Startup How-Tos: What licences do I need for starting a business?
Application for various licences is one of the essential preparations for starting a new business. See the information below of some basic licences required:
1. Registration of a New Company
A new company is required to complete its company registration at the Companies Registry and obtain a Certificate of Incorporation. The legal liability varies among different types of companies. For example, a limited company must comply with the various provisions in the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 622 of the Laws of Hong Kong) which include the timely disclosure and reporting of specified information about the company, its officers and shareholders, etc. and any changes in such information to the Registrar of Companies so that members of the public can have ready access to the latest information of the company kept by the Registrar of Companies.
It simply takes three steps and HK$1720 to register a new company. You may choose to submit you application either electronically through our "e-Registry" or by delivering the documents in hard copy to the CR with the correct fees. Please refer to the website of Companies Registry or Incorporation of a Local Limited Company for further information.
2. Business Registration
The Business Registration Ordinance requires every person who carries on a business in Hong Kong to apply for business registration within 1 month from the date of commencement of the business, and to display a valid Business Registration Certificate at the place of business.
Under the one-stop company and business registration service, you will be deemed to have made a business registration application at the same time you deliver an application for incorporation of a local company or an application for registration of a non-Hong Kong company. The Companies Registry will issue the Certificate of Incorporation (or the Certificate of Registration of Non-Hong Kong Company) and the Business Registration Certificate in one go if the application is successful. Other businesses have to register with the Inland Revenue Department within one month of business commencement. Check out the website of Inland Revenue Department for further information and fees on Businesses Registration.
3. Particular Business Licence
You may need particular licences, permits, certificates and approvals from the Government to start your business operations at individual fields in Hong Kong, for example catering, construction and finance. You may try the Business Licence Information Service to acquire online the kinds of licences you need to operate your business. If you have already made a licence application, you can make use of the Licence Application Tracking Facility to check the application status online. GovHK also provides access to detailed information regarding restaurant licensing, telecommunications licences, environmental permits and licences, etc.
“Startup How-tos” is an introductory guidebook written for entrepreneurship newbies, providing startup tips and related public services information.