Once we have gone through the requirements and details, foreign investors can refer to our guide below to understand on the authorities involved to registering a business efficiently:
- Companies Registry
- Administers and enforces the Companies Ordinance.
- Responsible for the incorporation of local limited liability companies (Companies setup in Hong Kong) and the Hong Kong business registration of non-Hong Kong companies (Companies that were not incorporated in Hong Kong but have a place of business in Hong Kong).
- Business Registration Office
- Operates under the Inland Revenue Department
- Administers the Business Registration Ordinance.
- Responsible for registering businesses carried out by an individual, a partnership, a local private limited company or a non-Hong Kong company.
- Trademarks Registry
- Operates under the Intellectual Property Department
- Responsible for providing trademark registration services to members of the public under the Trademarks Ordinance and the Trademarks Rules.
Notes: Company Registration vs. Business Registration
It is important to note that Hong Kong company registration and Hong Kong business registration are not the same. To get a limited company status, a company will need to be registered with the Companies Registry. A Company Registration Number (CRN) is akin to a company’s social security number and can be found in the Certificate of Incorporation.
In order to be able to do business in Hong Kong, registration is done with the Business Registration Office. A Business Registration Number (BRN) is issued by the Inland Revenue Department and can be found as an 8-digit sequence at the front of a Business Registration Certificate Number and is in actuality, a Tax Identification Number (TIN).
Documents needed for company registration in Hong Kong
To set up a Hong Kong limited liability company, the following documents are required with officially certified translated versions for any non-English documents provided:
- Company’s Article of Association
- A Notice to Business Registration Office
- A duly completed incorporation form that includes the following:
- Company Name
- Registered Address
- Brief Description of Business Activities
- Particulars of Shareholders, Directors and Company Secretary
- Liability of Members
- Share Capital Registered on Corporation
- Number of Shares taken up by Subscribers
- For non-resident shareholders and directors:
- Copy of passport and proof of overseas residential address
- For resident shareholders and directors
- Copy of Hong Kong identity card and proof of residential address
- For corporate shareholders and directors
- Copy of parent company registration documents such as Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Association
The company incorporation process
With the simplified company incorporation and registration in Hong Kong, foreign investors and entrepreneurs one can easily manage the application online without having to visit the office physically. The incorporation process at the Hong Kong Companies Registry (CR) is made fast and easy through three available methods of application:
- Online application: 24-hour portal e-registry
- ‘CR eFiling’ mobile application: Can be downloaded free from App Store/ Google Play
- Hardcopy documents: To be submitted to the Hong Kong Companies Registry
In a nutshell
The dynamic city of Hong Kong, while serving as the perfect launch platform for companies looking to trade in China, is also one of the most tax friendly jurisdictions in the world. Despite months of social and political unrest that have knocked Hong Kong off the top of a widely regarded index ranking the world’s freest economies, a position that Hong Kong held for 25 straight years before giving in to its regional rival, Singapore, Hong Kong remains one of the most favourable places to start a company worldwide for all sizes of business
With its obvious benefits, investors would be wise to look into taking advantage of Hong Kong’s free economy as well as its easy business setup even for foreigners, to maximize their earnings at minimal costs while enjoying the solid infrastructure facilities in Hong Kong.
This guide to company registration in Hong Kong should serve as your starting point. Ready to start a business registration in Hong Kong but not sure how to begin? Our business experts are always pleasure to assist you with minimum hassle for you and you don’t even need to physically present in Hong Kong!