Fee waivers for business registration certificates were originally proposed in the 2018-19 Budget. This year’s Budget provides many concessions to companies registered in Hong Kong, including corporate profits tax, salaries tax relief, and business registration certificate fee relief, providing greater incentives for those who want to start a business and set up a company, reducing the cost of starting a business.
Business registration fee waiver of $2,000
In 2018-19, in response to the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), to formulate favorable tax policies for Hong Kong and maintain global competitiveness, in the Budget of that year, the Financial Secretary Companies registered in Hong Kong offered several tax incentives, including business registration certificate fee reductions.
According to this year’s Budget, as of March 31, 2020, all application and renewal fees for business registration certificates can be obtained in accordance with Section 5A(1)(a) of the Business Registration Ordinance (Chapter 310), with a fee of $2,000 Hong Kong dollar relief.
For other cases, the fees payable for a business registration certificate or a branch registration certificate in effect after the concession period can be reduced by $2,000 and $73 respectively. To find out the amount to be paid for each registration certificate, please refer to the Business Registration Fee and Levy Schedule.
The waiver is extended to March 2022, and the one-year pass is only $250
The Income (Reduction of Business Registration Fees and Branch Registration Fees) Order 2021, a tax measure in the 2021-22 Budget, will continue the above-mentioned company registration fee reduction and has been implemented on 1 April 2021 effective from today.
Business registration certificate for one year and three years respectively
In other words, if it is a merchant who has registered for a one-year business registration certificate or a branch business registration certificate, the business registration fee in 2021 will only need to pay a levy of $250; and a merchant who chooses to apply for a three-year certificate, the business registration certificate fee is $3,950 ($3,200 registration fee, and $750 levy), branch business registration certificate fee of $866 ($116 registration fee, and $750 levy).
How do determine the effective date of the registration certificate?
The validity period of the Hong Kong Business Registration Certificate can be divided into one year and three years, and the amount payable is determined according to the effective date of the certificate. If it is a local company with a “one-stop company registration service”, the effective date of its business registration certificate is its registration date, and when renewing the registration certificate, the effective date of the renewal certificate shall prevail.
For a newly opened business of a non-local company, the effective date of the registration certificate will be the date of business opening, not the registration date of the certificate.
The registration fee paid is pro-rata refundable
For merchants who have already paid the business registration fee or branch registration fee during the concession period and do not need to renew the certificate, the concession measures are also effective, if they are
1. Business or branch holding a three-year certificate with an effective date before April 1, 2021, and expiry date on or after March 31, 2022;
2. Businesses or branches whose last three-year certificate will expire before March 31, 2022,
According to the validity period of the relevant registration certificate, the “licensed refund of the paid registration fee” can be calculated according to the number of days during the concession period. The refund method can refer to the calculation method of the refund amount.
It is worth mentioning that if the merchant has paid the relevant levies of the “Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund”, these fees will not be refunded.
If they are eligible merchants, the Inland Revenue Department will start to issue relevant refund cheques and notices starting from the end of July 2021 without the need for an active application.
The above information is for reference only. If you have any questions about business registration fee waivers and company formation, we welcome your inquiries.