The New Inspection Regime of Hong Kong Companies

What is the purpose of the new inspection regime?

The relevant provisions were made with a view to enhancing protection of sensitive personal information while keeping up the transparency and usefulness of the Companies Register ("CR") by allowing the public to continue inspecting the CR for the purposes under the Companies Ordinance. The New Inspection Regime under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation have been gazetted on 18 June 2021 and will be implemented in three phases.
The significance of the new inspection regime lies primarily in the removal of the unrestrained public access to obtain the usual residential addresses ("URA") and full identification numbers ("IDN") of individual company officers contained in the CR, thus providing enhanced protection to sensitive personal data.
For more information of《The New Inspection Regime》, please contact our corporate service manager by e-mail to info@atrixbiz.com.
Know more Our Services
Under the new legislation, the URAs and IDNs of directors, company secretaries and other relevant persons will be classified as protected information. The URAs of the directors will be replaced with correspondence addresses and partial IDNs instead of full IDNs of directors, company secretaries and other relevant persons would be made available for public inspection.

Phase 1 - with effect from 23 Aug 2021

  • Companies may replace URAs of directors with their correspondence addresses, and replace full IDNs of directors and company secretaries with their partial IDNs on their own registers for public inspection.

Phase 2 - with effect from 24 Oct 2022

  • The CR will withhold from public inspection the URA and full IDN of directors, company secretaries and liquidators, etc, which are contained in all the documents filed for registration.
  • Protected Information (URAs and IDNs) on the Index of Directors on the CR will be replaced with correspondence addresses and partial IDNs for public inspection.
Note : “Specified persons” could apply to the CR for access to Withheld Information.

Phase 3 - with effect from 27 Dec 2023

Data subjects could apply to the CR for protecting from public inspection their Protected Information contained in documents registered with the CR (“Withheld Information”), and replace such information with their correspondence addresses and partial IDNs.
Note : “Specified persons” could apply to the CR for access to Withheld Information.

Specified persons

The following "Specified Persons" may apply to the CR for access to the protected information.
  • a data subject;
  • a person who is authorized in writing by a data subject to obtain the information;
  • a member of the company;
  • a liquidator;
  • a trustee in bankruptcy;
  • a public officer or public body;
  • a person specified in the Schedule to the Regulation;
  • a solicitor or foreign lawyer;
  • a certified public accountant (practising);
  • a financial institution or designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBP).
I am a director of a Hong Kong company. What do I need to do under the new legislation?
In phase 2, the registered address of the Hong Kong company will be the director's correspondence address by default. In order to comply with the new requirement, the director(s) of the company can have the following options.

Option 1 - Our Correspondence Address service

To use our registered office address as the correspondence address of the director(s) of the company to mask the usual residential address of the director(s).

Option 2 - Other address as director’s Correspondence Address

In order to comply with the new requirement on filing of specified director’s Correspondence Address, Form ND2B should be filed with the Registry within 15 days after 24 October 2022 if director’s correspondence address is not the company’s registered address.
What are the benefits for me using a Correspondence Address?
With the worsening trend of cybercrime and phone scams , the new legislation provides an additional layer of protection against unlawful use of personal data. The use of correspondence addresses instead of usual residence addresses further restrains abusive public access to sensitive personal information.

Our Services

HONG KONG COMPANY INCORPORATION & BANK ACCOUNT OPENING

KNOW MOREKNOW MORE