Abstract: The Hong Kong Companies Registry provides online search services for companies registered in Hong Kong, the Companies Registry search service is to provide a more transparent business environment through the disclosure of company information, both enterprises and individuals can use the Companies Registry search service to access the information of various companies, especially those who plan to learn to use this system. The following describes the company’s search system, what information can be accessed, search fees and procedures.
What is a company search?
Under the Companies Ordinance, the Companies Registry keeps registers for public inspection, including personal particulars of directors and members, or company liquidators or provisional liquidators, etc.
The public can search the personal data of directors and members of registered companies through a search of the Companies Registry, and for investors and cooperative companies, the identity of directors, company information and company address can be determined through search, so as to enhance public transparency and enhance confidence in companies in the business environment.
Before planning to set up a Hong Kong company, the search service can also be used to help determine whether the proposed company name is duplicate or too similar to the existing company.
You can search from the following sources:
1. Log on to the Companies Registry’s Online Search Centre (www.icris.cr.gov.hk)
2. Log on to the mobile version of Company Search (www.mobile-cr.gov.hk)
3. Go to the Public Search Centre on the 13/F, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.
What information can be found in the company search?
The Company Search provides access to the status of all companies (including dissolved companies) in the Companies Register and video records of documents registered and maintained by the Companies Registry. You can also order certified copies of registered documents and search reports or apply for a certificate of registration to date.
1. Review and download the documents and forms submitted
2. Review past and present company directors
3. Membership and details, which determine the latest details of the company, such as company name and registered address
4. Check the company’s charge information
New search arrangements
With effect from 23 August 2021, there is a new arrangement under which companies can replace their usual residential addresses with the correspondence addresses of directors and part of the identification numbers of directors and company secretaries in their registers in lieu of full numbers for public inspection. Normally, the residential address and full identification number of the protected information can only be obtained by the specified person through application, and the company can also collect the protected information from public inspection.
The new arrangement will be carried out in three phases, namely:
Phase 1: With effect from 23 August 2021, although the protected data is required to be included in the company’s register, the company may no longer provide the information for public inspection.
Phase 2: With effect from 24 October 2022, the Companies Registry will no longer make available public access to protected information contained in documents subject to registration with the Companies Registry under the Companies Ordinance.
Stage 3: With effect from 27 December 2023, data subjects may apply to the Registrar of Companies for no longer to make available protected data contained in documents registered with the Companies Registry before 24 October 2022.
Identify the person
After the implementation of the second phase, only specified persons may apply access to protected information to the Registrar of Companies.
“Designated Person” includes:
- data subject;
- a person who has written authorization from the data subject to obtain such data;
- members of the relevant company;
- bankruptcy trustees;
- public officials or public institutions;
- persons specified in the Schedule to the Regulation;
- Lawyer or out-of-town lawyer;
- Certified Public Accountant;
- Financial institutions or designated non-financial persons.
Company search fee lazy bag
Company search is available to the public, through the Companies Registry can access the company’s current information, but this service is not a free service, the information available in the company search can be divided into free and paid services:
1. Check the company name (starting with the name or full name search) and click on the company name to learn about this free feature
2. Check the company document index
3. Check the index of the record book of the company’s disqualification order
4. Check the index of the company’s register of charges
1. Access the information on the list or report
Includes: access to company information, index of directors by company name, index of directors by name of director, and information on disqualification orders
2. Certificate or certified copy
These include: certification fee for obtaining a certificate issued under section 305(1) of the Companies Ordinance certifying the incorporation or change of name of a local company, obtaining a certificate issued under section 305(1) of the CO certifying the registration of a non-Hong Kong company or certifying the registration of a non-Hong Kong company under a changed name, obtaining certified copies of documents (or extracts thereof) or reports
3. Check the video record
The fees of the Online Search Centre and the Public Search Centre at the Company’s Registration Office are different, and the following figure shows the fees of the Online Search Centre.
These include: prospectus, accounts, memorandum, articles of association, memorandum and articles of association, charter, regulations or similar documents, annual returns, forms NC1, NC1G or N1, documents on the register of charges, other documents of the company
There are three payment methods for unbanked users:
Credit card: VISA, Mastercard, JCB or UnionPay
Electronic payment: Apple Pay or Google Pay, limited to the mobile version of the company search
PPS is limited to the use of the Online Search Centre
For more detailed charges, please refer to the Companies Registry’s Service Fee Schedule, and note that the new search arrangements from 2021 onwards may not be available from the search process.
frequently asked questions
Can I use the Companies Registry’s company search service for unlimited company search?
The authority of the unlimited company is the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department, which is not the Companies Registry, so the company search service of the Companies Registry cannot be used, and the “GovHK Pass” should be used for the unlimited company search. Information such as business registration numbers, electronic extracts of information names in business registers and other information can be enquired through GovHK.
Can I download the search results?
Most of the search results can be viewed online, such as the Company Name Index, Charge Index, Document Index, Directors Index and Disqualification Order Index. In addition to online viewing, you can also download the video recording of the search results. However, certified copies of video recordings ordered online can only be collected in hard copy. If you search at the Public Search Centre, you can only obtain a printed copy of the search result.
Do I need to apply for the company search service as a registered user?
The Company Search Service can be conducted as a non-account user or in person at the Companies Registry.
Can I apply for a receipt for the Company Search Service?
Once the online payment of the non-account user is accepted, the electronic receipt will be displayed on the screen. The receipt contains the order number and the order enquiry reference number, which must be entered by the non-account user in order to download the ordered item or check the status of the ordered item. Therefore, before leaving the page of electronic receipts, make sure that you have saved or printed your receipts.
The service fee payable by the registered user will be deducted from the prepaid amount. The transaction is confirmed and the transaction number is displayed.
Can non-account users view their subscriptions?
Non-account users can view the information of the last 20 orders made by the same computer/the same mobile device in the past 72 hours, including the order code and order enquiry reference number, through the “My Transactions” function under “Shopping”.
Use the order number/transaction number/receipt number/purchase order number and order reference number on the electronic receipt to check the items you have ordered.
Company search is an important feature that provides important information and documents about a particular company. If you have any corporate and business questions, please contact the Lanfeng Business Consultants, we provide one-stop professional business services, including Hong Kong company registration, bank account opening and secretarial services, so that you can focus on developing your business!