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Hong Kong

As part of our registry spotlight series, we offer valuable insights on the national registries that can be accessed through the Know Your Customer platform and single API.

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Touki System, operated by Japan’s Ministry of Justice
The Registry

What’s the history of the HK CR?

The Hong Kong Companies Registry (“CR”) administers and enforces the provisions of the Companies Ordinance and related ordinances. Like its counterpart in other jurisdictions, the CR registers local and non-Hong Kong companies and filing documents as required under current regulations, de-registers defunct solvent private companies, and enables users to retrieve company information.

If we look at its history, the HK CR embraced digitisation fairly early. In late February 2005, it implemented the Integrated Companies Registry Information System which transformed its core business activities and enabled the delivery of 24×7 electronic search services through the Cyber Search Centre ( The roll-out of the company search mobile service ( in June 2012 marked another milestone in the technological enhancement of the Registry’s services.

Accessing The Registry

How do you access the HK CR?

At present, it is possible to conduct searches on registered companies and access copies of filing documents through both online and offline channels, such as:

Information Available

What information is available in the HK CR?

According to official data released by CR, the total number of local companies registered under the Companies Ordinance reached 1,391,678 at the end of 2022.

The registry provides information on various entity types. Due to Hong Kong’s role as an important regional financial hub, hundreds of new companies are registered under the HK Registry every day. In fact, in 2022 as many as 104,120 new local companies were added to the Registry.

The table below shows the breakdown per entity type of new companies registered in 2021, the latest year for which data is currently available.

Entity type # of new registered entities (2021 Data)
Public companies 61
Private companies 109,745
Guarantee companies 1,034
Total No. of companies incorporated 110,840

For these entities, the Hong Kong CR provides digital copies of a variety of official filing documents. The main ones include:

  1. HK CR Company Particulars
  2. Certificate of Incorporation
  3. Certificate of Change of Name
  4. NSC1 Allotment
  5. Memorandum & Articles of Association
  6. Annual Return (FNAR1) or FNNC1 (Incorporation Form)
Associated Fees

What are the HK CR fees?

The CR charges various fees, including an annual registration fee to allow users to access the portal and action-based charges for the following items:

  • Company Particular Search, per company
  • Directors Index Search (Company based, per company)
  • Director Particulars Search, per director
  • Directors Index Search (Director based) per director
  • Disqualification Order Particular Search, per disqualified person
  • Obtaining a certificate of a local live company (per copy)
Real-Time Registry Access

Why does real-time access matter?

Accessing up-to-the-minute information from official sources, instead of relying on traditional databases, is becoming a necessity for regulated organisations worldwide for two main reasons.

On the one hand, financial institutions are under increasing pressure from regulators to conduct in-depth customer due diligence and investigate the corporate structures of their prospective customers. If they don’t, the reputational, financial and personal liability risks could be extremely serious. Primary source data is the most authoritative source of information for any effective AML and KYB strategy as it relies on official and live information, instead of obtaining often out-of-date details from a static database. In this context, getting direct access to official company data and documentation gives compliance teams confidence that they are basing their AML and KYB reviews on the most reliable, accurate, and complete beneficial ownership information.

On the other hand, there is a business opportunity to consider. Newly incorporated companies often need financial services such as a business bank account, financial loans, insurance coverage for the company and staff, or other types of financing. However, these companies can be properly verified only through primary sources such as company registries, because their information will not be present in any of the traditional databases. Hence, if FIs and Fintechs want to target this market segment, real-time company registry access is non-negotiable.

The KYC Way

How can Know Your Customer help with registry access?

The Know Your Customer platform and single API help you identify a company through real-time connections to official government sources and access 500+ local company registries across 123 countries, but that’s only the beginning.

On top of official documents, we provide AI-driven automated data extraction and shareholder identification from official records. Our solution enables financial institutions to identify Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) and effectively minimise AML, fraud, and financial crime risks with AML screening from leading watchlists. This integrated approach ensures audit-proof documentary evidence, enabling businesses to meet financial regulators’ most stringent requirements.

With Know Your Customer, compliance teams can quickly and safely build a one-stop digital solution to streamline their entire corporation boarding and know your business (KYB) process, simplifying their access to company registries globally. But leveraging direct connections to company registries is not just a matter of compliance. It also helps both Fintechs and traditional FIs gain a competitive advantage in today’s highly digitised financial services landscape, particularly when targeting recently incorporated organisations.

Experience the benefits of our Live Registry Solution and Automated UBO Engine to drive secure cross-border growth for your business.

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Last updated on April 3rd, 2024 at 07:42 am

Maggie Maspero

Margherita Maspero is a marketing expert with ten years of experience in marketing strategy and brand development at international RegTech companies across Europe and Asia. Prior to joining Know Your Customer, Margherita held various positions building brands and driving commercial growth through effective marketing strategies at fast-growing B2B start-ups and scale-ups in London, Dublin and Milan. A graduate of the University of Milan, Margherita holds a Master’s from University College London (UCL).