IRD Reminds HK Businesses Of Registration Requirements
Friday, June 8, 2012
A notice issued by Hong Kong’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD) on June
6, 2012, has drawn taxpayers’ attention to certain matters under the Business
For example, except for those specifically exempted, every person carrying
on a sole proprietorship or partnership business in Hong Kong must register
his or her business within one month of commencement of business. The IRD will
not accept any applications for registration of businesses which have never
existed or have yet to commence operation.
Any person applying for incorporation of a local limited company, or registration
of a non-Hong Kong company under the Companies Ordinance, is deemed to apply
for business registration at the same time. The applications for business registration
of these companies must be submitted to the Companies Registry.
In addition, local limited companies are required to notify the Business Registration
Office (BRO) of IRD in writing within one month of the date of commencement
of the business their business name, description and nature of business, business
address and date of commencement of business.
BRO will issue business registration renewal demand notes to registered businesses
about one month before their current business registration certificates expire.
If business operators do not receive such renewal demand notes, they must still
inform BRO in writing within one month of expiry of their current business registration
certificates. IRD may impose penalties if renewal demand notes are overdue.
However, business registration is not a licence to trade. The applicant may
also need to apply for other types of licences or obtain the recognised professional
qualifications for operating certain kinds of business. The issue of business
registration certificate or branch registration certificate in respect of any
business does not imply that the requirements of any law in relation to such
business have been complied with.
Apart from companies incorporated or registered under the Companies Ordinance,
businesses may apply for exemption from payment of the business registration
fee and levy if its profits are mainly derived from the sale of services and
its average monthly sales/receipts do not exceed HKD10,000 (USD1,290); or, in
other cases, its average monthly sales do not exceed HKD30,000. If two or more
businesses are carried on by the same proprietor or partners, none of these
businesses is entitled to exemption.