News and Updates

Updated government regulations

Keeping Significant Controllers Registers & Designated Representative

The Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 (“the Amendment Ordinance”) has become effective on 1 March 2018. The Companies Ordinance requires a company incorporated in Hong Kong to obtain and maintain up-to-date beneficial ownership information, by way of keeping a Significant Controllers Register (“SCR”) for inspection by law enforcement officers upon demand.

The Amendment Ordinance requires a company to keep a SCR in either the English or Chinese language, as well as containing required particulars of its significant controllers (including registrable person and / or registrable legal entity). The SCR should be kept at the company’s registered office or at a prescribed place in Hong Kong.

Also, a company must designate at least one person as its representative in order to provide assistance relating to the company’s SCR to a law enforcement officer.

For more details, please refer to the Company Registry website.

A New Licensing Regime for "Trust or Company Service Providers"

A new Licensing regime for trust or company service providers (“TCSPs”) will commence with effect from 1 March 2018.

Under the new licensing regime, TCSPs are required to apply for a license from the Registrar of Companies before they can provide trust or company services as a business in Hong Kong. It is an offence for businesses to perform such services in Hong Kong without a license.

International Secretaries Limited has been registered as a "TCSP" to provide expertise company secretarial services to our clients.

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For more details, please refer to the Companies Registry website.

Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Ordinance 2018

Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 has become effective on March 1, 2018. The ordinance seeks to apply the statutory customer due diligence and record-keeping requirements to designated non-financial businesses and professions when they engage in specified transactions.

We are actively engaged in compliance with the amendment, and establish proper policies and controls.

For more details, please refer to the Companies Registry website.

Companies (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 2018 (“the Amendment Ordinance”)

The new Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) (“new CO”), which commenced operation in March 2014, provides a modern statutory framework for the incorporation and operation of companies in Hong Kong. The Amendment Ordinance seeks to amend some provisions of the new CO to incorporate new developments, improve the clarity and operation of the new CO, and further facilitate businesses in Hong Kong. The Amendment Ordinance has come into operation on 1 February 2019.

The major amendments introduced by the Amendment Ordinance include:

  1. The updating of relevant accounting-related provisions;
  2. The expanding of the types of companies eligible for reporting exemption; and
  3. The providing for miscellaneous matters in relation to various administrative, procedural and technical requirements regulating local companies and non-Hong Kong companies.

For more details, please refer to the Companies Registry website.


2024 2023 2022

The Budget 2024-2025 - Feb 2024

On 28 February 2024, Financial Secretary, the Honourable Paul Chan Mo-po, delivered the budget speech. In his 2024-25 Budget, he laid out a series of economic relief measures.


Highlights of the budget

One-off measures:

  1. 100% tax reduction subject to a cap at $3,000 per case of salaries tax, and tax under personal assessment for 2023/24.
  2. 100% tax reduction subject to a cap at $3,000 per case of profits tax for 2023/24.
  3. Rates concession for residential properties for 2024/25 subject to a cap of $1,000 the first quarter.
  4. Rates concession for non-domestic properties for 2024/25, subject to a cap of $1,000 per the first quarter.
  5. An extra allowance, equal to half a month of the standard rate of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) payments, Old Age Allowance (OAA), Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) or Disability Allowance, will be provided to social security recipients. Similar arrangements will apply to the Low-income Working Family Allowance (LIFA) and the Work Incentive Transport Subsidy.
  6. Business registration fees increase by $200 to $2,000 per annum from 1 April 2024. Waive the business registration levy of $150 for 2 years.
  7. An amount of $500 million is dedicated to launch of "E-commerce Easy", provide up to $1 million per enterprise for implementing e-commerce projects in the Mainland..
  8. Over $1.09 billion is allocated to strengthen touism development and organise events.
  9. Resuming the collection of the hotel accommodation tax at a rate of 3% with effect from 1 January 2025.

Profit tax

  1. The profits tax rate for the first HK$2 million of profits of corporations / unincorporated businesses will be lowered to 8.25% and 7.5% respectively. The remainder of the profits will remain at 16.5% and 15% respectively. Only one entity within a group can benefit from the above reduced rates.

Salaries tax

proposed to implement a two-tiered standard rates regime for salaries tax and tax under personal assessment starting from the year of assessment 2024/25. In calculating the amount of tax for taxpayers whose net income (before deduction of allowances) exceeds $5 million and whose salaries tax or tax under personal assessment is to be charged at a standard rate, the first $5 million of their net income will continue to be subject to the standard rate of 15% while the portion of their net income exceeding $5 million will be subject to the standard rate of 16%.

After enactment of the relevant legislation, the Inland Revenue Department will apply the two-tiered standard rates in calculating the provisional salaries tax for the year of assessment 2024/25.