4 precautions for filing an annual return

Jun 14, 2023 | 香港公司設立

Abstract: A local limited company is required to file an annual return with the Companies Registry within 42 days from its incorporation. It turns out that the form of different companies also has different submission times. There are also a number of precautions between the unused submission methods, and a fine of up to HK$3,480 can be imposed if you submit late. This article will share 4 points to note when filing an annual return.

Submission time of annual return

The deadline for filing annual returns varies greatly depending on the form of the company.

Private companies

The annual return is registered with the Registrar of Companies within 42 days from the anniversary of the company, i.e. the incorporation of the corporation. Private companies can use the

Delivery Annual Return Deadline Calculator

to calculate the due date.

Public companies

The deadline is the delivery of the annual return registration within 42 days of the company’s filing date, and the filing date is 6 months after the end of the account inquiry period.

Guarantor company

The deadline will be for the registration of the annual return within 42 days of the company’s filing date, which is 9 months after the end of the inquiry period.

Hong Kong company annual return filing time

How the annual return is delivered

Delivered in person in hard copy

The registered office address and postal delivery address is the
Companies Registry, 14/F, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong,
and the registration fee needs to be sent by cheque payable to “Companies Registry” when delivered by hard copy.

Delivery by post

Please note when sending printed copies and cheques by post to the registered office:

1. An annual return that is not signed or accompanied by a properly registered fee will be regarded as an unsatisfactory document and will not be accepted by the Companies Registry and will not be deemed to have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies in compliance with the requirements of the Companies Ordinance. The annual registration fee payable will be calculated based on the date of re-submission of the annual return, so the company may have to pay a higher registration fee.

2. If the document is not received by the Registrar of Companies, the document will not be deemed to have been delivered to the Registrar in accordance with the requirements of the delivery document.

How the annual return is delivered

Delivered electronically

Annual returns and correct annual registration fees can be delivered electronically through the Companies Registry’s easy-to-register website. For details, please visit ”

Easy Registration

Annual return registration fee

The registration fee for an annual return for a local limited company is HK$105, but failure to deliver the annual return within the prescribed time limit may result in a significantly increased registration fee ranging from HK$870 to HK$3,480.

An annual return is a registration fee that requires the payment of an annual return even if the company is not in business. Under the Companies Ordinance, the Registrar of Companies has no discretionary power to waive the payment of registration fees. If the company ceases to carry on business, consideration may be given to applying to the Registrar of Companies for deregistration under section 750 of Cap. 622 or winding up the company under Cap. 32.

Late submission of annual returns

Companies that are late in the delivery of their annual returns are required to pay a higher registration fee, whether it is forgotten, lost or deliberately not to submit it is a breach of the Companies Ordinance, the more days after the filing date of the return is calculated to calculate the registration fee that needs to be paid, the later the filing of the return, the higher the penalty, if it is too late, it will even lead to a conviction.

The company’s return date is more than 42 days after the date of the registration fee, but not more than 3 months is required to pay $870;

A registration fee of $1,740 is payable for a registration fee of more than 3 months but not more than 6 months after the date of the company’s return;

A registration fee of $2,610 is payable for the company’s return more than 6 months after the date of the return, but not more than 9 months;

A registration fee of $3,480 is payable more than 9 months after the date of the company’s return.

Annual return fees

Section 662 of the Companies Ordinance provides that failure by a Hong Kong company to comply with this provision may be prosecuted and, upon conviction, liable to a fine for default. A maximum fine of HK$50,000 is imposed for each default. Persistent defaults are punishable by a daily fine of HK$1,000.

Please also note that the 42-day period includes Sundays and public holidays. However, if the 42nd day falls on a Sunday or a public holiday, the expiry date will be extended to the next day, and if the last day of the deadline for delivery falls on a Saturday, the deadline will remain unchanged.


The annual return is a corporate document that the company must deliver every year, as long as the company is not dissolved, it is required to deliver the annual return to avoid the need to invite late registration fees. Filing an annual return on time is usually a statutory liability statement for the directors or company secretary of the company.

Langfeng Business Consultant Team provides one-stop business advisory services, providing services such as Hong Kong company registration, bank account opening, company secretarial and annual return filing, so that you can save energy and time and help you start your business blueprint!

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