When you incorporate a Hong Kong business, many important factors must be considered, such as the Hong Kong business registration number.
Whether you’re a small business or are looking to expand your operations in the country, these business registration factors must never be ignored. Most businesses are expected to register their business and obtain their business registration number.
The Hong Kong Business Registration Number (BRN) differs from the Company Registration Number (CRN). This unique number is issued by the Inland Revenue Department and is a requirement to commence business operations and tax payments.
Before you start on your company incorporation journey, you must learn everything you need to know about the BRN. This piece will reveal all the essential details about the Hong Kong business registration number business owners must know, including how to apply for it.
What Is A Hong Kong Business Registration Number (BRN)?
Unlike other jurisdictions that issue Tax Identification Numbers, Hong Kong uses the business registration number. The Inland Revenue Department uses the registration certificate for taxation purposes.
After incorporating your company, you’ll be assigned a unique 8-digit number. This number will be added to your Business Registration License. This number is applied to the legal and administrative processes of Hong Kong businesses.
Every business must have a Hong Kong business registration number. This is the format of a business registration number – 12345678-XXX-XX-XX-X. Getting a BRN is a simple process that can be completed in a few simple steps.
Business owners can quickly check their Hong Kong business registration number status online to determine if it has been issued correctly.
What Is Business Registration And How Does It Relate To The BRN?
To operate a business in Hong Kong, you’ll need to register your business officially. This process is handled by the Business Registration Office.
According to a notice by the Inland Revenue Department, any business owner applying for the incorporation of a limited liability company or registration of a business (according to the Companies Ordinance Cap. 622) is also applying for business registration.
After this, the business will receive a Certificate of Incorporation and Business Registration Certificate (under one-stop company and business registration service). All local businesses are expected to apply for the Hong Kong business registration number within 1 month.
You’ll notify the Business Registration Office about your approved business name, business address, business description, and date when the commercial organization commenced their operations.
Finally, the registration office will issue your unique Hong Kong business registration number. The following businesses are required to register their business in Hong Kong:
- Any profession, craftsmanship or business activities that are performed to earn profit.
- Any society or club that offers its offices, property and premises for usage by its members.
- Any local or foreign company that has established business premises in Hong Kong, whether or not they are carrying out their business in the region.
Any foreign company that has an official address or registered property in Hong Kong, whether or not the business was established in the region.
What Type Of Businesses Require A BRN?
If you’re going to register a business in the region, you’ll need a Hong Kong business registration number.
These entities may include an entrepreneurship, a local limited liability company, a Hong Kong partnership, and foreign company. It’s essential to note that this number is a compulsory requirement.
In fact, you’ll need to apply for the Hong Kong business registration number within a month of incorporation. This regulation is stipulated by the Business Registration Ordinance (BRO). Two types of incorporation are affected by this regulation:
- Registering a company: This process creates a new legal entity in Hong Kong, which the Companies Registry handles.
- Registering a business: This process involves signing up to become a taxpayer. The Inland Revenue Department manages it.
Note that the Hong Kong business registration number will be created for all types of businesses. However, the Companies Registry issued the company registration number for legal entities.
Hiring a company secretary is an effective way to quickly get your business registration number. They’ll handle the process and ensure you have nothing to worry about.
Hong Kong Business Registration Number vs. Company Registration Number
Let’s review the differences between the Hong Kong Business Registration Number and Company Registration Number. We’ve already examined the meaning and importance of the BRN so let’s focus on the CRN:
What Is The CRN?
The Company Registration Number is a 7-digit identification number issued by the Companies Registry. This registration number will serve as the entity’s social security number. It’s also an important signal or means of identification for Hong Kong businesses.
You’ll find the CRN on the left-hand corner of the Certificate of Incorporation.
The Hong Kong Business Registration Number is compulsory for every type of business. However, the Company Registration Number is reserved for Hong Kong limited companies or foreign companies that have incorporated branches in the region.
Unlike the Hong Kong Business Registration Number which does not have an expiry date, the Company Registration Number will stop being valid after some time. Here are some similarities and differences between the BRN and CRN in Hong Kong:
|Hong Kong Business Registration Number (BRN)||Hong Kong Company Registration Number (CRN)|
|The BRN is similar to the Tax Identification Number. Used for tax payment in Hong Kong.||The CRN is similar to a Social Security Number.|
|The BRN is used to recognize a business, and to regular the tax law in the region.||The CRN is used to represent the business in government and legal records.|
|The BRN can be identified as the first eleven digits of Certificate Number.||The CRN can be identified as the seven-digit number that’s on the Certificate of Incorporation.|
|Business owners can verify their BRN online.||Business owners can verify their CRN online.|
|The BRN is useful for filing a business’s Profit Tax Return (PTR) or submit an audit report.||The CRN is applied everywhere to showcase the identity of their company.|
When Do Business Owners Need To Use The Company Registration Number?
