I think if you submit copies those copy need to be certified by CPA or lawyer that they are the same as original!
Certify by office of HSBC is simply bring the original to the bank and the staff handling it certify it's original
Banks want to know who the ultimate beneficiary is of all commercial accounts, if you want to be a director of this company and have signing rights, expect lots and lots of paperwork.
Most important for you is not to disclose that you are USA resident to the Banks when you open the account:
You will only give your HK ID number for all the legal documents:
If you want to be a director, then it is best if you provide proof of HK address.
However if you decide not to be a director, then the other director can open the account with single signature.
I am going to be one of the directors and I would like to have signing rights, although my partner who is also a HK resident and lives permanently in HK will be dealing with most of the transactions. I understand that it would be much easier if I open the account with my HKID, and that's what I am planning to do. But I do not sufficient proof of HK address since I don't come back frequently and when I am back, I stayed at my parent's house so I do not have any utility bills under my name. I do have some non-utility related mail as proof of my HK address. I do also already have a HKBC personal bank account (does it help?) and am planning to bring my US utility bills for proof of address (similar to how I opened my personal bank account).
When my partner went to HSBC and asked the staff it seems like it should be a much simpler process than they documented so I am quite confused...
One advantage of setting up a new company through an accountant is that you will need audited statements and other filings so why not do it that way. You don't want to miss deadlines in HK.
Secondly not why OT is suggesting buy off the shelf. There is no need for that for your purpose for a HK limited company. Just do that on your own as it is simple but I'd still get the accountant I'd be using lined up first.
And for you as an American, get proper US tax advice for yourself from what I hear.
I am pretty sure you will have to be in the bank in HK to sign the forms to become a signing officer. It is not easy dealing with HK banks or banks anywhere for that matter especially post 911.
If you use USA address as proof, then HSBC will have to report to the USA Tax Authorities. Use any mail coming to your parents address, such as credit cards, some other bank account. You can change the address of your personal account to your parents address, and then use that as proof of address. If you want your signature on the bank account, then you will have to go to Bank personally and sign the forms in the presence of the officer.
Just as a reminder:
Whether or not your show your US passport opening the account to HSBC is irrelevant to your responsibilities to report to the IRS. It might save time with HSBC HK, which I gather is something of interest, but your reporting requirements to the US government will remain the same.
Should the US authorities discover you have a bank account overseas that you have opened without declaring your US citizenship, while not a crime, it will raise a 'red flag' that you may be trying to hid assets.
I actually wasn't concern about US knowing my personal bank account in HK as I was not planning to hide its presence from IRS. My primary concern now is the bank approval of opening the account with me being a director and one of the signing authorities of the company account using my HKID and US proof of address. Since I am only going to be in HK for a week, I want to be sure that I am well prepared documentation-wise so that we can get the approval with one visit to the bank.