Date
12 December 2017
Hong Kong's Companies Ordinance requires all locally registered businesses to have at least one director who is a natural person. Photo: Bloomberg
Hong Kong's Companies Ordinance requires all locally registered businesses to have at least one director who is a natural person. Photo: Bloomberg

Work-at-home directors: Look before you jump

If you’re at least 21 and have a solid credit record, you just might be the one Hong Kong companies are looking for.

Here’s the deal: You’ll receive HK$6,000 (US$774) a year and you may work from home, but if you’re called to attend a meeting physically (video conference apparently doesn’t count), you’ll get paid extra.

Plus, you’ll get a nifty title — director.

Hong Kong companies are advertising for such applicants in increasing numbers under new regulations in the Companies Ordinance that require nominee directors to be natural persons, as opposed to legal entities, Ming Pao Daily News reported Monday. 

Legal entity appointments, which have been the practice for the longest time, are still allowed, but the new rules state that any locally registered company must have at least one director who is a natural person.

Each qualified person can be a director for up to five companies, meaning these absentee board members can earn up to HK$30,000 a year doing nothing more than spin around in their bedroom swivel chairs.    

But experts are warning prospective applicants to look before they jump — there might be hidden risks such as becoming entangled in legal issues if the company is involved in shenanigans.

A director is responsible for ensuring that the company fully complies with the Companies Ordinance, Roy Lo, deputy managing partner of Shinewing (HK) CPA Ltd., was quoted as saying.

Directors are equally liable as the company if it is found in breach of the law, the report said.

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