Hong Kong Business Registration Ordinance – Understand All the Business Registration Processes
When you setup a new company in Hong Kong, there are a few registration processes you need to go through in order to get your company properly incorporated in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, company registration, business registration and trademark registration are the three registration processes that you need to know where all three are regulated by different laws (e.g. Hong Kong Business Registration Ordinance) and registration systems administered by different government departments.
Business Registration Ordinance
The Business Registration Ordinance (Chapter 310, Laws of Hong Kong) (“BRO”) is administered by Business Registration Office where it is responsible for registering businesses carried on by either an individual, or a partnership, or a local limited company or a non-Hong Kong company.
To be specific, under the provisions of the BRO, every individual doing business in Hong Kong must register his or business with the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department except for the following activities or businesses:
- the activities of approved charitable institutions;
- the business of agriculture, market gardening, breeding or rearing livestock or fishing. Exemption: companies incorporated in Hong Kong or non-Hong Kong companies that are required to be registered under the Companies Ordinance;
- the business of a bootblack; and
- business carried on by hawkers who are required to have licences under the Hawker Regulation. Exemption: hawker businesses carried on inside the main structure of a building.
Application for Business Registration
- Generally, the application for business registration has to be made within 1 month of the commencement of business.
- The application must be made in a prescribed form [Form 1(a), 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)] together with relevant supporting documents as well as the full payment of the appropriate business registration fee and levy.
- Any individual who applies for the incorporation of a local company or the registration of a non-Hong Kong company under the Companies Ordinance has to make the application for business registration concurrently.
- The Notice to Business Registration Office (i.e. IRBR1 and IRBR2 for local and non-Hong Kong companies respectively) have to be delivered simultaneously when the application for incorporation of a local company (or when the registration of a non-Hong Kong company) is lodged with the Companies Registry.
Display of Certificate
- A business must display the valid business (or branch registration) certificate in a conspicuous place at the address where the business (or branch) is carried on.
- The business certificate should be produced for official inspection on demand.
- In the event that the registration certificate is issued in the form of an electronic record, the printed copy of the registration certificate has to be displayed.
- You are liable to a maximum fine of $5,000 and to imprisonment for 1 year if you fail to comply with the provisions of the BRO.
- For those who are exempted from business registration are still required to comply with the provisions under the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap.112).
- You can obtain Form 1(a), 1(b), 1(c) or 1(d) (for application for business registration) and Form 3 (for application for exemption from payment of business registration fee and levy) from the Inland Revenue Department at the following address:
The Receipt & Despatch Counter,
1/F or the Business Registration Office at 4/F of the Revenue Tower,
5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
- You can also download Form 3 from web site <www.ird.gov.hk> or via the Fax-A-Form service by calling 2598 6001.
- All application forms must be completed in either English or Chinese
- All application forms can be lodged either to the Business Registration Office or by post to the following address:
P.O. Box 29015, Gloucester Road Post Office, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
- All application or notification submitted by fax will not be accepted.