A total of 50,087 local companies were newly registered during the first half of 2022, according to the statistics released by the Companies Registry. The total number of local companies registered under the Companies Ordinance reached 1,386,592 as at the end of June this year.
The Registrar of Companies, Ms Kitty Tsui, said, “To meet the rising expectations and changing needs of businesses and the public, the Registry has extended its electronic submission services since June 27, 2022 to facilitate delivery of documents in electronic form to the Registry. The Registry will continue to strive for increasing efficiency and quality in the delivery of services.” Currently, a total of 43 newly covered documents can be delivered electronically through the e-Registry portal of the Registry or GovHK.
Phase 2 of the new inspection regime of the Companies Register under the Companies Ordinance will take place on October 24, 2022. Sensitive personal information on the Index of Directors on the Companies Register and newly delivered documents will be protected. The Registry has revised 26 specified forms which pertain to the reporting of the above sensitive personal information and published the same in the Gazette on June 24, 2022. These revised forms should be used upon the implementation of Phase 2 of the new inspection regime.
In the first half of 2022, 415 non-Hong Kong companies have newly established a place of business in Hong Kong and were registered under the Companies Ordinance. The total number of registered non-Hong Kong companies reached 14,481 by the end of June 2022.
The number of charges on properties of companies received for registration in the first half of 2022 was 9,154. The number of notifications of payments and releases received for registration in the first half of 2022 was 9,654.
The number of documents delivered to the Registry for registration during the first six months of 2022 was 1,326,939.
A total of 2,225,769 searches of document image records were conducted using the Registry’s electronic search services in the first half of 2022.
As for the licensing of trust or company service providers, during the first half of 2022, a total of 336 licences were granted. The number of licensees was 6,840 as at the end of June.
Reduction of Levy Rate of Business Registration for Companies
The Business Registration Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) Order 2022 will come into operation on 17 June 2022. Pursuant to the Order, the rate of the business registration levy is reduced from $250 per annum to $150 per annum. The new levy rate applies to incorporation applications lodged on or after 17 June 2022 under the One-stop Company Incorporation and Business Registration Service. For registration of non-Hong Kong companies, the new levy rate applies to business registration certificates with the date of commencement on or after 17 June 2022.
Regarding the Hong Kong company business registration certificate, Elite Stage summarizes the following points:
All commercial organizations must register with the Business Registration Office under the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department. Those who have already registered must pay the registration fee and receive a business registration certificate.
Validity period of business registration certificate
The business registration certificate is generally valid for one year, and a business registration certificate valid for three years can also be applied for.
Renewing the Business Registration Certificate
The Business Registration Office will issue a business registration payment notice one month before the expiration of the business registration certificate. If payment is made, a new business registration will be issued. If the payment is not made within one month after the validity of the business registration certificate, a penalty will be charged.
Change of business registration certificate
If the company changes its registered address, company name, shareholders, business scope, etc., it must submit a change of business registration certificate to the Business Registration Office within one month after the change.
Cancellation of business registration certificate
If the company needs to be cancelled, the business registration certificate shall be cancelled within one month after the cancellation of the registration certificate.
According to the economic impact, the Hong Kong government will adjust the business registration fee policy in due course. Investors who are concerned about the Hong Kong market should pay more attention. During the annual review of a Hong Kong company, a business registration certificate must be renewed. If the renewal time is exceeded, a fine will be imposed by the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department.
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