Where Can You Go To Find Out Company Information In Hong Kong?

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In this article, we'll focus on what company information is available to the public regarding companies registered in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Corporate/Commercial Law
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In this article, we'll focus on what company information is available to the public regarding companies registered in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Companies Registry

To find out company information in Hong Kong, the primary source is the Hong Kong Companies Registry (CR). This registry, maintained by the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau of the Government of Hong Kong, offers comprehensive details about registered businesses. You can access this information through the CR's e-Services Portal by entering the company's name or registration number into the search bar.

To search, just enter the company's name or registration number into the search bar on the website. Then, click the search button, and the information will appear on the screen.

How to access the CR's e-Services Portal?

Accessing the CR's e-Services Portal offers two search methods:

  1. Free Search: This option provides basic company details like the date of incorporation, company status, registered address, directors and company secretary, and the business nature.
  2. Paid Search: For a fee, you can access a more comprehensive company search report. This report includes past company names (if any), copies of filed documents (annual returns, charges, etc.) and litigation history (if publicly available).

What different types of companies are there in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong offers a variety of company structures to suit different business needs. Here's a breakdown of the most common types:

  • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
    • Most popular choice: LLCs offer the most significant advantage – limited liability for owners. This means the owner's personal assets are shielded from business debts and liabilities, protecting their financial security.
    • Structure: LLCs can be incorporated as private or public companies.
  • Unlimited Companies:
    • Less common: Less common due to their high-risk nature, where owners have unlimited liability.
    • Types: similar to LLCs, unlimited companies can be private or public.
  • Other business structures:
    • Sole Proprietorship: suitable for small, low-risk businesses with a single owner. It's easy to set up, but the owner has unlimited liability for the business.
    • Partnership: formed by two or more people who share ownership and profits. Partners also share liability for the business debts.

Alternative resources

While the CR is the most reliable source, there are other channels for gathering information:

  • Land Department (https://www.landsd.gov.hk/en/index.html): search for property ownership linked to the company.
  • Inland Revenue Department (IRD) (https://www.ird.gov.hk/): verify a company's business registration status.
  • Online directories: business directories may provide additional details like contact information and industry affiliation. These websites are typically not affiliated with the Hong Kong government, so the information accuracy might vary.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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