Hong Kong Revenue warns: applications for Registration of Business which has not commenced business will not be accepted

Business Registration Ordinance (Cap. 310) provides that any person carrying on sole proprietorship or partnership business shall apply for business registration within one month of the commencement of such business

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will not accept any applications for registration of businesses which have never existed or have yet to commence operation.

Recently, IRD has received a large number of new applications for registration of businesses of which non-residents are sole proprietors or partners. However, many of them fail to prove that they did commence their businesses in Hong Kong. Such applications are not accepted.

Given that persons who land in Hong Kong as visitors are normally not allowed to establish or join in any business during their stay in Hong Kong, IRD will require businesses with non-resident sole proprietor or partners to provide further information with a view to ensuring that the particulars, including the date of commencement, stated in the relevant application form are correct.

Please note that any person who submits false information shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of $5,000 and to imprisonment for 1 year under the Business Registration Ordinance.

As a related measure, upon receipt of Notification of Change of Partners (Form IRBR64) for admission of non-resident(s) as partner(s), IRD will ask the business concerned to provide further information in support of the admission.