The Hardest Part of Setting Up: Banks
It may sound completely crazy, but often the hardest part about starting a company in Hong Kong is getting a bank account.
We were told by one very large bank - a bank that promotes itself as start-up friendly - that as we didn't have a trading track record we weren't eligible.
"I suggest you go back to London, start the company there, and when you have been going for a few years you can come back to Hong Kong and hopefully we can help you then."
Not the most supportive conversation you can have when setting up.
Well, it's getting worse. It's reported that it is now impossible to set up a bank account without a Hong Kong ID card, which of course makes a mockery of Hong Kong's ambition to be a capital of world start-ups. My friend BigEars.io been ruminating quite a lot on the subject recently, as you can see here.
There has long been an issue with the banks, but hopefully the Government will really start doing something about it soon. Otherwise it is hard not to agree with Big Ears - Hong Kong is a local start-up scene only.