Countries > Hong Kong


Hong Kong - Register a Business

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Contents

Introduction

A business must be registered for it to obtain legal personality. It gives the registered business rights and obligations necessary or appropriate in conducting transactions, with the exception of course of those forbidden to it by law.

Following are procedures on how you can register a business in Hong Kong.

Eligibility

"Businesses" that are required to be registered under Hong Kong law:

  • any form of trade, commerce, craftsmanship, profession, calling or other activity created to generate profit
  • any club which provides facilities, services and exclusive club premises to its members for social intercourse or recreation
  • all companies incorporated in Hong Kong in accordance with the Companies Ordinance or non-Hong Kong company that has established a place of business in Hong Kong, regardless of whether it is actually conducting any business in Hong Kong.
  • every non-Hong Kong company that has a representative or liaison office in Hong Kong, or has let out its property situated in Hong Kong, regardless of whether it has established a place of business in Hong Kong.


Note: An individual who is only holding an office or employment is not regarded as carrying on any business and is not required to apply for business registration.

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Instructions

Sole-proprietorship, Partnership and Unincorporated body of persons, Non-Hong Kong company, and a business branch, must be registered within one month from the day it started conducting business transactions.


Note: Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will not accept any applications for registration of businesses which have never existed or have yet to commence operation.

Required Information

A list which displays the kind of information which is required to complete the procedure.
e.g.
1. Date of Birth.
2. City or County of Birth.

Procedure

Choosing a business name

The business name may be in Chinese, English or both.


For a Chinese name, you may include English alphabets, but not English words. If you wish to include symbols in either a Chinese name or an English name, only the following symbols can be used:

  • For Chinese names: !,#,$, %, &, *, ‘, (, ), +, -, = , :, ;, ,, ., <, >, ?,/ and の
  • For English Names: !, #, $, %, &, *, ', (, ), +, -, =, :, ;, ,, ., <, >, ?, /, @ and \
  • The following may not be used as a business name:
    • a name which suggests that the business is incorporated with limited liability when it is not
    • where the business is incorporated with limited liability, a name which suggests that the business is incorporated under a different name, e.g. a corporation "ABC Ltd." cannot use a business name "XYZ Ltd."
    • a name which suggests a connection with the Government or any public body when no such connection exists or has existed.
  • You may be allowed to register more than one business name for the same business. However, each registered additional business name will be treated as a branch of the business. The additional business name must also follow the rules mentioned earlier.
  • If you carry on more than one business, you should register each business separately. Each business may have its own business name.


Obtain Business Registration Application Forms

You may obtain an application form by sending an e-mail to taxbro@ird.gov.hk or fax your request to 2824 1482. Please state your name, correspondence address and the form number and quantity required in your request.

You may also personally obtain a copy of the form by going to the Business Registration Office at 4/F of Revenue Tower, Wan Chai.


Submit the Form

  • In person: Visit the Business Registration Office at 4/F Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
  • By post: Send the form to P.O. Box 29015, Gloucester Road Post Office, Hong Kong.
  • Online: Submit the form via eTAX (for sole-proprietorship, partnership and branch registration only). Have the electronic form authenticated. To know more about online submission of form check out link or view the online demo.


Collect the Business Registration Certificate

  • In person: Collect the certificate from the New Application Counter at Business Registration Office at 4/F, Revenue Tower, Wan Chai.
The certificate is issued within 30 minutes of receipt of properly completed application.
  • By post or through the GovHK:
The certificate is issued within 2 working days of receipt of properly completed application

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Required Documents

For Individuals:

  • Form 1(a)
A copy of the owner's Hong Kong identity card. For non-Hong Kong resident, a copy of passport or identity card issued by the Mainland (Note #1)


For a corporate body: (Note #2)

  • Form 1(b)
A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation or its equivalent issued by the relevant government authority in the place of incorporation. If the aforesaid document is not in Chinese or English, please also supply a certified copy of the English or Chinese translation thereof.


For partnership:

  • Form 1(c)
Copies of all partners' Hong Kong identity cards. For non-Hong Kong residents, a copy of the passports or the identity cards issued by the Mainland (Note #1)


For unincorporated body of persons:

  • Form 1(c)
A copy of the principal officer's Hong Kong identity card. For non-Hong Kong residents, a copy of the passports or the identity cards issued by the Mainland (Note #1)


For Branches:

  • Form 1(d)


Notes:

  1. If the owner/all partners/the principal officer is/are not residing in Hong Kong, he has/they have to appoint a resident individual as his/their agent for the purposes of business registration. In that case, please complete and submit the form IRBR177 or submit an appointment letter stating the full particulars of the agent including his name, Hong Kong identity card number and residential address. A copy of his Hong Kong identity card must also be attached to the application.
  2. Application form is applicable to all non-Hong Kong companies irrespective of whether it is required to register under Part XI of the Companies Ordinance, and body corporates formed under other legislations in Hong Kong.

Fees

Validity

Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid.
e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever

Documents to Use

Specimen Forms:

  • Form 1(a) - Application by an individual for registration of business carried on by him/her in Hong Kong
  • Form 1(b) - Application to register a corporate body
  • Form 1(c) - Application to register a partnership or an unincorporated body
  • Form 1(d) - Application to register a branch conducting business transaction in Hong Kong


Sample Documents

Please attach sample completed documents which would help other people who would like to follow this procedure.    

Processing Time

Please explain the processing your application.    

Office Locations & Contacts

Business Registration Office
4/F, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Enquiry telephone number: 187 8088
Inland Revenue Website


New Business Registration Application Counter:
Open Monday to Friday (except public holidays)
8:45a.m. to 5:00p.m.

If you want to pay the fee and collect the business registration certificate on the same date, please submit your properly completed application to counter staff at least half an hour before its closure.


Payment Counter
Open Monday to Friday (except public holidays)
8:45a.m. to 5:00p.m.


Enquiry Counter
Open Monday to Friday (except public holidays)
8:15a.m. to 5:30p.m.

If you want to collect the amended business registration certificate on the same date, please forward your notification of change and the relevant full information to the counter staff at least half an hour before its closure.


Public Search Counter
Open Monday to Friday (except public holidays)
8:15a.m. to 5:30p.m.

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Video

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 
	

Information which might help

Failure to register the Business on time:

  • Any person who fails to apply for business registration shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of $5,000 and to imprisonment for 1 year.
  • Any person who applies for business registration more than 12 months after the commencement of business has to pay:
    • business registration fee and levy for the current year; and
    • any business registration fee and levy for back years under section 7(3) of the Business Registration Ordinance.

To know more: link

Other uses of the Document/Certificate

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links

  • Inland Revenue Hong Kong:
http://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/tax/bre_abr.htm

Others

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