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FAQ Annual Returns

Updated: Feb 14

FAQ Annual Returns

What is the penalty for filing annual return late in Hong Kong?

Filing an annual return late in Hong Kong comes with two potential penalties: higher registration fees and fines. Here's a breakdown:

Higher Registration Fees:

  • This is the most immediate consequence of late filing.

  • The fee dramatically increases compared to filing on time (HK$105).

  • The exact amount depends on how late you file and the type of company you have.

  • For private companies with share capital, the fees range from HK$870 to HK$3,480, depending on the delay.

  • You can find the complete fee schedule on the Companies Registry website:


  • In addition to the fee, you and other responsible individuals (directors, secretary, manager) could face prosecution and fines if convicted.

  • The maximum fine is HK$50,000 for each breach.

  • There's also a daily default fine of HK$700 for each day you remain late.

Important notes:

  • These are maximum penalties, and the actual amount could be lower depending on the circumstances.

  • Filing extremely late could lead to additional consequences, such as striking your company off the register.

It's crucial to avoid late filing by:

  • Knowing your filing deadline: It's typically 42 days after your company's anniversary.

  • Marking your calendar: Set reminders to prepare and submit your return well in advance.

  • Seeking professional help: If you're unsure about anything, consult an accountant or lawyer specializing in Hong Kong company law.

Complying with filing requirements is essential for maintaining good standing and avoiding legal trouble.

What is Hong Kong annual return?

The Hong Kong annual return is a document submitted by all registered companies in Hong Kong to the Companies Registry. It serves as a way for the government to keep track of important information about a company, including:

  • Company details: Name, registered address, business registration number, date of incorporation/registration.

  • Share capital: Information about the company's issued and paid-up share capital.

  • Directors and officers: Names, identification numbers, residential addresses, and nationality of directors, company secretary, and other responsible officers.

  • Members/shareholders: Details of the company's members (for non-public companies) or shareholders (for public companies).

  • Registered charges: Any charges or liens registered against the company's assets.

  • Changes made during the year: Any significant changes made to the company during the year, such as changes in directors, address, or share capital.

Who needs to file?

All registered companies in Hong Kong, including:

  • Local private companies

  • Local public companies

  • Non-Hong Kong companies registered in Hong Kong

When to file?

  • Local private companies: Within 42 days after the anniversary of the date of incorporation.

  • Local public companies: Within 42 days after the end of the company's accounting reference period.

  • Non-Hong Kong companies: Within 42 days after the anniversary of the date of registration in Hong Kong.

How to file?

The annual return can be filed electronically through the Companies Registry e-Services platform or submitted in paper form.

Consequences of late filing:

  • Higher registration fees: The fee increases significantly compared to filing on time.

  • Fines: Directors and other responsible individuals could face prosecution and fines.

  • Daily default fine: An additional fine applies for each day the return remains late.

  • Striking off the register: In extreme cases, the company could be removed from the register.

Important resources:

This clarifies what the Hong Kong annual return is and why it's important to file it on time.

What is the requirement of filing annual return?

Filing an annual return in Hong Kong is mandatory for all registered companies, whether local or non-local. It serves several key purposes:

Transparency and Public Record:

  • Provides essential information about the company's structure, finances, and officers, ensuring transparency and accountability.

  • Creates a public record accessible to creditors, investors, and other stakeholders.

Maintaining Compliance:

  • Demonstrates the company's commitment to complying with legal and regulatory requirements.

  • Helps prevent fraudulent activities and protects the interests of stakeholders.

Government Records and Data:

  • Enables the government to maintain accurate records of registered companies and track their activities.

  • Provides valuable data for policymaking and economic analysis.

Specific Requirements:

  • The content of the annual return varies depending on the company type (local private, local public, non-local).

  • Common mandatory information includes:

  • Company details (name, address, registration number)

  • Share capital information

  • Directors and officers' details

  • Members/shareholders' details (depending on company type)

  • Registered charges (liens on company assets)

  • Significant changes made during the year

  • Deadlines for filing vary based on company type and financial year.

  • Local private companies typically have 42 days after their incorporation anniversary.

  • You can find specific deadlines and filing details on the Companies Registry website.

Consequences of Non-Compliance:

  • Late filing incurs significantly higher registration fees.

  • Directors and responsible individuals face potential fines and prosecution.

  • Persistent non-compliance may lead to company deregistration.

Overall, filing annual returns in Hong Kong is a crucial legal obligation for companies to maintain good standing, ensure transparency, and avoid penalties.

How long do you have to file annual return?

The filing deadline for your annual return in Hong Kong depends on the type of company you have:

Local Private Company:

  • You have 42 days after the anniversary of your company's incorporation to file.

Local Public Company:

  • You have 42 days after the end of your company's accounting reference period. This period is defined by your company's financial statements.

Non-Hong Kong Company Registered in Hong Kong:

  • You have 42 days after the anniversary of your registration date in Hong Kong.

Here are some helpful resources to determine your specific deadline:


  • Sundays and public holidays count towards the 42-day period.

  • If the deadline falls on a Sunday or public holiday, it extends to the next business day.

  • It's crucial to file on time to avoid late fees and potential fines.

This clarifies the filing timeframe for your Hong Kong annual return!

How Bestar can Help

FAQ Annual Returns

How Bestar Can Help with Hong Kong Annual Returns:

  • Preparation and Filing: Bestar can handle the entire process of preparing and filing your annual return, including gathering necessary information, completing the forms, and submitting them to the Companies Registry electronically or in paper form.

  • Deadline Awareness and Reminders: We can ensure you meet the filing deadline by keeping track of your company's anniversary or accounting reference period end and sending timely reminders.

  • Accuracy and Completeness: Our expertise helps ensure your return is accurate and complete, minimizing the risk of errors and rejections.

  • Guidance and Support: They can answer your questions, provide guidance on specific aspects of the return, and address any concerns you may have.

  • Compliance with Regulations: They stay updated on the latest regulations and ensure your return adheres to all requirements.

  • Potential Cost Savings: While there will be fees for their services, they can potentially save you time and money by avoiding penalties for late filing or errors.

Contact Bestar directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information about our services and fees.

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