A new regulation regarding Hong Kong company ownership records came into force on March 1st 2018. Every HK company MUST create an up-to-date 'Significant Controllers Register' (showing who owns the company) which will be available to the authorities, by March 31st 2018. Stiff penalties apply for failing to do so!
Here's what you need to know, and how we can help here at Hongda!
What's The Significant Controllers Register?
The Amendment Ordinance in Hong Kong introduced new requirements on the keeping of a significant controllers register (“SCR”) by companies with effect from 1 March 2018.
The point of the SCR is to make it transparent to the authorities (law enforcement, inland revenue, etc) who actually owns Hong Kong companies in order for Hong Kong to fulfill international obligations. This most likely means that foreign governments have lobbied Hong Kong to make it easier for them to identify criminals engaged in money-laundering, etc.
Further details regarding the SCR
- A company incorporated in Hong Kong must obtain and maintain up-to-date beneficial ownership information, by way of keeping a Significant Controllers Register (“SCR”), for inspection by law enforcement officers upon demand.
- The Amendment Ordinance requires a company to keep a SCR in either the English or Chinese language, containing required particulars of its significant controllers (including registerable person and / or registerable legal entity). The SCR should be kept at the company’s registered office or a prescribed place in Hong Kong.
- The company will have to designate a representative to serve as a contact point for providing information about the SCR and related assistance to law enforcement officers. The designated representative must be either a shareholder, director or an employee of the company who is a natural person resident in Hong Kong or an accounting professional, a legal professional or a person licensed to carry on a business as trust or company service provider. The particulars of the designated representative should also be entered into the SCR.
- Law enforcement officers can perform a random check-up on the records.
Penalties for not keeping an up-to-date SCR
If a company fails to comply with the requirement of keeping a SCR, the company, and each of its responsible persons, will be liable on conviction to a fine up to $25,000 and a daily fine of $700. The person who commits an offense for false information under subsection is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine of from $100,000 to $300,000, or to imprisonment for 6 months to 2 years.
SCRs must be registered by March 31st 2018.
Do you have a Hong Kong company? Here's what you need to do, and fast.
Just prepare to be able to give us the details outlined above, namely:
- Details of 'significant controllers,' be they individuals or legal entities
- The 'legal representative' you nominate to give details on the SCR if required
Don't worry, we can handle this for you quickly and easily!
Hongda can help you to create and register an up-to-date 'significant controllers register' for your Hong Kong company.
Our service fee for creating and registering your SCR is just 1,000RMB.
Deadline for registration is March 31, 2018.
Hit the button below to contact us and request a call back from our HK business consultants who will take your details, answer any questions, and get your SCR created and registered as soon as possible with minimum effort on your part: