Most entrepreneurs would incorporate their new companies in Hong Kong under their own names. For those entrepreneurs or company owners who do not want to expose their names and want to have their names kept confidential, there is this nominee service. When they are to complete the company incorporation process, they can choose the nominee service. A nominee service offers a solution for business owners who have reasons that require to have their ownership of the Hong Kong company kept confidential.
How is the confidentiality possibly secure? The nominee shareholder service provided by a Hong Kong local business service agency arranges for the shares in the entrepreneur’s Hong Kong company to be registered in trust in the name of a nominee shareholder company. Therefore, the name of the entrepreneur is not visible as the owner of the shares in the public records of the Companies Registry in Hong Kong.
But the entrepreneur will still need to retain the control of the shares of the incorporated Hong Kong company. How is this possible? A declaration of trust is executed between the nominee shareholder and owner of the company which states the shares are held in trust by the nominee shareholder for the benefit of the company owner.
There is this nominee director service which can provide for an individual person who can be appointed as a nominee director of the company of the entrepreneur. Note that the name of the nominee director will appear in the public records (as the director of the company) which is held at the Hong Kong Companies Registry.
The nominee director will operate the company by acting upon the written instructions from the entrepreneur. The written instructions can be regarded as the terms of a Nominee Directors Agreement that have been entered into between the nominee director and the company owner (whose name is confidential under the registration of the company).
This nominee director is legally responsible for any activity that is operated at the company. An example of such an operation is that with instructions given by the entrepreneur, the nominee director can only accept appointment on the basis in which he will be the sole signatory of the company’s bank account.
One important reminder is that when a nominee service is applied as such to a Hong Kong company, such nominee service must be in full disclose to the bank where a HK company bank account is opened for the company’s business operations. During the account opening process, the entrepreneur must be presented in person at the bank together with the nominee director.