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Hong Kong tax incentives

In order to promote Hong Kong as an international research & development (R&D) hub and attract more R&D activities to be performed in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong government has recently enacted new tax regulations which provide tax incentives to qualifying R&D expenditures incurred on or after 1 April 2018.

How does ESOP work?

Employee Share Option Plan (ESOP) refers to the mechanism by which a company (which can be either private or listed) offers to one of more employee(s) the right to buy a specific number (or a specific percentage) of shares in the company, at a specific price (the exercise price) and during a specified period, usually within a number of years (the exercise period).

During such exercise period, the employee is free to exercise or not such option at a price which is determined by the company at the time of the grant. This is an option given to the employee, not an obligation.

Shanghai - startup visa

Shanghai’s Public Security Bureau introduced, in May 2018, a new “Private Residence Permit (Entrepreneurship)”, most commonly known as “Business Startup visa”, which enables foreign entrepreneurs to live in China while launching their innovative business in Shanghai.

The initial validity period of the startup visa is one year, but it can be extended for a further one year if the foreign entrepreneur is able to prove that a company has been successfully established throughout this time period. Alternatively, the startup visa can also be converted into a work permit once the company is legally established.

The Hong Kong government issued on 18 September 2018 a revision to the immigration policy for entry of non-local dependants (the ‘‘New Policy’’), easing the visa rules for legally-recognized same-sex couples and civil partners willing to work or reside in Hong Kong.

Traditionally, the definition of a ‘‘legal spouse’’ was confined to heterosexual married couples only. Based on this restrictive definition, and under the previous immigration policy in force, dependant visa applications were only open to heterosexual married couples with an eligible sponsor (i.e. Hong Kong permanent residents or foreigners with a valid employment visa).