Introduction to Hong Kong Companies Registry

Over the past decade, Hong Kong has grown to be one of the most attractive places to start a business. The city has business-friendly laws, is tax-friendly, and has various other benefits. This has attracted many entrepreneurs to incorporate their startups in Hong Kong. If you are one of them, then you should know about all the rules and regulations to follow when you start your Hong Kong company

This article will tell you about the Hong Kong companies registry and its roles and responsibilities.

Hong Kong Companies Registry

Hong Kong Companies Registry

The Hong Kong companies registry is a government department in which you register your business. Let us take an in-depth look:

About the Hong Kong Companies Registry

In Hong Kong, the companies registry is a government department that comes under the Government of Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau. The department is responsible for the registration of all limited and partnerships funds under the Limited Partnerships Funds Ordinance, open-ended fund companies under the Securities and Futures Ordinance, and Hong Kong and non-Hong Kong companies under the Companies Ordinance.

The Companies Registry administers the licensing regime for money lenders under the money lenders ordinance and the license regime for corporate and trust service providers under the Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance and Anti-Money Laundering. The headquarters is located in Hong Kong Island at Queensway Government Offices.

History of Hong Kong Companies Registry

The previous Companies Registry in Hong Kong was formed in 1865 and it enforced the first companies ordinance based on the 1862 Act in the UK. At that time, it was governed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court. British Law restricted Hong Kong companies from 1841 to 1865 as the laws were not designed for the Hong Kong economic system. Later, under the introduction of the Registrar General Ordinance, the administration of the Companies Registrar was passed to the Registrar General’s Department until 1949. 

To establish more extensive rules for the Hong Kong economy’s characteristics and improve the company legislation, the Companies Law Revision Committee was formed in 1962. A system of reserving companies’ names was introduced in 1977 in Section 20A of the Companies Ordinance after years of revisions. In 1984, the Standing Committee established major laws. For example, the company limited by shares explanation was updated, the minimum number of people to open a public business was changed from seven to two, and the companies ordinance granted the power to businesses to manage the operations. 

On 1st May 1993, the Companies Registry was established. The Treasury Bureau and Financial Services headed it. In August 1993, the trading fund of the Companies Registry was set up. It was among the first government departments that operated with trading funds. In March 2021 the Treasury Bureau and Financial Services introduced changes that restricted access to specific information to the general public. In the month of October 2021, the Hong Kong government announced that they would now require all the users to give their personal details.

Hong Kong Companies Registry Responsibilities & Functions

The Hong Kong Companies registry is responsible for various things, some of them are:

  • They have to provide incorporation services, company registration to limited partnership funds, registered trustees corporations, trust companies, limited partnerships, and open-ended funds to companies. They also have to register all the documents required by the ordinance that governs these entities. 
  • They must ensure compliance by businesses and other entities with their responsibilities under the relevant ordinances. Startupr can assist you in registering your Hong Kong company and adhering to the compliances. 
  • They must provide the public with services to search for information on companies and other entities held by the Registry
  • They are responsible for administering the licensing regime for trust or company service providers and to maintain a register with a list of money lenders available for the public. 
  • They provide advice to the Government and the Legislative Council regarding the company law.
  • They endeavor to be effective and efficient by providing services within specific time periods at prices acceptable to the customers.

We realize that the chances of your business name being already registered are high. Startupr offers company name search services to make it easier for you to choose an available name. You can confirm that the name will be approved by the Hong Kong government before you submit it when incorporating your company. This will help you boost the registration process and you will be able to open a business bank account faster.

Hong Kong Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) – Overview 

In mid-2006, an exercise to rewrite the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 32) was launched. The aim of this was to modernize Hong Kong’s company laws and enhance the city’s status as a significant international financial and business center. The Companies Bill was finalized after five rounds of public consultations and several discussions through seminars and public forums over the years. On 26th January 2011, it was introduced into the Legislative Council. In February of 2011, a bill committee was formed to scrutinize the Bill. The Bill committee completed the scrutiny of the Bill in June of 2012 after 44 meetings of about 120 hours with 20+ papers and submissions. LegCo passed the Companies Bill on June 12th, 2012. 

The new CO (Cap. 622) consists of 921 sections and 11 schedules. IT provides the incorporation and operation of a business in Hong Kong with a modernized legal framework. Its purpose is to accomplish four main objectives, ensure better regulation, modernize the law, enhance corporate governance, and facilitate business. Twelve pieces of subsidiary legislation were made up to cater to the relevant procedural and technical matters. While this was being introduced, the Companies registry enhanced its information system, did an overall review of its procedures and policies, and defined the new forms to implement the new legislation.

Contact Information of Hong Kong Companies Registry

To inquire further here are the contact information of Hong Kong Companies Registry:

  • Email[email protected]
  • Enquiry Hotline (IVRS) – (852) 2234 9933
  • Phone Hotline (24-hrs service) – (852) 2867 2604 / (852) 2867 2600
  • Fax – (852) 2596 0585
  • Post/ to meet in person – Information Counter at 14th Floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong
  • Website: https://www.cr.gov.hk

Need Any Assistance in Registering Your Hong Kong Company?

The Hong Kong Companies Registry was responsible to provide services and facilities to incorporate a HK company and to ensure compliance with the Companies Ordinance, and administer the licensing regime. Startupr can assist you with the Hong Kong incorporation and make the process of starting your company easier. Startupr offers you company secretary services, mail forwarding services, accounting services, and annual return filing services. If you are looking to outsource these tasks to experts in the field, Startupr is here for you.