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Starting a sole proprietorship on GEP visa and hire a employee

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  1. #1

    Starting a sole proprietorship on GEP visa and hire a employee

    Hi,

    Currently I am employed on a work (GEP) visa. I would like to partner up with a company outside of HK to import and sell beverages in HK as a side business for now. After some studying I think a Sole Proprietorship is the way to go for me. My current company approved my business idea already. So, from my understanding the next step would be to open my Sole Proprietorship and reach out to the immigration departement to request for a visa extension to work for my sole proprietorship as a side business. Would this be the right way to go?

    Furthermore, since the visa extension to work for my sole proprietorship might take a while and some holidays are coming up, I am wondering if it would be possible to hire a local person part-time to do the initial work (later just for Cantonese translations) until I get my visa converted?

    Furthermore, could this person e.g. be my friend with little/no pay? Or alternatively contractual get paid ones the company makes sufficient profit in a few months?

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    You need to pay minimum wage or higher

    https://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/news/mwo.htm


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    3,891
    Quote Originally Posted by ccdanielcc:
    Hi,

    Currently I am employed on a work (GEP) visa. I would like to partner up with a company outside of HK to import and sell beverages in HK as a side business for now. After some studying I think a Sole Proprietorship is the way to go for me. My current company approved my business idea already. So, from my understanding the next step would be to open my Sole Proprietorship and reach out to the immigration departement to request for a visa extension to work for my sole proprietorship as a side business. Would this be the right way to go?

    Furthermore, since the visa extension to work for my sole proprietorship might take a while and some holidays are coming up, I am wondering if it would be possible to hire a local person part-time to do the initial work (later just for Cantonese translations) until I get my visa converted?

    Furthermore, could this person e.g. be my friend with little/no pay? Or alternatively contractual get paid ones the company makes sufficient profit in a few months?

    Thanks in advance!
    No, on the main point.

    You need an investment visa, you can’t get sponsorship for a regular employment visa for yourself from your own sole pro.

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    As mentioned, you need an investment visa. There are a couple of possible alternatives:

    1. You're married to someone in HK - convert your visa to a dependent visa
    2. You have a good education (preferably Master's or above in a STEM subject) and have a skill that HK needs - apply for a QMAS visa


  6. #6

    Join Date
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    3,891
    Quote Originally Posted by Sage:
    No, on the main point.

    You need an investment visa, you can’t get sponsorship for a regular employment visa for yourself from your own sole pro.
    BUT..... If you have an employer who is going to continue to sponsor you to work for them and you're merely going to run your own business on the side, then I would do nothing with immigration to begin with. Get your business up and running and once you see if it's viable, then you can decide the next step (remembering that you can't get sponsorship from your own sole pro, and investment visas require a lot of injection of capital)
    shri and bbchris like this.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by aw451:
    As mentioned, you need an investment visa. There are a couple of possible alternatives:

    1. You're married to someone in HK - convert your visa to a dependent visa
    2. You have a good education (preferably Master's or above in a STEM subject) and have a skill that HK needs - apply for a QMAS visa
    Thanks! Let me dive into it, as I might have a strong enough background for the QMAS.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sage:
    BUT..... If you have an employer who is going to continue to sponsor you to work for them and you're merely going to run your own business on the side, then I would do nothing with immigration to begin with. Get your business up and running and once you see if it's viable, then you can decide the next step (remembering that you can't get sponsorship from your own sole pro, and investment visas require a lot of injection of capital)
    That would make the most sense indeed, as many start-ups/business fail. However, I have a friend who go caught giving paid sport classes next to his job and had to go to court. Luckily, it ended well for him.

    Don't you think it might raise questions since you start your business without any "official employee" and you have to file tax at the end of the year?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Hong Kong, from UK
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    3,701

    I was thinking of suggesting QMAS - which I did, a while ago, and would definitely give you the flexibility you're after. The main thing I'd warn about, even if you do qualify (and I think it's harder now than it was for me), it's slow - very minimum 6 months processing, quite possible to go over a year depending on factors...

    MABinPengChau likes this.

  9. #9

    Promising news!

    I have had contact with InvestHK and an immigration department employee through a friend, who both told me that I probably would need some kind of an 'add-on' on my visa to start a side business, as I have a working visa already. However, I haven't had this confirmed by the immigration department itself yet, as they are very busy at the moment..


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    274
    Quote Originally Posted by ccdanielcc:
    Promising news!

    I have had contact with InvestHK and an immigration department employee through a friend, who both told me that I probably would need some kind of an 'add-on' on my visa to start a side business, as I have a working visa already. However, I haven't had this confirmed by the immigration department itself yet, as they are very busy at the moment..
    Were you able to get more info on this 'add-on' route? A friend is in a similar situation. Thanks.

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