Every company will use the Company Registration Number for the following processes:
- Filing annual returns (NAR1 form).
- Choosing a new company director or removing an existing one.
- Updating the essential details of a company director.
- Dividend issuance or increasing the company’s share capital.
- Business deregistration or dissolution.
Why Is It Important To Have A Hong Kong Business Registration Number?
So, why is it important for all businesses to have a Hong Kong business registration number? Keep reading to find out.
Every business should have its business registration number as a means of identification. You can use the Hong Kong business registration number to distinguish it from others.
This means of identification is useful in Hong Kong with its long list of businesses. It’s one of the most reliable methods of business identification because two BRNs can never be the same.
Furthermore, the Hong Kong business registration number is essential for company registration. Without it, the process will be incomplete. This number can be used to fill legal documents for your business.
It’s useful for different stages of legal documentation, such as filing contracts, renting office spaces, and creating a new bank account. The Business Registration Number will also allow you to easily track company information during filing processes.
On a final note, you may need these digits when interacting with government agencies. These processes may include making tax payments, and filing business annual returns.
How To Apply For A Hong Kong Business Registration Number
There are two ways for you to get your Hong Kong business registration number – apply online or in person.
To apply online, all businesses will need to pay certain fees to the Hong Kong government. You can easily initiate the payment online. Then, the business’s representatives will submit the application on the eTax portal.
The online application can only be adopted by certain businesses, including:
- Sole proprietorship
- Registration of a new business branch
The second method involves applying physically through the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department. You can visit the IRD at 2/F, Inland Revenue Centre, 5 Concorde Road, Kai Tak, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
The following documents are crucial for completing your Business Registration Number in Hong Kong:
1. Local Companies:
- Company Incorporation Form (NNC1 or NNC1G).
- Article of Association.
- Notice to the Business Registration office.
2. Foreign Companies:
- Application Form (NN1 Form), plus additional documents.
- Notice to the Business Registration office.
- Any essential fees.
After submitting your application for the Hong Kong business registration number, it will take a several working days for approval. The Companies Registry will notify you when the process is complete.
If you fail to register for the BRN or comply with the registration office regulations, you’ll be subject to a fine of 5,000 HKD or up to 1 year in prison.
How To Check Your Business Registration Number In 5 Easy Steps
It’s possible to check the Hong Kong business registration number of different businesses via the IRD’s eTax service.
All you have to do is navigate to the Business Registration Number Enquiry and Application for Supply of Information on the Business Register. You’ll need a valid email address and internet connectivity to complete this process.
When you get to this section, follow these steps to check your Hong Kong business registration number:
- Click on Enquire Now.
- Click on Begin Application.
- Agree to the terms on the website. However, ensure you read the details in the Personal Information Collection Statements & NB notes.
- Click on Conduct Business Registration Enquiry.
- Fill in your business’s details, and click Application for Supply of information. You can click on ‘New Search’ to start the entire process from the beginning.
How Can We Help – SJH Global's Company Incorporation Services
Are you still unclear about how to handle the application for your Hong Kong business registration number? Hire an expert to help you tackle any concerns and handle business processes smoothly. You’ll need this number to operate legally in Hong Kong.
Get your Hong Kong business registration number easily and focus on other business activities when you work with the right professionals.
Many business owners complain about the difficulties in differentiating between the Hong Kong Business Registration Number and Company Registration Number. However, you don’t have to fall into the same bracket.
If you’re starting a new business, it can be plenty of work to handle the entire documentation process. You could easily make costly mistakes that could lead to a fine or sanction. That’s why you need all the help you can get.
SJH Global is the right firm for all your corporate needs. But what services exactly do we offer? SJH Global is a business consultancy firm that’s committed to providing custom solutions to different businesses.
We’ll guide you throughout the incorporation process and ensure that you don’t miss out on anything. We’re an expert at helping different types of businesses get their Hong Kong Business Registration Number and Company Registration Number.
By working with several business entities in the past, we know how to handle the process smoothly and quickly. Our specialist team will offer you value for money.
Hong Kong Business Registration Number – Frequently Asked Questions
The Hong Kong business registration number of your business is a unique way for companies to identify themselves. Every business that performs commercial activities in Hong Kong is expected to complete this application.
If you fail to comply with the regulations of the business registration office, your business may be subject to a fine up to 5,000 HKD or one year imprisonment.
The business registration number is an essential application for different legal entities. If you want to register for your Hong Kong business registration number, you’ll be expected to send an application to the Business Registration Office via the Inland Revenue Department.
You can apply for the Hong Kong business registration number in two different ways – an online or physical application.
You can apply online via the eTax portal of the IRD. However, you’ll need to submit the necessary documents to complete the process.
On the other hand, you can visit the physical address of the IRD to submit your application.
The Hong Kong business registration number is unlike the Company Registration Number. It is a unique 8-digit number, while the CRN is a 7-digit number.