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Hong Kong Company Registrations Reach New Record

by Mary Swire, Lowtax.net, Hong Kong
16 July, 2014

The number of local companies newly incorporated under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance in the first half of 2014 hit a record high of 95,408, up from 89,035 in the first six months of last year, and an increase of 7.16 percent, according to the statistics released by the Companies Registry.

"The number of newly registered local companies hit a record high in the first six months of this year, with 21,978 companies incorporated online through our e-Registry," said the Registrar of Companies, Ada Chung. By the end of June 2014, the total number of live local companies registered was 1,233,780, up 70,849 from 1,162,931 as at the end of 2013.

On the other hand, 393 non-Hong Kong companies establishing a place of business in Hong Kong were newly registered under the Companies Ordinance in the first half of 2014, down 8.18 per cent from 428 in the second half of 2013. However, the total number of registered non-Hong Kong companies reached 9,432 by the end of June 2014, as against 9,258 by the end of last year.

On the new Companies Ordinance, which commenced operation on March 3 this year, Chung added that it "provides a modernized legal framework for the incorporation and operation of companies in Hong Kong. It has four major objectives, namely enhancing corporate governance, facilitating business, ensuring better regulation and modernizing the law, with a view to strengthening Hong Kong's position as an international business and financial center."

The Companies Registry has, to date, conducted or participated in more than 70 seminars to enhance public awareness of the major changes brought about by the new Ordinance. Chung commented that the Registry is "pleased that its efforts to promote the new Ordinance have been well received by the business community and members of the public."

It has also been noted that the registration fees for a one-year certificate, in respect of local companies registering under Hong Kong's 'one-stop' company incorporation regime, have now returned to a total of HKD2,250 (USD290), made up of a HKD2,000 fee and an annual HKD250 Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund levy (reduced from HKD450 in July 2013), after the special concession waiving the business registration fee expired on April 1, 2014. The HKD5,200 business registration fee for a three-year certificate has remained unaltered.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series, titled "Offshore For Corporates", discusses in depth the comparative merits of offshore HQs, with a Corporate Treasury section analysing how to get an optimal blend of tax-efficiency and profits and finally a study into how two types of international business can use onshore low-tax regimes in parallel with offshore jurisdictions to construct highly tax-efficient corporate structures, is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report7.asp

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