For several years now, Hong Kong has been actively promoting its startup culture, not just among its citizens but also among its foreign residents and visitors, by making constant reforms to its entrepreneurship laws and regulations. Hong Kong has become a major Asian hub of new businesses for consultants and freelancers from around the world. Many entrepreneurial expats are now looking at this country in order to set up their new ventures.However, establishing a business costs money and paying rent for office space can drive your expenses through the roof, especially in a place like Hong Kong, where commercial property prices are extremely high. At the same time, working from home may not necessarily be a feasible option for you, especially if there is some amount of client interaction required in your line of business. To reduce the cost of rent and increase overall profits, you may want to consider looking at the “co-work” option instead of exclusive office space.
It was Jon Buford, a local entrepreneur, who kicked off the co-work space and virtual office industries in Hong Kong. He started a small office, called BootHK, which in turn housed a couple of startups. Today, this sector has at least 10 companies, which operate from more than 30 locations, and numerous smaller businesses. The market currently comprises hundreds of thousands of square feet, used flexibly for short-term office space.
Some of these virtual office firms offer co-work space too. However, unlike the US, a virtual office in Hong Kong means nothing more than an address and a telephone number. For as little as US$ 50 per month, you can walk into the space, sit at a desk in a common area, plug in a laptop, and go about your work. These setups cannot be compared to business centers as they offer no frills or facilities. Nevertheless, they may give you just what you need, which is an office space from which to operate at a low price.
As this industry continues to grow across the country, you will be able to find new co-work spaces being listed every week. Read on to find out more about some of the best co-working spaces for expat entrepreneurs in Hong Kong.
1. 8080 Space
Located in the Eastern part of Kowloon, 8080 Space is a creative, multi-use area that extends over 14,000 square feet. Its unique feature is that it allows people to rent office space on an hourly, daily or monthly basis. There are separate rates for weekend and weekday rentals.
8080 Space offers most of the standard office facilities like Wi-Fi, meeting space, and a pantry within the cost of the rent. However, you can have access to printers and lockers for an additional fee. This set up also offers two spaces for events.
Unit 2913, 29/F, 1 Hung To Road, Ngau Tau Kok, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3175 5030
Founded in 2012 with an area of 14,000 square feet, this office space is one of a kind. It has an unusual incubation program, where a company has to apply for space and be accepted. There are over 100 professionals sharing this location. The monthly rate for a space is around US$ 250 per month, for one person.
At Cocoon you’ll find a strong sense of community, which has been fostered by various networking events that bring investors and owners together. Moreover, the environment is bright and engaging. The facilities include free Wi-Fi, conference rooms, a 3D printer, mail services, and an indoor café. This may be a feasible option for you if you are a first time entrepreneur from a different country and are setting up from the scratch or are putting your team together.
The working hours for Cocoon are Monday to Friday, 8:30AM to 10:30PM and Saturday 8:30AM to 6:00PM. The center is closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Cocoon, Hong Kong
3/F Citicorp Center, 18 Whitfield Road, Tin Hau,
Tel: +852 3158 2999
This was founded in 2009 and has over 20 locations in Hong Kong alone. Compass also has offices in China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines, Korea, Poland and Australia. Its client base is massive, with thousands of residents. The charges at Compass can range anywhere between US$ 50 and US$ 350 per month. You will find not only startups but also established organizations (such as LinkedIn) operating from their premises.
New businesses that are trying to establish themselves in Hong Kong may want to consider renting space in one or more of their locations as Compass has a good reputation for having an upscale, professional environment. Its flexible plans are useful for a growing business. With its different locations, it is actually ideal for firms with multiple offices, since you only have to deal with one company for IT services, conference rooms, and so on.
19/F Cheung Kong Center,
2, Queens Road Central,
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3975 1399/ +852 3796 7188
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / HKsales@compassoffices.com
This was founded in 2009 and now has two locations, from which more than 300 tenants operate. Cyberport can be described as a technology campus that houses Hong Kong’s largest ISP. The regional offices of giants like Microsoft, Cisco, and IBM are also based at their premises. Yet, their rates are fairly reasonable and range between US$ 100 and US$ 515.
While the client base for Cyberport is varied, it is perfect for technology or digital startups as it has cutting-edge facilities, which include audio studios, video studios, and editing equipment. Some of the other facilities include high speed Wi-Fi, conference rooms, exhibition centers, and a fitness center, to name just a few.
