Computerised Processing System
Enhanced Information Disclosure
Companies Registry

Exemplary Services@Gov
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(Cantonese with English subtitles)

In line with legislative amendments to the Companies Ordinance, the Companies Registry (CR) streamlined the incorporation procedures for local companies and enhanced the registration regime for non-Hong Kong companies. With a view to further enhancing the quality of services, the CR continuously collects feedback from its customers through Customer Liaison Group, annual Customer Service Survey, Customer Suggestions/Comments Form and Enquiry Hotline etc. Over the past two years, the time spans for incorporation of local companies and registration of non-Hong Kong companies have been shortened from 6 to 4 working days and from 16 to 14 working days respectively.

New Initiatives to Streamline Registration Requirements and Enhance Information Disclosure

Simplified procedures and computerised services played a pivotal role in enhancing efficiency of the CR's services. In December 2007, the CR introduced a new registration form for non-Hong Kong companies. The new form states clearly the requirements on submission of accounts, thus saving applicants' time and cost in consulting professionals on the matter. In July 2008, the CR introduced new incorporation forms to streamline procedures for registration of local companies.

In promulgating and implementing new initiatives, the CR explained the new requirements to companies and professional associations through various publicity channels such as seminars, external circulars, information pamphlets and letters, and updating the content of its website. Miss Wendy MA, Assistant Registry Manager (Customer Services), said, "By extending our free "Annual Return e-Alert" service for use by non-Hong Kong companies and with the implementation of various publicity programmes, the compliance rate of non-Hong Kong companies in filing annual returns improved from 65% in 2006 to 87% in 2008."

The CR took the initiative to consult Relevant professional associations on their views and comments when drafting the new forms to ensure that the forms were user-friendly. Deputy Registry Manager, Miss Hilda CHANG, pointed out, "Our computer system has been enhanced to process the information provided in the new incorporation forms, such as details of registered office address, directors and secretary etc. and to make such information available for public inspection immediately after incorporation."

In addition, to enhance transparency of registered companies, non-Hong Kong companies are required to provide more details including the address of the principal place of business and particulars of directors etc. in their annual returns. In the past, they were merely required to confirm in their annual returns that there had been no change in the information already reported to the Registry.

Electronic Filing Service

The CR aims to implement Phase II of its Integrated Companies Registry Information System (ICRIS) and launch electronic incorporation and an integrated electronic company incorporation and business registration service in 2010-2011. By then, members of the public will be able to incorporate companies and submit documents online. It is anticipated that incorporation of a local company can be completed within one working day.

The Companies Registry conducts a Customer Service Survey every year to gauge the level of satisfaction and expectations of its customers with regard to its service and to facilitate the formulation of strategies to pursue excellent services. The photo shows the staff of the New Companies Section, which obtained the highest satisfaction score last year.
Miss Hilda CHANG, Deputy Registry Manager (left) pointed out that through redesigning annual return forms, more comprehensive information of non-Hong Kong companies is disclosed. Ms Fanny Wing-chi LAM, Assistant Registry Manager (New Companies) (middle) indicated that before launching the new forms, the Companies Registry had consulted its customers for comments on the contents of the forms. Right: Miss Wendy MA, Assistant Registry Manager (Customer Services Division).
The Companies Registry simplified the procedures for local company incorporation and enhanced the registration system for non-Hong Kong companies. The time spans for incorporation of a local company and registration of a non-Hong Kong company have been shortened to 4 and 14 working days respectively.
The enhanced computer system can process company information provided in the new incorporation forms and make such information available for public inspection immediately after a company's incorporation.