How to Rent an Office in Hong Kong

1. Understand the different business districts in Hong Kong and choose wisely per your requirement. Central is the most-in-demand area as it is located in the nerve center of Hong Kong; Sheung Wan is an old business district in North-west Hong Kong and it is famous for its dried seafood trade businesses; Wai Chai and Causeway Bay are near Central and are densely populated areas dotted with commercial complexes.

2. How long do you want to want to stay in Hong Kong? Will you appoint or transfer employees to Hong Kong? If you need an office for a short duration, consider renting a Hong Kong serviced office. If you need a regular office with a long lease, then work with a property agent or browse through online real estate portals. If you choose to work with a real estate agent, work with one who has an appropriate license issued by the government.

3. While renting a serviced office or a conventional office, always reconcile your location with your budget and then compare between the available options.

4. You are required to submit a letter of offer and pay a holding deposit once you choose an office. The offer letter works like a provisional rental agreement. The holding deposit is equivalent to 1 months rent (3 months rent in some cases), and it is refundable. When the property owner signs the letter of offer, he cannot offer the same office to any other client.

5. Then it is time for signing the tenancy agreement, which is a formal document and contains the rights and responsibilities of tenant and property owner. Tenants have to pay 2-3 months deposit at the time of signing this agreement. This deposit is refundable. For conventional offices, the typical lease duration is 2-3 years, and it can be renewed based on mutual consent. Serviced offices are available for a shorter duration (1 month and upward).

6. Tenants have to pay the monthly maintenance charges, which are calculated on a per-square foot basis. The property owner is responsible for the repairs and for paying the property tax, which is calculated as 5% of the rental value; in addition, the property owner has to pay the lease tax, if applicable these clauses must be specified in the agreement. A one-time stamp duty has to be paid for renting conventional office space. No stamp duty may be required for renting a serviced office.

7. Tenants who use a property agent have to pay a commission.

8. In case of dispute, the tenant and property owner jointly approach the property agent for resolutions, and then the Lands Tribunal or the Small Claims tribunal if theres no agreement. No disputes arise when a tenant rents out a serviced office.

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