If a company incorporated outside Hong Kong establishes a place of business in Hong Kong, it must register with the Companies Registry as a ‘Registered Non-Hong Kong Company’, otherwise known as a branch office, within one month of establishment.
Unlike a limited company, a branch office is not a separate legal entity from its headquarter. Thus, for the registration of a non-Hong Kong company, the corporate particulars in its home jurisdiction will be entered into the Companies Registry in Hong Kong as well. A branch office can leverage the headquarter’s credit rating and reputation.
A Hong Kong branch office must appoint at least one person ordinarily residing in Hong Kong authorized to accept legal notices served on the company.
A registered Non-Hong Kong Company is required to notify the Companies Registry in the event of any changes to its registration details in its home jurisdiction as well as to file an Annual Return. If the company is required by law of its home jurisdiction or regulation by a governing body or stock exchange to publish or otherwise make its accounts accessible to the public, such accounts have to be delivered with the Annual Return to the Hong Kong Companies Registry. In any other case, there is no requirement for branch offices to be audited.
For the purpose of filing a tax return however, a branch office must still deliver to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) audited financial statements or certified financial statement in case an audit is not required and financial and accounting records relating to the Hong Kong branch office.
Our business compliance services take care of the administrative and compliance functions of a branch office. Our services include:
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