Cyberport Smart Space
Units 1102 – 1104, Level 11,
Cyberport 2, 100 Cyberport Road,
Tel: +852 3166 3800/ +852 3166 3817
5. HK Commons
Hong Kong Commons is like a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs from all fields. It was founded in 2011 by Wall Street lawyer Jong Lee. Today it has two central locations, with around 60 tenants. By taking out membership with them, you can enjoy the convenience of a dedicated office space at a competitive price (between US$ 120 and US$ 710).
Like most other co-working space setups, HK Commons offers high-speed internet, cleaning services, and a business mailing address. However, other benefits include 24-hour access and expertise from the in-house team on complex local regulations, such as the IRS laws. You can also take advantage of additional access and services, depending upon the membership tier you opt for.
Location 1: Suite 909, Kwong Loong Tai Building, 1016 – 1018 Tai Nan W Street, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon,
Location 2: 25/ F, Workington Tower, 78 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3563 9215
6. Innovation Labs
Innovation Labs was noticed by the Wall Street Journal, who called it “Hong Kong’s Latest Expat Hotspot” when it launched. It was founded in 2012 and caters to around 20 exclusive members from various parts of the globe. This setup offers 8,000 square feet co-work community and office space, with seven private offices and many common areas (meeting room, showroom, reception). The cost of office space at their location varies between US$ 250 and US$ 500.
The unique feature of Innovation Labs is that it has office spaces large enough to house firms with many employees. At the same time, you can also opt for co-working space for a small team or even a single person. In addition to regular business facilities, there is also 24-hour security.
8/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building,
12P Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town,
Tel: +852 2542 1035
7. The Good Lab
This was founded in 2012 in order to support the local “social entrepreneurship” culture. Its strategic location stretches over 20,000 square feet of office space, which houses more than 100 members. Depending on the type of space you opt for, you could pay anywhere between US$ 50 and US$ 375 per month.
The Good Lab has a bright and cheery ambience; it boasts of a large meeting space or a “lounge” where people can exchange ideas over a cup of coffee from the pantry. Apart from the regular business facilities like Wi-Fi, printing/copying/scanning, and a conference room, it also has a small theater, which can be converted into an event space. There are operational seven days a week and are open between 9:00AM and 10:00PM from Mondays to Fridays and between 10:00AM and 10:00PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Good Lab
1/F, The Sparkle, 500 Tung Chau Street, Cheung Sha Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3996 1933
8. The Hive
The Hive was founded in 2012 and has now has its presence at three central locations (Wan Chai, Kennedy Town and Sai Kung), catering to around 200 professional entities. With the diversity of members operating from their premises, this is a good place, not just for business but also networking. Their prices are on the higher side, starting from US$ 360.
Most of the creative professionals working from the Hive’s Hotdesks & Dedicated desks believe that they get their value for money, as it offers various facilities like dedicated office units, 24-hour access (with a key card), high speed internet, a business address with a PO Box, meeting rooms, storage options, reception services and a large decked terrace. The décor, the outdoor garden and free tea/ coffee are just additional perks of working here.
Location 1: 21/F, The Phoenix Building, 23 Luard Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3568 6343
Location 2: 6/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2448 9830
Location 3: Tai Mong Tsai Road, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 9356 7883
9. The Loft
This 8,000 square feet co-working space accommodates entrepreneurs, consultants, freelancers and small companies with up to 20 employees. The Loft offers temporary membership, part time membership, hotdesks, workstations and office memberships. The cost for each varies, depending on the benefits and facilities you would like.
The Loft has a communal reception with separate working areas for its members. Its facilities include high speed internet, printer services, personal lockers, meeting rooms, storage space, a concierge, leisure areas, and an indoor cafe. There is also a showroom, a studio, an outdoor sun terrace and a barbecue court.
12 NG Fong Street, San Po Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3905 1000
This is one of the most recent co-working spaces in Hong Kong, having opened in 2013. Wynd stretches over 2,500 square feet and houses around 20 tenants. Rental costs in this centrally located setup are on the higher side, ranging between US$ 300 and US$ 700.
At Wynd, you can rent hotdesks, fixed desks, and office rooms (some with a balcony) for varying periods of time. The facilities include a lounge area, secretarial services, and high-speed internet.
Room 1003, 10/F Yu, Yu Yuet lai Building,
43-55, Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3462 2777
Some of the other co-working spaces worth looking at in Hong Kong include Central Park, Platform, Paperclip HK, Retro Spot, Blue Print, Startup Commune, The Coffee House, Dim Sum Labs, and The Collab, to name a few.
Do you work from a coworking space? Leave your recommendations in the comments!