First anniversary of commencement of new Companies Ordinance

     The new Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) (CO), which came into operation in March last year to provide a modernised legal framework for the incorporation and operation of companies in Hong Kong, marks its first anniversary today (March 3).  

     The Registrar of Companies, Ms Ada Chung said, "Through enhancing corporate governance, facilitating business, ensuring better regulation and modernising Hong Kong's company law, the new CO strengthens Hong Kong's competitiveness and reinforces Hong Kong's position as an international financial and commercial centre."

     In its "Doing Business 2015" report, the World Bank has commended Hong Kong for strengthening minority investor protection by introducing requirements for directors to provide more detailed disclosure of conflict of interest under the new CO. Hong Kong's global ranking in protecting minority investors has improved from third to second in 2015.

     The new CO contains a host of new initiatives to facilitate business and cater for the needs of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It has simplified the procedures for starting a business by removing the memorandum of association and the mandatory requirement of having a common seal. More SMEs can now prepare simplified financial statements and directors' reports.

     "The transition to the new regime has been very smooth, and we are encouraged to see the business community adopting our new measures, which aim to facilitate business and save costs, such as the alternative court-free procedure for reduction of capital and the new administrative restoration procedure," Ms Chung said.

     Heralding the first anniversary of the new CO, the Companies Registry launched a full scale electronic filing service today to cover 84 specified forms for filing with the Registry. Companies may submit all specified forms for registration round the clock at the e-Registry portal.

     "With the launch today all the specific forms under the new CO may now be submitted electronically. The electronic service not only facilitates the reporting and disclosure of company information but also delivers efficiencies for companies," Ms Chung added.

     More information on the new CO and the electronic filing service are available from the Registry's website at

Ends/Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:00