top of page

Paying Contractors in Hong Kong: A Comprehensive Guide

Many people associate China with Hong Kong rather than Mainland China. This is largely due to Hong Kong's status as a global business hub, comparable to New York, London, and Tokyo. It is a centre for finance, commerce, and retail, among other urban activities. This uniqueness has led to tensions between Mainland China and Hong Kong regarding the latter’s identity as a city-state.

Leaving political issues aside, Hong Kong is home to some of the world's most skilled and ambitious contractors, making it a popular hiring destination for North American companies. By working with Hong Kong contractors, businesses gain access to a thriving market of professionals knowledgeable in global commerce and eager to share their expertise.

If you’re considering hiring contractors from Hong Kong, understanding the payment process is crucial. Here’s what you need to know about paying contractors in Hong Kong.

Why Hire Contractors in Hong Kong?

As a global business epicenter, Hong Kong boasts a pool of reputable, experienced, and enthusiastic contractors. While hiring from this market may come at a higher cost, the investment is often justified by the quality of talent available. Hong Kong serves as a gateway for many North American businesses entering Asian markets. The city’s diverse population means contractors are familiar with both Eastern markets and Western business practices. Many Hong Kong professionals speak English, follow conventional work habits, use common software, and possess strong skill sets.

Although cheaper contractors can be found in places like Vietnam or Malaysia, Hong Kong offers premium capabilities at competitive rates. The cost of living in Hong Kong is about 20% less than in major American cities, allowing companies to contract superior talent at a discount.

Currency and Transfer Considerations

Currency can be a complex issue when contracting professionals in Hong Kong. The local currency is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), which is weaker than the United States Dollar (USD) with an approximate exchange rate of 7.75:1 HKD to USD. Contractors may also prefer different currencies based on their location within the region, including Yuan (CHY) for Mainland China or Macau Pataca (MOP) in certain areas. Many contractors also accept USD due to its global acceptance in Hong Kong.

Ways to Pay Contractors in Hong Kong

Even as a global financial centre, paying contractors in Hong Kong can present challenges. The mode of payment matters, and each option has its pros and cons:

  1. Wire Transfer: Ideal for large sums and one-off transactions. While secure and instant, wire transfers are costly and not suited for recurring payments.

  2. Check or Money Order: Paper payments are outdated and inefficient for contractors in Hong Kong due to slow processing times and lack of transparency. They are only useful for unbanked contractors.

  3. Bank Transfer: ACH transfers are convenient and safe, but issues can arise with currency conversion and the possibility of banks cancelling payments to China due to fraud concerns.

  4. Digital Payments: Both parties must have a digital wallet. Digital payments are advantageous for currency conversion and transparency, allowing contractors to manage their funds easily. This method is becoming increasingly popular as the global economy evolves.

The Best Way to Pay Independent Contractors in Hong Kong

Ultimately, digital payment channels are the best way to pay contractors in Hong Kong. They offer the necessary transparency and ensure companies get favourable exchange rates while allowing contractors to manage their funds in their preferred currency. Although Hong Kong can be a challenging market to navigate, digital payments simplify the process of hiring and maintaining good relationships with professionals.

Can Woodburn help you?


Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China’s most trusted business setup advisory firms.

Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is specialized in inbound investment to China and Hong Kong. We focus on eliminating the complexities of corporate services and compliance administration. We help clients with services ranging from trademark registration and company incorporation to the full outsourcing solution for accounting, tax, and human resource services. Our advisory services can be tailor-made based on the companies’ objectives, goals and needs which vary depending on the stage they are at on their journey.


Talk to an expert

Schedule a 30-mins complimentary, no-obligation call to see how Woodburn can help you. Book a call with our Head of Business Advisory - Kristina Koehler-Coluccia.

Topics we can advise on include:

  • Company Registration

  • Cloud Accounting & Financial Reporting

  • Cloud Payroll Services

  • Tax & Audit Services

  • Recruitment

  • Employer-of-Record

  • Visa Application

  • Trademark Registration

  • Switch to Woodburn

  • Partner with Woodburn (cross referral) 

Our calls are automatically scheduled via Zoom - or via Teams, WeChat or WhatsApp upon direct request. 

Our advisory calls are available from Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm CEST and Wednesday until 9pm CEST.



Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China and Hong Kong’s
most trusted business setup advisory firms

bottom of page