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Cruise Control – Set Up a Yacht Charter Business in Hong Kong

How to Set Up a Yacht Charter Business in Hong Kong

The sweet sails of success are within reach with 3E Accounting’s pocket guide on how to set up a yacht charter business in Hong Kong.

Yachting used to be the province of the rich and famous. It is indeed the quintessential luxury vacation experience. However, more and more entrepreneurs are venturing into the yachting industry these days. Global statistics indicate that this industry may reach eighty billion USD by the year 2025. There’s still time to set up a yacht charter business in Hong Kong and sail away with some good profits.


Charting up a Profitable Business

Yacht charters are certainly becoming more popular in Hong Kong. It’s a splendid way to see Hong Kong’s 700km of scenic coastline and numerous islands. Water enthusiasts can take part in exciting water sports or enjoy magnificent sunsets. Yacht charters are also popular amongst the corporate elite who prefer this impressive way to meet with their clients. Lavish wedding parties, island hopping, family cruises and private dining are just some of the services offered by yacht charters.

To set up a yacht charter business in Hong Kong, you will have to:

  • Incorporate your company
  • Get approval for your business activity
  • Ensure your vessels and vessel operators are licensed

Business registration and approvals in HK are online, and you can incorporate your company with the HK company registry. The type of company structures that can be established are:

  • Sole Proprietorship or Partnership
  • Private Limited Company (PLC)
  • Public Limited Company (PC)
  • Company Limited by Shares or Guarantee
  • Branch or Representative Office

Most entrepreneurs prefer the Private Limited Company or PLC due to its separate legal identity. It offers better protection and limited liability to its shareholders. Once your company is incorporated, you will need to register for taxes on the HK Inland Revenue.

Next, set up a corporate bank account and get a business activity license from the Trade and Industry Department. Most business activities in Hong Kong do not need a license to operate. However, specific industries, such as the shipping or yachting sector, have different regulations.

Once you have a permit to run a yacht charter business in Hong Kong, you can start purchasing your vessel or fleet of boats. Hong Kong’s vessel classification system lists pleasure or Class IV vessels as including:

  • Cruiser Vessels
  • Open Cruisers
  • Auxiliary Powered Yachts

All vessels will need to be registered with the Hong Kong Marine Department (MARDEP) which also handles the licensing. As a yacht owner, you must ensure that your vessel is fit for its purpose when you apply for the Vessel Operating License. This includes having a Certificate of Ownership and a Certificate of Competence. Licenses will be issued as per the type of vessel including its length, engine type and engine power.

Licensing regulations are strict for all yachts and pleasure vessels in Hong Kong. Protocols include:

  • Ensuring the vessel itself is licensed
  • Vessels can only be operated by qualified and certified operators
  • Must have a third-party insurance policy


Sailing With the Best

Navigating the business incorporation process is made all the easier with the right professionals to guide you. 3E Accounting offers customisable business solutions that can be adopted at any stage of your business set up. It’s smooth sailing all the way with 3E Accounting when you set up a yacht charter business in Hong Kong.

Contact 3E Accounting today to find out about the full suite of business solutions available for your every need.

How to Set Up a Yacht Charter Business in Hong Kong