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Business Registration Number (BRN): New Unique Business Identifier (UBI) for Hong Kong Entities

In context to the current position of Hong Kong, it becomes extremely important for businesses to have a unique identity in the market. This can be done through UBI or Unique Business Identifier in Hong Kong. A UBI is a code provided to businesses through government authorities. A Unique Business Identifier allows government authorities to recognize businesses without confusion and helps them communicate with companies easily. Having a Unique Business Identifier also helps businesses to be authentic. This reduces the chances of fraud and provides security to customers. 

Companies Registry has introduced a new system of business identification in Hong Kong, which has come into effect from 27 December 2023. This new system is named Unique Business Identifier and will be administered by the Registrar of Companies in Hong Kong. Being a global financial center, Hong Kong has a wide variety of businesses from all around the world. Therefore, having a unique business identifier is exceedingly important for companies to build a faithful image in the market. If you also have some questions regarding this new system of business identification, then you must read this article till the end. This article will clear all your doubts, such as what a unique business identifier is, why it is important, and other questions. So be my guest till the end, and you will have all the knowledge about the new system. 

Unique Business Identifier in Hong Kong

What is UBI or Unique Business Identifier in Hong Kong?

UBI, or Unique Business Identifier, is an 8-digit code that allows the government to identify legal entities accurately. According to this new system of business identification, the Business Registration Number (BRN) offered by the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department will be the Unique Business Identifier(UBI) for legal entities in Hong Kong. If a company doesn’t have a BRN and is exempted from registration under the Business Registration Ordinance, a Business Registration Number will be derived from the Company Registration Number or Company Number and will be used as the Unique Business Identifier. 

UBI will be used as the legal number for businesses and will be used on all the documents related to the companies, such as Certificate of Incorporation, Tax Filing, and Certificate of Registration. UBI will serve as a medium to specify businesses correctly and eliminate the chances of disorder. UBI is already being used in many economies, such as the Philippines, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, etc. They have implemented this business identification system to decrease miscommunication caused by using more than one identifier by the businesses. 

Benefits of UBI

There are numerous benefits of UBI implementation in Hong Kong. These benefits are mentioned below:

  • Implementing UBI in Hong Kong will help the government specify the businesses, gather their information accurately, and identify them by using a single code. This can help them reduce errors and losses for the government and businesses. 
  • Another major benefit of implementing UBI in Hong Kong is streamlined communication between businesses and government departments. The departments can easily contact the companies through their numbers and send important documents accurately. 
  • One of the most important benefits of implementing UBI is enhanced regulatory effectiveness. UBI allows the government to regulate businesses effectively and create a positive and thriving business environment for all entities. 

UBI Implementation in Hong Kong

Phase 2 of the Unique Business Identifier in Hong Kong has been implemented from 27 December 2023. All business entities are required to commence using their business registration number as their unique business identifier from this date. A total of 117 forms have been revised to use the BRN for filings with the Companies Registry. All business entities, whether they are registered or non-registered in Hong Kong, need to implement this new system of business identification. The types of business entities that are incorporated in Hong Kong include private companies limited by shares, public companies limited by shares, open-ended fund companies, companies limited by guarantee, unlimited companies, limited partnerships, limited partnership funds, registered non-Hong Kong companies, and all other companies required to follow this system from 27 December 2023. They have to start using UBI to communicate with the government and fill in the documents. If they fail to comply with the regulations, they might have to pay fines ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. 

Finding Your Company’s UBI

If you have the right set of information, you can easily find your company’s UBI. If you have incomplete information about the UBI determining process, then you might face some difficulties. But, no need to worry as this section of the article will provide you with complete information about how you can find your company’s UBI. Whether your company has been registered before, on, or after 27 December 2023, this section will furnish you with information applicable to all types of companies.

Companies Registered Before 27 December 2023

Companies that were registered in Hong Kong before 27 December 2023 have been provided with the documents about them. All companies in Hong Kong are provided with a Company Registration Number (CRN) when they register their company in Hong Kong. Company Registration Number (CRN) of the company has been replaced by the company’s Business Registration Number as the unique business identifier of the company. You can check the records of your company to get your UBI. You can check your Business Registration Certificate to get your 8-digit business registration number, which you can use as your UBI. A letter of Confirmation ( Evidence of the change to use BRN as an identification number) can be obtained from the Companies Registry’s electronic search services 

Companies Registered On or After 27 December 2023

Companies registered on or after 27 December 2023 have been furnished with a Business Registration Certificate. The business registration number will most likely be displayed on the business registration certificate. Moreover, the Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Companies Registry will also have the business registration number printed on it. 

Lastly, all businesses can directly contact the Business Registration Office to find their UBI. Companies can also visit the official website of the Companies Registry, which has complete information about UBI implementation and a dedicated FAQ section for doubts regarding UBI. 

Using Your UBI

Companies can use their UBI in a multitude of ways. The various contexts where companies can use their UBI include:

  • Communication with Government Departments – The first and foremost use of UBI is to communicate with government departments. You have to use UBI in all the documents related to your business, which ultimately helps the departments to segregate the documents and store them properly. In this way, you can convey your message easily to the government authorities and get quick results.
  • Filing Forms and Documents with the Companies Registry – Another vital use of UBI is filing forms and documents with the Companies Registry. You are required to use UBI as your legal identification number in all the forms and documents regarding your business. You can use it while making changes to your company, such as the company’s name, address, or any other change. You can also use it while filing taxes for your company.
  • Searching and identifying companies through Electronic Search Services – Electronic search services of the Companies Registry can be used in searching and determining companies. You can use the UBI of companies to get their basic information from the Companies Registry’s official website. You can know their name, address, name of owners, and other such details. 

Need Expert Assistance in Forming and Managing Your Hong Kong Business?

Hong Kong, being the global financial center has several kinds of businesses, so keeping track of each one of them individually can be quite challenging. The implementation of this new Unique Business Identifier in Hong Kong can be beneficial for businesses in many ways. The new system of business identification has been implemented from 27 December 2023 and all the businesses from now onwards have to use UBI for their company-related work. 

If you already have a business in Hong Kong and want to manage it appropriately, then you should have a trusted partner by your side. Startupr is the most trusted partner you can find to form and manage your Hong Kong business. Startupr offers a wide range of services that allow entrepreneurs to establish and manage their Hong Kong businesses smoothly. The services provided by Startupr include filing annual return forms, obtaining Hong Kong office addresses, providing Hong Kong company secretary, mail forwarding, accounting, registering a company, changing company names, and many other services. Startupr has thousands of satisfied customers who have trusted it and got the desired results.