Business Formation

Choose a company name and obtain a certificate of incorporation and a business registration certificate

Agency: Companies Registry

A company name (which may be in English, traditional Chinese or both) can be searched online free of charge at the Companies Registry (www.icris.cr.gov.hk) or at the mobile website (www.mobile-cr.gov.hk). When an application is delivered online at the e-Registry, the applicant will be informed of the acceptability of the company name before he/she proceeds with the payment process.

If there is no existing company registered with the name chosen by the applicant, a certificate of incorporation and a business registration certificate will be issued upon the filing of an incorporation form signed by the founder member(s) (for companies limited by shares this is a Form NNC1), a copy of the articles of association and a Notice to Business Registration Office (IRBR1). The incorporation form contains comprehensive information on the address of the registered office and particulars of the first secretary and first directors of a company. Paper submissions for incorporation normally require approximately four working days for the certificates to be issued (excluding the day of submission of form NNC1).

With the implementation of the “e-Registry” in 2011, applicants can now complete the incorporation and business registration process by submitting electronic applications online to the Companies Registry (www.eregistry.gov.hk) or using the mobile application “CR eFiling”. In straightforward cases, this enables registered users to complete the relevant procedures and download the electronic Certificate of Incorporation and Business Registration Certificate in less than a day. According to the performance pledge of the Companies Registry (at www.cr.gov.hk), the service standard for applications for registration of local companies which are submitted electronically is one hour.

At the moment of incorporation, the company will also be automatically registered with the Inland Revenue Department for registration for tax purposes.

Time and cost: Less than 1 day (online procedure), HKD 1,720 application fee + HKD 250 for business registration levy (business registration fee of HKD 2,000 is temporarily waived for the period of April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020)

Sign up Employee’s Compensation Insurance and Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Schemes with a private company or a bank

Agency: Compensation Insurance and Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) providers (banks/insurance firms)

Pursuant to the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (Chapter 282 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (“ECO”), an employer must take out insurance to cover liabilities for his employees (both full- and part-time) who experience accidents arising out of and in the course of employment, and resulting in injuries or fatalities.

In addition, under the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (Chapter 485 of the Laws of Hong Kong), employers must enroll their regular employees (i.e. employees who are at least 18 but under 65 years of age and employed for 60 days or more) and where applicable, their casual employees (i.e. employees are at least 18 but under 65 years of age and employed in the construction or catering industry on a day-to-day basis or for a fixed period of less than 60 days) in an MPF scheme administered by an MPF approved trustee in Hong Kong and make MPF contributions accordingly. Scheme enrollment can be arranged through MPF registered intermediaries, which include banks and insurance companies. This requirement does not apply for persons exempted from joining a Mandatory Provident Fund (“MPF”) scheme.

The newly incorporated company can apply for setting up the Employee’s Compensation Insurance and MPF Scheme anytime after incorporation.

The procedure can be done online via various private insurance/MPF providers’ web portals. However, most businesses prefer to have advisory meeting with insurance/MPF provider rather than reviewing all information online by themselves.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge