of how to utilize the fund, you can consider the followings.

  1. If you want to upgrade your business with technology, you can hire a technology consultant. Applicant should note that the consultant must be a local university, research institution or a company registered in Hong Kong. Applicant should list out the desired outcome of hiring a consultant and the breakdown cost.
  2. In order to upgrade the business process, you may need additional software. You can do this by purchase or rental. However, company should understand that not all items are allowable cost. For example, if you buy a software off-the-shelf from a retail shop, this may not be covered by the scheme. The software system does not need to be a tailor made one. However, a software system will only be covered if it requires compilation or integration by the service providers.
  3. It is reasonable for a company to purchase or rent some machine, equipment or hardware to upgrade its system. For example, computer screen, computer, printer, scanner, microphone, headset, or cloud-based service. Company owners should note that the cost of these equipment should be at most 50% of the approved expenses. You should also note that if your application is merely about purchasing new equipment, the government is unlikely to approve your project.

For the equipment purchased under the scheme, applicant must not transfer or dispose these assets without consent of the Government.  These assets shall be kept by the applicant for at least 1 year after the end of the project. Government has all rights to inspect the assets upon request.

I hope the above gives you a basic idea of the technology scheme. We all know that the world is changing every day. You may or may not be feeling it right now. However, time doesn’t wait. Adopt new technology solutions today! Improve productivity! If you have already registered a company in Hong Kong, you should apply for the Technology Voucher Programme.

Networking events organized by Get Started HK

If you are interested to know more about government funding in Hong Kong, you can subscribe our event channel at info@getstarted.hk Get Started HK organizes events for its incorporation customers from time to time. Our incorporation experts usually share information about new laws, trade fairs, business opportunities and government support. You can also meet other entrepreneurs to expand your network. Join us and be part of our community!


Disclaimer: This article is intended for reference only. The above information is provided to you on an “AS IS” basis without any express or implied warranty of any kind and is provided for a general, indicative purpose only. In particular, Get Started HK Limited does not make any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, security, timeliness in relation to such contents. The Hong Kong Government has sole and full discretion in approving the application for Technology Voucher Programme Should you have any questions, you can contact the HK government directly.