One of the first few things you’ll need to get in check for registering your business in Hong Kong is getting the Business Registration Certificate.

This article provides an overview of what Hong Kong business registration certificates are, the benefits of having one, how to apply, and the documents required.

What is the Hong Kong Business Registration Certificate (BRC)?

Hong Kong business registration certificate is a document that confirms your business registration with the Business Registration Office under the Inland Revenue Department. The business registration certificate is also proof of the company’s legal existence. For instance, when opening a corporate bank account, you will need to submit a certified true copy of your BRC to verify the company’s identity.

You’re legally obliged to apply for a BRC within 30 days of commencing operations. This period also applies to when your business has any significant changes made to it (e.g. assigning a new director, changing address, etc.).

sample of business registration certificate in hk

The details in the BRC include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The business name
  • Nature of business
  • Registered address
  • Type of business
  • Date of business commencement
  • Expiry date
  • Business registration number

What businesses will need to apply for a Hong Kong business registration certificate?

Under the statutory guidelines of corporate governance law, every business in Hong Kong must acquire the Business Registration Certificate to display conspicuously.

Qualified business forms

  • Any form of activity conducted by an individual/ organization to generate profit.
  • Any club that facilitates services/ provides physical premises for recreational activities.
  • Every company incorporated under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance or foreign company that has established a presence in Hong Kong, irrespective of whether or not it’s conducting any business activities in Hong Kong.
  • Every non-Hong Kong company that maintains a representative/liaison office in Hong Kong, or has leased out a property in Hong Kong.

Note that there are several exemptions to this which we will also go over below.

Exempted activities

  • Charitable work done by approved institutions
  • Agricultural activities such as marketing gardening, and livestock rearing/breeding, are conducted by small-scale businesses, i.e. non-incorporated businesses.
  • Shoe-polishing job
  • Hawkers who operate outside commercial buildings

How to apply for a Hong Kong business registration certificate

To apply for a Hong Kong business registration certificate, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  • Download the application form
  • Complete the application form and attach all required documents
  • Mail the application form and documents to the competent authority
  • Pay the application fee

You will be required to provide a completed application form and proof of identity. In particular, the proof of identity consists of:

  • A copy of the Hong Kong identity card of the owners/ all partners/ the principal officer, or a copy of valid ID cards/ passports issued by your authority in case of a non-resident
  • A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation or its equivalent if the company is registered in another jurisdiction (for body corporates)
  • Additional required docs (if requested)

Another way is to use a one-stop application service to apply for a Hong Kong company incorporation and business registration certificate.

When you submit an incorporation form or a new company formation request at The Companies Registry – they’ll automatically assume that you’re also registering for the business registration certificate.

Cost to apply for a Hong Kong business registration certificate

There are two types of certificates, based on their validity:

  • One-year business registration certificate
  • Three-year business registration certificate

The fees for applying for a Hong Kong business registration certificate with a validity of 1 year and 3 years are HK$250, and HK$3,950 respectively.*

*Latest fee updates for the period of 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023.

What are the penalties for not complying with the requirements?

If you do not register for a business registration certificate in Hong Kong, you may be subject to fines and penalties. The amount of the fines and penalties will depend on the severity of the offense. Fines can be HKD 5,000 to HKD 100,000, while imprisonment can be up to 1 year. In the most serious cases, the company can be struck off the register and dissolved.

Helpful Tools To Check Your Hong Kong Company Registration

Helpful Tools To Check Your Hong Kong Company Registration

Examining your proposed company name and what licenses you should obtain in advance will help the company registration proceed smoothly.

Here are the necessary legal tools for checking Hong Kong Company Registration we have gathered to help you with the process.

The business owners will be able to focus on growing their business while an agency with expertise prepares and submits the required documents to the Business Registration Office.
Remember to consult with experts as soon as possible to ensure you have the time to get through the lengthy incorporation process.

Having support from the start will ease the additional essential procedures

A positive outcome of this approach is that the agency will be able to assist you with other business-related steps (e.g. opening a bank account, appointing a secretary, etc.) following your company’s specific condition as well as requirements.

Complying with local specialties requires local experts’ experience and knowledge

A trustworthy agency has been sharpening its strategies for years by working with different kinds of companies from diverse industries. They know what and what’s not to do to increase your chances of building a prospering enterprise.

Business registration certificates are required in Hong Kong particularly, and hiring a professional will make all the difference in getting one. The process is guaranteed to be quicker and more efficient.

Key Takeaway

A business registration certificate in Hong Kong is a crucial document to show the legal status of the business. This proves that a company is registered and compliant with Hong Kong law.

This certificate must be renewed every year, and businesses are responsible for keeping their registration up to date. Be mindful that business registration and company registration in Hong Kong are two different processes, so consult professionals before launching your business.

Feel free to contact us via for any concerns and questions about incorporating your Hong Kong company or doing business in general. We are here to help!

Disclaimer: While BBCIncorp strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the information itself is for reference purposes only. You should not substitute the information provided in this article for competent legal advice. Feel free to contact BBCIncorp’s customer services for advice on your specific cases.

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