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, 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 a prescribed place in Hong Kong.

Also a company must designate at least one person as its representative 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. A person commits an offence if the person carries on a trust or company service business 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 for 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 business in Hong Kong. The Amendment Ordinance have come into operation on 1 February 2019.

The major amendments introduced by the Amendment Ordinance include:

  1. updating relevant accounting-related provisions;
  2. expanding the types of companies eligible for reporting exemption; and
  3. 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.


2021 2020 2019

The Budget 2020-2021

On 26 February 2020, Financial Secretary, the Honourable Paul Chan Mo-po, delivered the budget speech. In his 2020-21 Budget, he laid out a series of economic relief measures.


Highlights of the budget

One-off measures:

  1. Disburse $10,000 to Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above.
  2. 100% tax reduction subject to a cap at $20,000 per case of salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2019/20.
  3. 100% tax reduction subject to a cap at $20,000 per case of profits tax for 2019/20.
  4. Rates concession for the four quarters of 2020/21, subject to a cap of $1,500 per quarter for each residential property.
  5. Rates concession for non-domestic properties for 2020/21, subject to a cap of $5,000 per quarter in first two quarters ans $1,500 per quarter for remaining two quarter.
  6. Provide an extra allowance to social security recipients, equal to one month of the standard rate Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) payments, Old Age Allowance (OAA), Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) or Disability Allowance. Similar arrangements will apply to Low-income Working Family Allowance (LIFA) and Work Incentive Transport Subsidy.
  7. Pay 1 month's rent for lower income tenants living in public rental units.
  8. Pay the examination fees for candidates sitting for the 2021 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination.
  9. Introduce a concessionary low-interest loan with 100% Government guarantee for enterprises, which will be open for application for 6 months. Maximum loan of $2 million with repayment period up to 3 years. Moratorium on principal repayment for first 6 months.
  10. Waive the business registration fees for 2020/21.
  11. Waive the registration fees for company annual returns (except for late delivery) for 2 years.

Profit tax

  1. Profits tax rate for the first HK$2 million of profits of corporations / unincorporated business will be lowered to 8.25% and 7.5% respectively. The remainder of profits of corporations / unincorporated business remain at 16.5% and 15% respectively.

Salaries tax

  1. Standard tax rate remain unchanged.

Office special arrangement during COVID-19

During the potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the world, we do our best and adopt certain policies in our office to minimize the threat of the virus spreading in our community:

  1. Implementation of home office for audit department. (Please contact our audit staff by email directly to avoid any delay in response for any audit enquiries.)
  2. Mandatory quarantine measure for at least 14 days for staff who had travelled overseas.
  3. Cancellation of all overseas business trips.
  4. Implementation of video conference to minimize physical contact.
  5. Implementation of infection control procedures inside the office.

The measures will adjust regularly in view of the daily report by the government announcement and shall be updated in our website and/or email communication.

Our administration department and company secretarial department are still working in the office to maintain our expertise services.

We can provide solutions for assistance about staff, policies and procedures for office arrangement during current situation.

Let’s work together in the fight against the coronavirus.