When starting a company in Hong Kong, you need to make sure that you have all the necessary certificates and legal documents to ensure that you can operate legally. One of your first steps as a new business owner should be to incorporate your company in accordance with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) requirements under the Companies Ordinance.
You will also need to register your new business with the Hong Kong Business Registration Office and receive your business registration certificate (BRC). This essential business registration document will help you in various ways as you start to conduct business in the country.
Not sure where to get started in applying for and obtaining your Business Registration Certificate? In this article, we will break down:
1. What Is A Business Registration Certificate (BRC)?
Before you take the steps necessary to apply for a BRC, it can be helpful to understand what a BRC is – and why your Hong Kong company should have one.
The business registration certificate is an essential legal document that is issued by the Business Registration Office of the IRD. The BRC shows your company’s legal details and displays your legality for operating in Hong Kong as a business.
Hong Kong businesses are required to apply and obtain their BRC within 30 days of the start of their business operations. Any time that your business information changes, you must contact the Business Registration Office and file for an updated certificate.
2. What Is Included On A Business Registration Certificate?
Your Hong Kong Business Registration Certificate will include a variety of pieces of information. Knowing what is included can help you make sure you have all the proper data recorded and available:
Here is what is included on a Hong Kong Business Registration Certificate:
3. What Businesses Are Required To Have A BRC?
It is crucial to know whether or not your business is required to obtain a business registration certificate, as you may face stiff penalties or have your ability to do business halted if you do not apply for one in time.
Does your business qualify for a business registration requirement? Here is a list of companies that must file to operate successfully:
- Companies or organizations that complete activity that is primarily done for earning a profit. (Retail, service providers, product developers, etc.)
- Any organization or clubs that offer services or facilities to members for a cost or fee.
- Any company that is incorporated within Hong Kong with the IRD – including any who do business in Hong Kong and similar jurisdictions that fall under IRD law.
- Any company that is registered in Hong Kong and has company representatives in Hong Kong.
4. When Should I Apply For My Business Registration Certificate?
While we have already stated that you must apply for your BRC within the first 30 days of operating your business, it can be helpful to apply for your certificate at the same time as other necessary steps:
Apply As You File For Company Incorporation: The application process for a business registration certificate will often run concurrently with applying for company incorporation. If you complete these together, you can receive both documents at once.
NOTE: You will still need to notify the IRD of your application for a BRC, even if you do it simultaneously with your company incorporation. Pass along all necessary information on your BRC to ensure that your company is current with the IRD.
5. What Penalties Exist For Failing To Obtain A BRC?
Failing to properly file and obtain your business registration certificate promptly may lead you to a series of penalties and obstacles that can make doing business difficult – if not impossible.
Not filing for a BRC in Hong Kong can lead to fines as well as prosecution leading to jail time. Failure to file will also make it difficult for you to file your taxes and prevent you from doing business in the country. In many cases, continued failure to apply for your BRC will lead to the dissolution of your business.
6. How Do I Obtain My Business Registration Certificate In Hong Kong?
In order to receive your BRC in Hong Kong, you will need to complete and file Form IRBR 37. You will also need to pay the necessary filing fees.
A fast method to ensure that you complete all steps correctly is to partner with an agency that understands Hong Kong business registration and incorporation.
Obtain Your Business Registration Certificate Quickly With Fastlane
If you are ready to obtain your business registration certificate, the best place to start is with an experienced agency that can help walk you through the process.
At Fastlane, our team of experts has walked many companies through applying for and obtaining a CBR. Working with Fastlane can help you speed up the process and can help you avoid confusion or mistakes that can cost you time and money.
Fastlane can also act as your Hong Kong company secretary – stepping in to help you through various aspects of business registration and legalization in Hong Kong. For companies who are just getting started operating in Hong Kong, having a professional and experienced firm at your side can help you avoid the pitfalls that many new companies or businesses fall into.
Ready to learn more? Contact the Fastlane team today, and find out how our services can help you obtain your business registration certificate in Hong Kong – and much more!