What is the Certificate of Good Standing for Hong Kong Businesses?
5 minute read
In Hong Kong, the Certificate of Good Standing (the Good Standing Certificate) is also known as the Certificate of Continuing Registration. This certificate is issued by The Companies Registry, and is legal proof of a company’s registration.
This article explains what is a Certificate of Good standing or Certificate of Continuing Registration, how it is being issued and if your business needs one. If you need to apply for this official document for your company, we also share how to apply for one and how long you will have to wait until it arrives.
Let’s read on.
What is the Certificate of Good Standing?
A Certificate of Good Standing is a document issued by the Companies Registry in Hong Kong. This document aids in the certification of the company name in order to keep the Companies Registry in good standing generally.
This is relevant to you if you are: a local limited company or a non-Hong Kong company registered under the Companies Ordinance.
The certificate essentially comprises: your current business name, and the date of incorporation or registration.
However it is important to note that this certificate cannot be a replacement for the Certificate of Incorporation – which is essential for businesses to operate in Hong Kong.
Certificate of Good Standing versus Certificate of Continuing Registration
Simply put, it’s the same certificate in different names. The certificate, which is issued by the Companies Registry, is legal proof that your company is in good standing and confirms it is still registered.
The Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Continuing Registration is frequently accepted in Hong Kong as verification of your business’s registration. It is the same document when it comes to its legal power and standing.
The certificate is accepted by international agencies and institutions as well. Hence this might be a useful certificate to have if you want to use this as a means for verification.
What does the Certificate of Good Standing include?
The document includes the following:
- The Hong Kong company has not filed articles of dissolution, certificates of cancellation, or other comparable paperwork.
- As of the date of issuance, the Hong Kong company is still listed in the Companies Register.
- The Companies Ordinance was used to incorporate your Hong Kong company.
- It states that the Hong Kong company is still listed on the Hong Kong Registrar of Companies’ Register of Companies at the time the certificate is issued, as required by the Companies Ordinance.
- At the Hong Kong Registrar of Companies, an authorized officer’s signature is required.
Do I need a Certificate of Good Standing for my business?
In most cases, a company only needs a Certificate of Good Standing when it is requested.
Only two situations are likely to require this certificate:
- You’ve been asked for one by a person or company with whom you have a business relationship. This is most likely when you wish to open a business bank account, apply for a consumer credit or debit card for your business, or apply for corporate credit or business loans.
- You apply to register your company as a foreign entity in another state (non Hong Kong company). It is typical for local and overseas authorities to require a Certificate of Good Standing from the state where the company was created in order to register a foreign entity (to obtain business licenses).
You won’t be able to receive a Certificate of Good Standing if your company is not obliged to be legally registered and legally authorized with and by the state. Find out more about how to register your business in Hong Kong here.
How can I apply for the certificate for my business?
Online applications for a certificate of good standing are available through the Registry’s Cyber Search Centre. Applications can also be submitted in person at the Registry Office. The address of the office is 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.
You can apply for a CCR online at the Registry’s Cyber Search Centre (www.icris.cr.gov.hk) or in person at the Registry’s Public Search Centre, which is located on the 13th Floor of the Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.
If you apply for a CCR online, you have the option of picking it up at the Registry’s Public Search Centre or having it sent or delivered to you for a fee. If you apply for a CCR in person at the Registry’s Public Search Centre, you must pick up the CCR in person as well.
A CCR will usually be ready for pickup at the Registry’s Public Search Centre within 6 hours of the order being placed, excluding non-service hours and non-working days.
If you prefer to pick up your CCR via mail or courier, it will usually arrive at the postal or courier agent within 6 hours of your order, except for non-service hours and non-working days. The time it takes for a package to be delivered by mail or a courier service is not included.
Starting your business with Sleek
With Sleek, you won’t have to deal with the tedious procedures that are required when starting a company in Hong Kong.
We will help with the incorporation process and our experts will be there for you every step of the way. You won’t even have to be physically present at each stage because we will take care of everything – all digital.
With us, you can even get a company secretary service. That includes obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing if necessary.
Remember that the Hong Kong Certificate of Good Standing and the Certificate of Continuing Registration both have identical functions and powers for business entities.
If you want to show that your company is running well and that you know how to conduct business, definitely acquire one of these certificates.