More and more businesses are migrating to Hong Kong for its low taxes, business-friendly policies and highly-skilled, yet, affordable talent. Nonetheless, making this transition, especially from a location on the Western hemisphere, isn’t always an easy one. The culture difference is nowhere near as big as it was in the past, especially in such a major, globalist and, above all, international business hub, nonetheless, it still might take some getting used to. Here are several tips for you to hear before moving your business to Hong Kong.
1. Getting an investment visa
The first thing you need to do is ensure that you’re even eligible to travel to Hong Kong and the easiest way for an entrepreneur to secure that is for them to get an investment visa. In order for you to do this, you need to prove that you either have shares in a Hong Kong-based company and actually take part in operations performed by this company. Other than this, you can also own a business that improves the economy of the place, which shouldn’t be that hard to pull off.
Apart from this, there are several other factors that the immigration department pays close attention to. Namely, they’re interested in whether you intend to start a physical office or intend to run a Hong Kong-based online business. More importantly, they care whether you intend to hire local employees or bring in an entire team from abroad. Needless to say, they’ll be much fonder toward your application if the former is the case. Still, even if, at the moment, you can’t prove/claim any of the two, you can still apply for a regular work visa.
2. Find local partners
Online research from your current location may prepare you only so much. Instead, you need to look at local agencies that could help you out and ask for their help. This is not only a great way for you to get some burden off your shoulders but it’s also an amazing opportunity to do some additional networking. Local agencies have widely spread networks of contacts that they might just share with you, provided that you’re already actively collaborating.
Nevertheless, you can’t just team up with someone just because they’re local. Therefore, do your share of research before making any hasty moves. Also, the nature of the business that you’re teaming up matters quite a bit. Think about it, a local cleaning company is definitely an agency that you’ll definitely work with but contacts that come from a local marketing agency might end up being more valuable. Other than this, you also need a company that knows the local market to handle this for you.
3. Maintain a work-life balance
If moving to Hong Kong, you’ll probably move with your entire family, which is why it’s incredibly important that you make this transition as easy on them as possible. Even if your spouse didn’t abandon a career to come with you to Hong Kong, they still had a family and friends back home. Sure, they can maintain contact with people through online means but this is really not the same thing.
Encourage them to take part in some group activity, take on a course or find a hobby that will get them in touch with locals. Same goes for your children which you can enlist in a local educational organization. A good example is the English language learning center Monkey Tree Hong Kong. It’s incredibly important that your family develops any kind of social life in this new environment and this is just one of the ways in which they can get there the fastest.
4. Learn about the business culture
Being an expat is hard. However, there are some advantages to this, as well. You see, if it’s obvious that you’re not a local, people won’t expect you to know much about the local business culture. This is an opportunity for you to impress them and make a great first impression by overcoming their low expectations. This ranges from meetings, negotiations, dress code and general etiquette issues like formal and informal greetings. It doesn’t take much to master this, yet it may end up making a world of difference.
The best thing about this list is the fact that it applies to a move to virtually any location. Sure, examples and procedures may be different but the principle is, more or less, the same. Hopefully, you’ll find at least some of these tips useful, which will help you get the most out of your business move to Hong Kong.