News and Insights

Read our latest news and insights to keep on top of the latest trends and regulatory changes in Hong Kong. 

BVI Economic Substance Reporting
(30 October 2020)

For BVI entities incorporated or formed before 1 January 2019, the first Financial Period ended on 29 June 2020 and the deadline for the reporting is 6 months after the end of the Financial Period. 

For BVI entities incorporated or formed on or after 1 January 2019, the first Financial Period ended one year from the date of incorporation and the deadline for the reporting is 6 months after the end of the Financial Period.


Inland Reveue Department and Companies Registry resume normal public services
(11 September 2020)

In line with the Government's announcement yesterday (September 10) on full resumption of normal public services, the Inland Revenue Department and Companies Registry announced today (September 11) that it will resume its normal public services from September 15.


Commencement of Keeping of Significant Controllers Registers & Designated Representative
(9 February 2018)

The Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 (“the Amendment Ordinance”) introduces new requirements on the keeping of significant controllers registers by companies. The Amendment Ordinance will come into operation on 1 March 2018.

The Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) is amended to require a company incorporated in Hong Kong to obtain and maintain an up-to-date Significant Controllers Register. The company should designate at least one person as its Designated Representative to provide assistance upon inspection demand by law enforcement officers.

Failure to comply with the SCR obligations or made false statement is a criminal offence. The company and every responsible person of the company are liable to a fine at level 4 (i.e. HK$25,000). Where applicable, there is a further daily fine of HK$700. 

Comprehensive information on the Amendment Ordinance, including External Circular and Guideline issued by the Companies Registry on the new requirements, are available at the website of Companies Registry


A New Licensing Regime for "Trust or Company Service Providers
(25 January 2018)

A new licensing regime for trust or company service providers (“TCSPs”) will commence with effect from 1 March 2018.

Under the new licensing regime, TCSPs are required to apply for a licence from the Registrar of Companies and satisfy a “fit-and-proper” test before they can provide trust or company services as a business in Hong Kong. TCSP licensees are also required to comply with the statutory customer due diligence and record-keeping requirements. 

A certified public accountant firm has exemption for carry out trust or company service business in Hong Kong. 

For details, please refer to Companies Registry External Circular.


Inland Revenue Ordinance to be amended to implement two-tiered profits tax rates regime
(27 December 2017)


The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 7) Bill 2017 (Amendment Bill) will be gazetted this Friday (December 29). The Amendment Bill seeks to implement the two-tiered profits tax rates regime announced in the 2017 Policy Address. 

"It is our objective to adopt a competitive taxation system to promote economic development while maintaining a simple tax regime and low tax rates. Introducing a two-tiered profits tax rates regime will reduce the tax burden on enterprises, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startup enterprises. This will help foster a favourable business environment, drive economic growth and enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness," a government spokesman said.

Under the proposed regime, the profits tax rate for the first $2 million of profits of corporations will be lowered to 8.25 per cent. Profits above that amount will continue to be subject to the tax rate of 16.5 per cent. For unincorporated businesses which are mostly partnerships and sole proprietorships, the two-tiered tax rates will correspondingly be set at 7.5 per cent and 15 per cent. A tax-paying corporation or unincorporated business may save up to $165,000 and $150,000 each year respectively.

The proposed two-tiered profits tax rates regime will benefit all eligible enterprises with assessable profits irrespective of their size. To ensure that the tax benefits will target SMEs, the Government proposes to introduce restrictions to limit the application to only one enterprise nominated from among those which are connected.

The Amendment Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 10, 2018. 


Tips to open bank accounts in Hong Kong
(12 September 2017)

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) shares an article written by an entrepreneur who commented on the latest account opening situation in Hong Kong and offered some very useful tips in opening a business bank account. You may find the article at this link


Expiry of the Revenue (Reduction of Business Registration Fees) Order 2016
(23 February 2017)

The Revenue (Reduction of Business Registration Fees) Order 2016 (“2016 Order”) will expire on 1 April 2017. Please refer to the business registration fee & levy table for details of the total amount payable under a Business registration certificate.