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.


2022 2021 2020

TIAG - Accountancy Age Top 3 Alliance

TAG Alliances® is one of the largest alliances in the world. It distinguishes itself as one of the few multidisciplinary alliances for accounting firms. Composed of TIAG® (The International Accounting Group), an alliance of independent accounting firms; TAGLaw®, an alliance of independent law firms; and TAG-SP®, a multidisciplinary alliance of strategic partners, TAG Alliances serves the full business needs of its members' clients in over 105 countries.


We have the pleasure to be invited to join this alliance as the sole member in Hong Kong region since 2007.


The alliance has been recognized by Accountancy Age as one of the top three accounting alliances in the world. This is the ninth consecutive year that TAG Alliances has been ranked in this elite position.


The rankings include 20 associations and alliances, and are based on the collective revenues of each organization’s member firms. TAG Alliances is prominently featured in Accountancy Age's report, which announces the 2020 rankings and examines the status of international networks, associations, and alliances in a time of continuing global economic uncertainty. This is the eighth consecutive year TAG Alliances has received this prestigious ranking.


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. Disbursement of $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 the first two quarters and $1,500 per the remaining two quarters.
  6. An extra allowance, equal to 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.
  7. Payment of 1 month's rent for lower income tenants living in public rental units.
  8. Payment of examination fees for candidates taking the 2021 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination.
  9. A concessionary low-interest loan, 100% guaranteed by the government, will be provided for enterprises under an application period of 6 months. The loan is set at a maximum of $2 million with a repayment period of up to 3 years. There is also a moratorium on principal repayment for the first 6 months.
  10. Business registration fees are waived for 2020/21.
  11. Registration fees for company annual returns (except for late delivery) will be waived for 2 years.

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 profits of corporations / unincorporated businesses will remain at 16.5% and 15% respectively.

Salaries tax

  1. The standard tax rate remains unchanged.

Office special arrangement during COVID-19

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

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

The measures will be adjusted regularly in light of daily reports and government announcements, and shall be updated in our website and/or communicated via email.

Our administrative and company secretarial departments will remain in the office to continue maintaining our expert services.

We can provide assistance regarding staff, policies, and procedures for office arrangements during the current situation.

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