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Annual Return in Hong Kong: The Requirements and Process of Doing Your Annual Returns

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annual return hong kong

Private firms operating in Hong Kong must submit annual returns at least once yearly. This occurs around the time that the company celebrates its anniversary. To be able to submit this annual return Hong Kong, your company secretary should complete and file an NAR1 form within 42 days of the anniversary date of the date your business was incorporated.

This guide will guide you step-by-step on filing an annual return Hong Kong to avoid penalties. 

Overview of Annual Return Hong Kong

Annually, you must demonstrate business compliance and pay an annual fee to keep your business registration certificate (“BRC”). Herein is the purpose of your annual return. Consider it similar to a driver’s license. This is the only way to be legally permitted to continue operating your firm.

To file the annual return, you must submit the stated NAR1 form to the Hong Kong Companies Registry. The form will show details of your firm’s shareholders, directors, company secretary, and registered office address.

The manager, authorized representative, director, or company secretary should sign the NAR1 form. 

If your firm applied for a dormant status, your private company would be exempted from filing an annual return Hong Kong.

Annual Return Hong Kong: Private Companies Annual Filing Requirements

Before a Hong Kong firm can submit the Annual Return form, it must complete certain requirements:

  1. A Hong Kong resident company secretary, who may be a corporation or an individual, manages the business.
  2. Unless the firm has been declared inactive by the Companies Registry, an auditor is required to be engaged. That is, it is a company with no legitimate commercial transactions during the fiscal year.
  3. Maintain a Hong Kong-based registered address; this home address must not be a P.O. Box.
  4. At least one director must be at least 18 years old and be either a foreign national or a country resident.
  5. At least one shareholder must be at least 18 years old and might be a body corporate, a local or foreign individual, or a foreigner.
  6. Moreover, the company would be required to notify the Companies Registry of any changes to its registered information. This covers changes to the company secretary, share capital, shareholder information, directors, registration address, etc.  
  7. As per the BRC verification, renew your company’s registration one month before it expires each year.
  8. Annual General Meetings (AGMs) are held within 9 months after the financial year end date and on every financial year. 
  9. Prepare the necessary business permits.
  10. Registers, share certificates, company seals, current financial records, minutes of all meetings of the board of directors and members, business registration certificates, articles of association, and incorporation certificates should all be kept on file.
  11. Follow the Tax Authority and Companies Registry of Hong Kong’s guidelines for filing yearly returns for businesses. 
  12. A business must maintain thorough accounting records for a minimum of seven years. The returns must be kept in Hong Kong even if the accounting records are stored elsewhere.

Annual Return Hong Kong: Filing Preparation

You can prepare your annual returns in two ways: complete hard copies or fill up an electronic form and submit it to the Companies Registry.

For a hard copy, download the NAR1 form. It is accessible in both English and Chinese, so choose the version that is most convenient for you. After completing the form, it must be printed, and your company secretary or director sign it. The document can then be mailed to the Companies Registry or delivered in person at the 14th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Make the yearly registration fee payment payable to “Companies Registry” on the check. If you are hand-delivering your check, you must consider their service hours. If mailing your annual return Hong Kong, send it as soon as possible in case of unavoidable delays.

For electronic filing, accomplish the online form and pay the corresponding fees. There is round-the-clock access to the e-registry provided by the Companies Registry.

Annual Return Hong Kong: Preparation Schedule

The required timeframe for filing an annual return is within 42 days of the anniversary of your company’s incorporation. This applies to all Hong Kong businesses.

If you are unsure of the actual due date for your annual tax return, you can utilize the government’s online calculator.  If your company fails to file its annual return within the allotted 42 days, it will be subject to a late filing penalty.

Getting help from a business consulting service like Premia TNC is best to avoid penalties and ensure the smooth filing of your company’s annual return. 

Annual Return Hong Kong: How Can Premia TNC Help?

Premia TNC not only gives you professional accounting services, but also gives you professional company secretarial services all in one place. This is fast and easy. Company secretaries, unlike personal secretaries, are senior executives with professional training. Their job is to keep statutory records, report and keep the company up-to-date on statutory changes, and work with government departments to make sure the company is operating legally and in accordance with the law.

Annual Return Hong Kong – Frequently Asked Questions

1. What form should I file for my annual return Hong Kong? How much is the registration fee?

Form NAR1 should be used. The annual registration fee is determined by the kind of company and is payable upon delivery of the annual return.

2. When should the annual return Hong Kong be sent?

The annual return must be submitted to the Registrar of Companies within 42 days of the company’s return date for registration. Different sorts of businesses have varying return dates.

3. Are Sundays and holidays included in the 42-day period of the annual return Hong Kong filing deadline?

Yes. However, if the 42nd day occurs on a Sunday or a public holiday, the deadline will be prolonged to the next day.

4. This year's business registration cost has already been remitted. Why do I need to pay the annual registration when I submit my annual return Hong Kong?

The Business Registration Ordinance (Cap. 310), operated by the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department, mandates business registration and its renewal. Even if you have renewed your business registration, the Companies Ordinance requires you to submit your annual return and yearly registration fee to the Companies Registry for registration.