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Publishing Licence in Hong Kong

Updated: 7 days ago

Publishing Licence Hong Kong

Registration of Local Newspapers Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, registering a local newspaper is handled by the Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration (OFNAA) under the Registration of Local Newspapers Ordinance (Cap. 268). Here's a summary of the process:

According to the Registration of Local Newspapers Ordinance (Cap. 268) (RLNO), except for certain exempt publications, publications containing news, information and commentary with publication intervals not exceeding six months must be registered.

Local newspapers/journals available to the public should be registered if they meet the following conditions:

  1. Contains news, intelligence, events, issues of public interest or related remarks, observations or comments;

  2. Printed or produced for sale or free distribution and published at intervals of not more than six months; and

  3. Do not exclusively include any items specified in the RLNO Schedule, such as scholarly journals, sales catalogs, comics, photographs, religious materials, etc.

Registration Requirements:

  • Only organizations whose main business is regularly reporting original news for the public can register.

  • Non-profit publications or advocacy groups are not eligible.

Registration Process:

  1. Application Form: You can find and fill out the application form online at the OFNAA website [e-form for Registration of Local Newspaper].

  2. Supporting Documents: The application requires various documents like ownership details and editorial information.

  3. Processing Time: After submitting the complete application, expect a processing time of around 7 working days.


  • There's a one-time registration fee of HK$1,140 (valid for 1 year).

  • Annual renewal fees are HK$895.

Licence to Distribute Newspapers / Periodicals in Hong Kong

In addition to registering the newspaper itself under the Registration of Local Newspapers Ordinance (RLNO), you also need a separate license to distribute newspapers and periodicals for sale in Hong Kong. This applies to both local and overseas publications.


Here's a breakdown:

  • Newspaper Registration (RLNO): This registers the publication itself.

  • Newspaper Distributor's Licence: This license is required by any person or company who wants to distribute newspapers or periodicals for sale.

The distributor's license is issued by the Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration (OFNAA). There's an annual fee and a processing time involved for obtaining this license.


The annual fee for a Newspaper Distributor's Licence issued by the Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration (OFNAA) in Hong Kong is HK$1,025.

This information can be found on the OFNAA website under "Fees and Charges" for "Local Newspaper or Periodical".

Publishing Books in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, registration isn't required for you to publish a book, but there is a legal deposit requirement. This means that if your book is published, printed, or produced in Hong Kong, you must deposit five copies of it with the Books Registration Office (BRO) within one month of publication. This is according to the Books Registration Ordinance (Cap. 142).


Here's a summary:

  • You don't need approval to publish a book.

  • But, you must deposit 5 copies with the BRO after publishing.

  • This is free of charge.

There are a few exceptions to this requirement, such as books not intended for the public or price lists. You can find more details and the forms on the Hong Kong Public Libraries website [Hong Kong Books Registration].

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) is responsible for handling book registration matters as mandated by the Books Registration Ordinance (Cap. 142).

Additional Resources:

How Bestar can Help

Bestar can definitely be a valuable asset for your newspaper business in several ways:

  • Business Setup and Compliance: Bestar can help with business registration. This might be helpful if your newspaper is structured as a company. We can ensure you meet all legal requirements and navigate the process efficiently.

  • Financial Management: Bestar's core competency lies in financial management, which is crucial for any business. We can handle tasks like:

  • Bookkeeping: We'll meticulously track your income (from sales and advertising) and expenses (printing, staff salaries, etc.), providing a clear picture of your financial health.

  • Financial Reporting: Bestar can create accurate financial statements like profit and loss statements and balance sheets. These reports are essential for understanding your profitability, managing cash flow, and securing funding.

  • Tax Preparation and Filing:  We can ensure you comply with Hong Kong's tax regulations for newspaper businesses. This includes calculating taxes owed, filing tax returns accurately and on time, and minimizing your tax burden.

  • Financial Analysis and Planning:  Bestar can analyze your financial data to uncover trends, identify areas for cost-saving, and project future financial performance. This valuable information can help you make informed decisions about your newspaper's growth strategies and resource allocation.

In essence, Bestar can act as your financial partner, freeing you to focus on running your newspaper and producing high-quality content.

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