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Hong Kong Company Register Set For Modernisation

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

22 October 2007


Measures to improve the registration system for non-Hong Kong companies will be put in place from December 14, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau has announced.

According to the Bureau, under the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2004 gazetted last week: the registration regime for overseas companies will be modernised; "oversea companies" will be renamed "non-Hong Kong companies"; non-Hong Kong companies will be obliged to file a full annual return; and a new service of issuing certificates of registration in respect of non-Hong Kong companies will be introduced.

The Registrar of Companies has also appointed the same date to implement the Companies Ordinance (Amendment of Eighth Schedule) Order 2007, giving effect to the amended statutory fees for non-Hong Kong firms.

The Order replaces the existing filing fees concerning non-Hong Kong companies with a single filing fee, and introduces a new fee for the issue of registration certificates.

Escalating fees for the late filing of annual returns by non-Hong Kong firms are also being introduced, to encourage compliance with the filing requirements under the Companies Ordinance and the timely disclosure of corporate information.

As regards the new single filing fee, it is set on the basis of the "revenue neutral" principle. However, according to the announcement, non-Hong Kong companies, on average, would not pay more when compared with the fees payable at present as long as their annual returns are filed within the deadline prescribed in the Companies Ordinance, that is, within 42 days after the anniversary date of registration.


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