One of the requirements of the Hong Kong company formation process is to determine a company registered office address. This requirement is frequently acknowledged but rarely discussed. In this article, we look to provide guidance on how to select an appropriate Hong Kong registered office address.
What You Will Learn In This Article
1. What is a registered office address and why it is required for Hong Kong companies
2. What are the criteria that a registered office address must meet
3. How to change a registered office address
4. Whether residential addresses can be used as a registered office address
5. Using a professional service provider to acquire a residential office address
1. What is a Registered Office Address and Why Is It Required?
A registered office address is the official address of a company (or partnership) that is used for the purpose of receiving statutory mail from the Hong Kong Government and relevant agencies. It is important to note that this address does not necessarily have to be the place where the company conducts its business activities.
A registered office address cannot be situated outside of Hong Kong and having one is required for all Hong Kong companies, as dictated by the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance.
2. Criteria for a Registered Office Address
While there are limited rules/regulations surrounding the use of a registered office address, there are certain restrictions:
1. The address has to be where all communications and notices to the company may be addressed to
2. It must be a physical address in Hong Kong
3. Changing a Registered Office Address
It is possible for a Hong Kong company to change its registered office address. To do so, the company should provide a written notification to the Hong Kong Business Registration Office stating that the address has been changed. This notification should be provided within 1 month of the address change.
In the written notification, the Hong Kong company must provide the following:
- The company’s Hong Kong business registration number
- The company name
- The old and new registered office address and date of change
Alternatively, instead of providing a written notification to the Business Registration Office, Hong Kong companies may complete and submit IRC 3111A. When submitting IRC 3111A, you may be required to provide documentation demonstrating proof of address, such as tenancy agreement or recent utility bill.
5. Can I Obtain a Registered Office Address From A Professional Service Provider?
Yes. Utilizing an address from a licensed corporate service provider who possesses a Trust or Company Service Provider License (“TCSP”) is a common practice.
Advantages of using licensed corporate service provider:
- International companies who, during their Hong Kong company incorporation process, do not have a presence in Hong Kong
- Local companies that do not have permanent office locations
- Mail handling and custodian
- On top of the provision of a registered office address, corporate service providers can offer a time efficient and one stop solution for all corporate secretarial needs and accounting, audit and tax filing arrangements. They can also help manage and advise on the handling of all correspondence received from government authorities
While the criteria behind selecting an address is not challenging to meet, consideration should still be made when incorporating a company in Hong Kong, maintaining the privacy and the ongoing business maintenance. The FastLane Group is a registered company secretary with a TCSP license and can provide a registered office address and one stop solution for those looking to incorporate and run a business in Hong Kong. Please contact the FastLane Group for help!