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Business Registration

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

When to Register

The Business Registration Ordinance (Cap. 310) requires that every person who carries on a business in Hong Kong to apply for business registration within one month from the date of commencement of the business, and to display a valid Business Registration Certificate at the place of business.

Business may be registered as a sole proprietorship or partnership.

Applicants must have commenced business

Any applications for registration of businesses which have never existed or have yet to commence operation will not be accepted.

New applications for registration of businesses of which non-residents are sole proprietors or partners shall prove that they did commence their businesses in Hong Kong.

Given that persons who land in Hong Kong as visitors are normally not allowed to establish or join in any business during their stay in Hong Kong, businesses with non-resident sole proprietor or partners will be required to provide further information (see Sample Questions) with a view to ensuring that the particulars, including the date of commencement, stated in the relevant application form are correct.

Sample Questions

1. A copy of the Exit-entry Permit for Traveling to and from Hong Kong and Macao issued by the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office and the related endorsement for business visit (Shangwu), or a copy of the Visa/Entry permit label issued by the Immigration Department showing that you or the non-resident partners are allowed to join in any business in Hong Kong.

2. For a partnership business, a copy of the partnership agreement and advise:

(a) the profit and loss sharing ratio and responsibilities of each partner; and

(b) the date, the amount and the mode of payment of the capital contributed by each partner, and if the capital is paid into a bank account, advise the name of bank, the account number, the name and the Hong Kong Identity Card number of the account holder.

3. How long have/has you or the relevant non-resident stayed in Hong Kong since the commencement date of the subject business. A copy of the relevant travel document is required.

4. The organization chart of the subject business and its office in Hong Kong, including the location and scale of business, the number of employees in Hong Kong and their details (including names, Hong Kong Identity Card Numbers and capacity) with documentary evidence in support.

5. The area and the usage of the business address in Hong Kong and a copy of the tenancy agreement concerned.

6. How the subject business is carrying on in Hong Kong and the name of the local responsible person;

7. How to determine the commencement date of the subject business.

8. Details of the first business income and expenses (including the date, the amount and the nature).

9. Whether the subject business has entered into any contract or agreement with other party in Hong Kong including appointment of a local agent to handle its activities, and if yes, advise the details of the contract or agreement with a copy in support.

10. Details of bank account maintained by you or the subject business in Hong Kong, including for each account the name of bank, account number, account status (Savings or Current) and the date when the account is opened.

As a related measure, upon receipt of Notification of Change of Partners (Form IRBR64) for admission of non-resident(s) as partner(s), the business concerned will be asked to provide further information (see questions (1) and (2) of Sample Questions) in support of the admission.

Internet Business

A person who carries on a business through the internet is also required to comply with the business registration requirements.

In order to ascertain whether the activities carried out through the internet constitute the carrying on of a business in Hong Kong, details of the relevant activities, including procurement and promotion of goods, solicitation of buyers, delivery of goods, settlement of sales proceeds, etc., scale of operation and location at which the activities are carried out will be gathered. If a person conducts trading activities or engages in provision of services through the internet, and the relevant activities are carried out or the services are provided in Hong Kong, the person concerned is required to apply for business registration.

How to Register

Proof of identity required

For business carried on by individual / partnership, the proof of identity is a copy of the owner's / all partners' Hong Kong identity card. For non-Hong Kong resident, a copy of his/her passport or identity card issued by the relevant government authority.

If the owner/all partners/the principal officer is/are not residing in Hong Kong, he/she has/they have to appoint a resident individual as his/her/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/her name, Hong Kong identity card number and residential address. A copy of his/her Hong Kong identity card must also be attached to the application.

Business Name

When you register your business, you may register a business name. You should take one of the following three choices: (a) register a Chinese name only; (b) register an English name only; or (c) register both a Chinese name and an English name.

For a Chinese name, you may include English alphabets, but not English words. You may include symbols in either a Chinese name or an English name.

You may not use the following names as your business name: (a) a name which suggests that the business is incorporated with limited liability when it is not, or (b) a name which suggests a connection with the Government or any public body when no such connection exists or has existed. Sometimes, for the same business, you may wish to register more than one business name. This is permissible. However, each registered additional business name will be treated as a branch of the business.

When to Collect Business Registration Certificate

Issued within 2 working days of receipt of properly completed application

Business Registration Fee and Levy

There are two types of business registration certificate, namely 1-year certificate and 3-year certificate. The amount payable under a certificate depends on the commencement date of the registration certificate. For a new business, the commencement date of its first registration certificate is its date of commencement of business, not the date of application for business or branch registration.

Total amount payable under a business registration certificate:

1-year certificate

Fee $0

Levy $250

Total $250

3-year certificate

Fee $3,200

Levy $750

Total $3,950

To apply for business registration, contact us.

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