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HK vs Dubai for a B2B research business serving hedge funds?

thomasparra

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May 30, 2020
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My clients would be mostly hedge funds, PE, and venture capital firms as well as some consulting and startups. I used to work in HK so I have some professional connections there.

I was planning to start the business in France but thanks to your recommendations I realised I would sign my tax death wish if I did that.

HK corp tax is 8.25% up to around 235k USD in profit. No dividend tax, and personal tax is around 10% if I pay myself 100k USD per year. I can optimise and get 5% real tax rate with the right salary/dividend ratio and I am completely fine with that, at least until I reach 500k or more in income.

I will probably hire freelancers or employees in HK, SEA and Africa (100% online business). Income forecasts are less than 300k in the first 3 years.

I heard some hedge funds are setting up shop in Dubai but based on my research it seems that it's not done on a large scale yet so I might access a better network ecosystem in Hong Kong, Singapore and London. In Dubai, most of the US/Asian funds are hiring client facing/investor people rather than actual analysts but my impression be wrong.

Does anyone have insights or tips on this?
 
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Greetings!

We are located in DIFC (Dubai International Financial Center) and also regulated here. I would definitely advise you not to do it in Dubai.

The setup can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months and will cost a fortune. DIFC is the only free zone in Dubai where you can do such activity.

Your solution would definitely be Cayman Islands. We can assist so feel free to get in touch.
 
Thanks. My business is not regulated as I do not manage or issue funds or any financial products. I am solely providing research and different types of consulting for my clients, most of them being in the finance sector. Is this different in Dubai meaning I need a licence? My competitors in other countries do not require any licenses to operate but it might be different in Dubai.
 
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No such activity would not require a license. You are a service operator providing information which is not requiring a license. If Dubai does, find different country.
 
No such activity would not require a license. You are a service operator providing information which is not requiring a license. If Dubai does, find different country.

Do you mean that I would not require a license? Yes it's a business service so I do not believe I would need a license since it's not regulated in any other countries.
 
Do you mean that I would not require a license? Yes it's a business service so I do not believe I would need a license since it's not regulated in any other countries.
Yes that is what I mean, you can register a company almost anywhere you want and it won't require a license for instant US LLC or UK LTD or similar. I don't know with Dubai they are sometimes complicated to understand there.
 
Anyways I don't think I will go to Dubai at this point, but might in 2024 or 2025 depending on how the business is going. HK seems to be the most solid option at this point (I am awaiting for visa as well). I thought about SG too but I have never been there, and getting residency for more than a year is almost impossible if you don't invest a 7 figure sum into a business.
 
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Nothing included, but will say we are in similar fields (only we also have a treasury - internal), and active product lines not just research, so would be interesting to see what you've do/done as we are currently looking at exiting BVI as have to follow sanctions against Russian(s) and one of our product lines their news / media used to use (for free, without communications) but really helped with exposure.

For us its about having access to East and West going forward as the world fractures.

Do keep us updated...
 
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Nothing included, but will say we are in similar fields (only we also have a treasury - internal), and active product lines not just research, so would be interesting to see what you've do/done as we are currently looking at exiting BVI as have to follow sanctions against Russian(s) and one of our product lines their news / media used to use (for free, without communications) but really helped with exposure.

For us its about having access to East and West going forward as the world fractures.

Do keep us updated...
I think SG might makes the most sense from a reputation perspective to bridge that gap, especially if you live in a country where they don't tax foreign income. I considered SG but it will be easier for me to set up residency in HK or even Dubai despite Dubai being obviously more expensive and not as efficient. If I set residence in a foreign income friendly country, I would probably consider SG slightly more than HK.

I will PM you cf our businesses. I tried to PM you but I could not find how to.
 
Hi Thomas

Wondering if I could work for you...

I recently left the UK/my job (38yo) and I'm only managing my own funds.

I'm considering incorporating somewhere to open the door to run funds in the future, but at the moment it's only me as a nomad in Malaysia/Asia.

I'd love to be more active/~job, and would be happy to freelance for you if I could bring any value.
(I breathe markets)
Would you be able to message me?
 
Hi Thomas

Wondering if I could work for you...

I recently left the UK/my job (38yo) and I'm only managing my own funds.

I'm considering incorporating somewhere to open the door to run funds in the future, but at the moment it's only me as a nomad in Malaysia/Asia.

I'd love to be more active/~job, and would be happy to freelance for you if I could bring any value.
(I breathe markets)
Would you be able to message me?
I can bring value to you by providing real time and in depth knowledge in specific industries but I do not invest nor run any funds, my clients are.
 

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