Number of newly incorporated companies remains high in 2014

     The number of local companies newly registered with the Companies Registry in 2014 remained high at 167,280, according to the statistics released by the Companies Registry today (January 11).

     The number of companies incorporated in March 2014 hit a record high of 30,463, significantly higher than the monthly average for the whole year. One main reason for the rise in March appeared to be the expiration of the waiver of business registration fees by April 1, 2014.

     By the end of 2014, the total number of live local companies registered under the Companies Ordinance surpassed 1.2 million to stand at 1,272,693, up 109,762 from 1,162,931 in 2013.

     In 2014, a record high of 38,938 companies were incorporated online at the e-Registry (, an increase of 8.23 per cent when compared to 2013.

     "The new Companies Ordinance, which commenced operation on March 3 last year, provides a modernised legal framework for the incorporation and operation of companies in Hong Kong and reinforces Hong Kong's role as an international financial and commercial centre," said the Registrar of Companies, Ms Ada Chung.

     The Companies Registry has conducted a comprehensive publicity programme to promote public awareness of the major changes brought about by the new ordinance, such as abolition of the par value of shares and removal of the mandatory requirement of having a common seal.

     "We handled over 60,000 enquiries on the new ordinance from January to August 2014 and have organised or participated in over 70 briefings or seminars to promote the new law. The transition has been very smooth. The various initiatives introduced by the new ordinance further simplify the procedures for starting a business as well as enhance corporate governance in Hong Kong," Ms Chung added.

     The alternative court-free procedure for reduction of capital as an additional option and the new administrative restoration procedure under the new Companies Ordinance have facilitated business operation and saved costs. Since the commencement of the new ordinance on March 3, 2014, 92 out of 102 companies which reduced their capital made use of the alternative court-free procedure. This also represented a six-fold increase in the total number of companies which have reduced their capital, from 14 in 2013. One hundred and twenty-seven companies made use of the new administrative restoration procedure, representing 44.4 per cent of applications which applied for restoration of companies.

     "In its 'Doing Business 2015' report, the World Bank has commended Hong Kong for strengthening minority investor protections by introducing requirements for directors to provide more detailed disclosure of conflict of interest under the new Companies Ordinance," Ms Chung added.

     The Registry continued to enhance the services delivered at its e-platforms. The Company Search Mobile Service (CSMS) ( was enhanced in December last year to provide Directors Index Search and Disqualification Orders Index Search services.

     "The new search functions make it more convenient for members of the public to access information maintained by the Registry. In December 2014, on average about 6,000 company searches were conducted through the CSMS daily," Ms Chung said.

     For non-Hong Kong companies that have newly established a place of business in Hong Kong, 811 companies were registered under the Companies Ordinance in 2014, an increase of 3.97 per cent from 780 in 2013. The total number of registered non-Hong Kong companies reached 9,624 by the end of 2014.

     The number of charges on assets of companies received for registration in 2014 was 21,662, a decrease of 26.89 per cent from 29,631 in 2013. The number of notifications of payment and releases received for registration decreased by 8.48 per cent, from 23,372 in 2013 to 21,389 in 2014.

     In 2014, a total of 239 prospectuses were registered, an increase from 161 in 2013.

     The total number of documents received for registration last year increased by 7.13 per cent, from 2,449,376 to 2,624,123.

     A total of 3,673,185 searches of document image records were conducted through the Registry's electronic search services in 2014, an increase of 3.85 per cent from 3,537,044 in 2013.

     The total number of summonses issued by the Registrar of Companies last year against companies for breaches of the Companies Ordinance, mainly for failure to file annual returns, was 6,542, an increase of 3.63 per cent from 6,313 in 2013.

     For details of the statistics, please visit the "Statistics" section of the Registry's website (

Ends/Sunday, January 11, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:00