Limited Time Offer – Save HKD 2,000 on Company Formation Registration Fees in Hong Kong

Good News! Sleek will help jumpstart your new business by covering the new HK government Business Registration Fee. Terms & Conditions apply







The Differences Between Business Registration, Company Registration, and Trade Mark Registration


10 minute read


When you’re just starting your business, learning the difference between some key terms can be extremely complicated. If your business is based in Hong Kong, you’re probably wondering about the difference between business registration, company registration, and trademark registration.

To some, it doesn’t seem like these three terms are too different, but they describe processes all of which serve different purposes. They’re also regulated by different laws and different government departments administering the registration system for each of them.

If you want to get a better understanding of these terms, keep reading this simple article where we break down everything you need to know.





Business Registration

It’s mandatory for all business owners to apply for registration within a month from the date of commencement of their business.

This registration is administered by the Business Registration Office under the Inland Revenue Department. This office is responsible for businesses that are carried out by a partnership, an individual, a local limited company, or a company that isn’t local.

It’s also important to distinguish which types of businesses need to be registered:


  • Activity or calling that is carried out for the purpose of gain such as commerce, craftsmanship, trade, etc.
  • Club that provides services, facilities, and allows access to exclusive club premises to any and all of its members.
  • Local or overseas company that has a place of business which is established in the city of Hong Kong, no matter if it’s carrying out business in the city or not.
  • Overseas company that has a liaison office or a representative in the city, or has let out its property situated within the city.


Finally, if you’re carrying on business at a branch, you need to apply for branch registration as well.



Company Registration

The Companies Ordinance is administered and enforced by the Companies Registry. This institution is also responsible for providing services for the merger of local companies as well as the registration of companies that have a place of business established locally but are incorporated elsewhere.

If you want to form a local limited company, you need to propose a company name that isn’t already taken, and you can check the availability of the name you’ve chosen online. However, even if the name you picked isn’t already taken, it still may not be possible to register it.

Here are the things you need to remember when choosing the name for your company:


  • The Registrar of Companies won’t consider if your company name is too similar to a different organization’s name. It is your job to do the research because if you register a name that’s similar to another company’s, they may file a complaint with the Registrar.
  • Before you can successfully incorporate your company, it needs to meet all the requirements of the Companies Ordinance.
  • You will be issued a Certificate of Incorporation in six working days and a Certificate of Registration in 16 working days.



Trademark Registration

Trademark registration to all members of the public is provided by the Trade Marks Registry under the Intellectual Property Department. It’s important to note that even if you register your business or company, that is not the same as registering a trademark.
Once you register your trademark, you distinguish your goods and services from other traders and you have exclusive rights to use that trademark. And if other people use it locally to trade goods and services, you have the right to take legal action against them.

Before you file a trademark application, check to see if there are any similar TMs that were registered with the Trade Marks Registry.

Once the Registry checks your application and makes sure it has no deficiency and it meets all requirements, it will be accepted and published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal. A third party has the right to oppose your registration within three months after the publication date.

From the date your application is received, the entire registration process can last for up to six months. Once that period is over, you will have territorial protection within the city. But if you want to receive protection in Mainland China, you need to apply for registration there as well.




Business ownership in Hong Kong can be very profitable, even though it requires you to jump through some legal hoops before you can legally operate your business. Registration is one of the most important things you need to take care of, so it’s best to do it as quickly as possible.

Now that you know the difference between business, company, and trademark registration, some things are probably much clearer to you. Still, this can be a complicated process, so feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Ready to grow your business?

Our expert team is here to help you. Explore our incorporation services or contact our team to get personalised advice today.

Start a business in less than 3 hours with us. Talk to our experts today.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our jam-packed newsletter covers monthly compliance updates, upcoming events and exclusive offers

Other articles that might interest you

Related content

Need help? Let’s have a chat!


We'd love to help. Share your contact details and we'll call you back!

WhatsApp Us

Conditions Apply

Before participating in this promotion, you must carefully read and agree to abide by the following terms and conditions.

  1. Eligible Users: To enjoy this offer, customers must register a new company with the specified package (Incorporation with HK Registered Address & company secretary), and purchase tax, audit, or accounting services. Customers will receive a fee waiver of HKD 2,000. This offer is only valid for new incorporation clients once per company and is not available for Incorporation-only clients.
  2. Promotion Period: This promotion is valid until May 31, 2023. Sleek reserves the right to end this promotion at any time without prior notice to customers.
  3. Fees and Payment: Customers must pay the full registration and tax/audit/accounting service fees according to Sleek’s standard payment terms. The HKD 2,000 waiver of government business registration fees will be applied as a discount on the customer’s invoice.
  4. Confidentiality: Sleek shall treat all information provided by the customer as confidential and shall not disclose such information to any third party, except as required by law or with the customer’s consent.
  5. Limitation of Liability: To the extent permitted by law, Sleek shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising out of this promotion.
  6. Disclaimer: To the extent permitted by law, Sleek shall not be responsible for any loss or damage arising from the customer’s use of this promotion. Sleek does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, reliability, timeliness, suitability, or availability of the website and its content. Sleek reserves the right to change the website and its content at any time without prior notice to customers.
  7. Cancellation of Orders: If customers wish to cancel an order, they must contact Sleek’s customer service department within 24 hours of submitting the order. Orders cannot be cancelled if they have already been processed.
  8. Links to Third-Party Websites: Sleek’s website may contain links to third-party websites that are not under Sleek’s control. Sleek is not responsible for the content, privacy policies, or practices of third-party websites and does not endorse or recommend them. Customers should carefully read the terms and conditions and privacy policies of any third-party website before using it.
  9.  Accuracy of Registration Information: Customers warrant that all registration information provided is accurate, complete, and up-to-date. If a customer’s registration information changes, the customer should update their account information promptly. Sleek shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from the customer’s provision of inaccurate or incomplete registration information.
whatsapp icon

Chat with us on WhatsApp from your mobile

30 day moneyback guarantee

30 Days Money Back Guarantee

Our refund policy:

We care about you – within 30 days from your purchase, if you’re unhappy with our services, we’ll refund our fee. Email or call us, and we’ll process the refund within five working days.

What it doesn’t cover:

We will not be able to refund Government fees once the application has been submitted, nor any third-party processing fees.

When it applies:

We cannot guarantee any specific legal outcomes when you use our services. For instance, a company registration might be filed correctly but still get rejected by the Company Registry for reasons beyond our control. We can only refund our fees for issues we are directly responsible for. In the case that you purchase a service and later change your mind, we can’t issue a refund.

Our customer support team is at your disposal for any questions or issue you may face.

Need help?

Our sales team is available from Mon - Fri 9am to 7pm (Hong Kong Time)

Let's get in touch

Book a time with our experts to guide you in finding the best solution.