Do you run a business in Hong Kong, or are you planning to do so? The Companies Ordinance requires every business in Hong Kong to learn how to file annual returns in Hong Kong. Every private company in Hong Kong has to send in an annual return.
This happens around the anniversary date of the company. To file this annual return, you must fill out an AR1 form within 42 days of the anniversary of the date your company was founded.
If you don’t file your company’s annual return within this time frame, you’ll have to pay late fees that get more expensive the longer you wait to file. This is a very important but difficult task, and most businesses find it hard to do it themselves.
That is why we put up this post to talk about everything you need to know about how to file annual returns in Hong Kong. Find out more about filing an annual return Hong Kong and why you should hire professional company secretarial services to help you with the filing process.
How To File Annual Returns In Hong Kong: What Is A Hong Kong Annual Return?
Before diving straight into the mechanics of how to file annual returns in Hong Kong, let’s first clear up a common misunderstanding: the annual return form has nothing to do with the company’s taxes.
The annual return is a form that is filed every year and submitted to the Hong Kong Companies Registry. It gives the government a quick overview of your company’s most important information, such as who runs it, who owns it, the official registered address and a summary of how it works.
The purpose of the annual return is to check your company’s compliance status and see if it can keep running legally. Form NAR1 is another name for an annual return.
This form is prepared by your official company secretary and signed by authorized representatives, company manager, secretary, and Director. Along with the submission, you have to pay an annual registration fee.
How To File Annual Returns In Hong Kong: When Should The Annual Return Be Sent To The Registrar Of Companies To Be Registered?
When a company sends in its form NAR1, it must also include a government registration fee of HK$105. This fee is required by law. The deadline to file is 42 days after the anniversary of the date the company was established. This 42-day period also includes Sundays and public holidays.
But if the 42nd day falls on a Sunday or a public holiday, the Hong Kong Companies Registry will move the deadline to the next working day that is neither a Sunday nor a public holiday.
Business owners should be aware that no extra time will be given to file, and it is a crime not to send in the return on time.
When the document is late, the Registrar will charge a late fee that can go as high as HK$3480. The amount of the annual registration fee is set by law and not by the Companies Registry.
How To File Annual Returns In Hong Kong: Which Businesses Must File An Annual Return?
By law, both registered Hong Kong-based companies and non-Hong Kong-based companies are required to file their annual return submission. However, private incorporated companies who have filed for dormant status are exempted from filing for annual return Hong Kong.
How To File Annual Returns In Hong Kong: What Information Is In An Annual Return?
In an Annual Return, you should disclose the following information:
- Company name
- Where the company is based (official registered address)
- The time period for which financial statements are given
- Capital Stock and shares (if any)
- Information on the company secretary
- Information about the board of directors
- Information about the shareholders in the company
- Company records
How To File Annual Returns In Hong Kong: Filling Out Your Annual Return Form
You can prepare your annual return in different ways, depending on your preferences and what works best for your business. Don’t let the thought of putting together all these documents stress you out. You can always get help along the way so you can focus on other aspects of your business.
Let SJH Global Handle How To File Annual Returns In Hong Kong For You
This is the best option for business owners with tight schedules. SJH Global is a professional consulting and tax accounting firm. We have highly-experienced chartered secretaries, also known as a company secretary, who can help handle your annual return filing paperwork.
Our dedicated team will help streamline the entire process so you don’t miss any deadlines. You can go to sleep knowing that we’ll handle the entire annual return filing on your behalf.
How To File Annual Returns In Hong Kong: Late Filing Fees
Section 662 of the Companies Ordinance says that you will face penalties and even prosecution, as the case may be if you fail to submit your annual return Hong Kong as when due.
It’s important to send in your annual return by the deadline so you don’t accumulate fines or, worse, prosecution for breaching the Companies Ordinance. The longer you delay the submission after the deadline, the higher your late fees. See the table below for the late filing fees.
|Within 42 days from the company's anniversary date||No penalty|
|Within 43 days to 3 months from the company's anniversary date||S$870|
|Within 3 to 6 months from the company's anniversary date||S$1,740|
|Within 6 to 9 months from the company's anniversary date||S$2,610|
|More than 9 months from the company's anniversary date||S$3,480|
How To File Annual Returns In Hong Kong: What Can SJH Global Do For You?
SJH Global offers professional company secretary services, such as filling out and submitting the Annual Return. Since we know the laws and regulations for Hong Kong companies, we can help you navigate the world of compliance so you can focus more on growing your business.
Legally established businesses in Hong Kong must hire a Company Secretary. Therefore, most businesses hire company secretaries from professional service providers.
A company secretary has many jobs, such as advising the board of directors, handling share transfers, and making sure all the records are up to date. Also, company secretaries are responsible for filing annual return.
SJH Global offers professional services as a company secretary, such as making and filing annual returns on time. We know a lot about Hong Kong’s business laws and rules; therefore, we are the best when it comes to handling how to file annual returns in Hong Kong. Feel free to contact us today!