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Record Number Of HK-Registered Firms In 2014

by Mary Swire, Lowtax.net, Hong Kong
15 January, 2015

The number of local companies registered under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance (CO) surpassed 1.2m for the first time in 2014, after year-on-year growth of 9.4 percent.

While there was a net increase in the number of companies registered, the number of new registrations fell in 2014, from 174,031 registered in 2013 to 167,280.

In March, however, there was a jump in new registrations to a record monthly high of 30,463, ahead of the expiry of a waiver on business registration fees on April 1, 2014. The fee for a one-year certificate normally totals HKD2,250 (USD290), made up of a HKD2,000 fee and a HKD250 levy, but this fee had been waived for two years.

A record number of companies – almost 39,000 – were incorporated online through the e-Registry, an increase of 8.23 percent. 811 foreign companies were newly registered last year, an increase of almost four percent on 2013 levels. The total number of registered non-Hong Kong companies reached more than 9,600 by the end of 2014.

"The new CO, which commenced operation on March 3 last year, provides a modernized legal framework for the incorporation and operation of companies in Hong Kong and reinforces Hong Kong's role as an international financial and commercial center," said the Registrar of Companies, Ada Chung.

During the year, the Companies Registry conducted a comprehensive publicity program to promote public awareness of the major changes brought about by the new Ordinance, such as the abolition of the par value of shares and removal of the mandatory requirement of having a common seal.

"We handled over 60,000 inquiries on the new Ordinance from January to August, 2014, and have organized or participated in over 70 briefings or seminars to promote the new law," Chung added. "The transition has been very smooth. The various initiatives introduced by the new CO further simplify the procedures for starting a business, as well as enhance corporate governance in Hong Kong."


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