Hong Kong is a popular destination, not only for foreign investors but also for tourists. The Asian city is home to locals and expats alike and many of them have made a habit out of frequenting the local restaurants.
The restaurant business is very well developed and diverse: there is room for Asian restaurants and for those that specialize in worldwide cuisine and bring a little flavor of the west to this Asian business hub.
In order to set up a restaurant in Hong Kong investors will need to comply with the special business registration and licensing in the food sector and open a company in Hong Kong.
The experts at our Hong Kong law firm can help you understand the laws and requirements for restaurant owners in the city.
We invite you to watch the following video about requirements for restaurants in Hong Kong:
Business permits for Hong Kong restaurants
Restaurants in Hong Kong operate based on a general restaurant business license issued by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. This license is obtained separately from the one issued after company incorporation.
Additional special permits and licenses may be needed according to the specific of the restaurant and whether or not it sells alcoholic drinks. These can include:
- the liquor license;
- the import license;
- the food and/or bakery license;
- the restricted foods permit and others.
Our lawyers in Hong Kong can answer any questions about these additional special permits and licenses.
Company incorporation in Hong Kong
The first step for opening a restaurant in Hong Kong is company incorporation. The investors will need to choose an available business name, prepare the company’s Articles of Association, open a bank account and, when all the documents are in order, register the company with the Companies Registry.
The premises where the restaurant will operate is important and it is subject to additional control and licensing: it must comply with the building and fire safety requirements. Our attorneys in Hong Kong can give you more details on the specific laws.
In order to apply for the general restaurant license, the company owners will need to submit a special form, a copy of the premises, copies of the Business Registration Certificate and Articles of Association, and a copy of the company’s annual returns. Other documents may be needed, for example, tenancy proof.