Obtaining a Licence in Hong Kong

Business licences are required by the legislation and administered by various government agencies, statutory bodies and local authorities.

Obtaining a Money Service Operators ("MSO") Licence in Hong Kong

Our services include

  • Tailor Made Business Plan
  • Tailor Made AML/CTF Policy
  • Prepare External Audit Report
  • Application and Maintenance Services

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Under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) Ordinance ("the AMLO"), a person who wishes to operate a remittance and / or money changing service (i.e. money service as defined under the AMLO) is required to apply for a licence from the Commissioner of Customs & Excise (CCE).

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A money service means a money changing service or a remittance service. It is an offence to operate a money service in Hong Kong without a license.
Money changing service means a service for exchanging of currencies that is operating in Hong Kong as a business, but not include those service that is incidental to the main business.
Remittance service means a service of one or more of the following that is operated in Hong Kong as a business:
  1. sending, or arranging for the sending of, money to a place outside Hong Kong;
  2. receiving, or arranging for the receipt of, money from a place outside Hong Kong;
  3. arranging for the receipt of money in a place outside Hong Kong.
One shall only operate a money service after being granted a license by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department. Normally, the Money Service Operators (“MSO”) License has a validity period of 2 years. Hence the licensee shall apply for renewal of license before expiration to continue its operation of money service.

Obtaining a Money Lender Licence in Hong Kong

Our services include

  • Tailor Made Business Plan
  • Tailor Made AML/CTF Policy
  • Prepare External Audit Report
  • Application and Maintenance Services
  • Premise rental service

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A person carrying on business as a money lender in Hong Kong must obtain a money lender's licence. The licensing of money lenders and regulation of money-lending transactions are governed by the Money Lenders Ordinance, Chapter 163 of the Laws of Hong Kong.

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Licensing Court
Responsible for determination of applications for and granting of money lenders licences.
Registrar of Money Lenders
(the role is presently performed by the Registrar of Companies)
Responsible for processing applications for money lenders licences, renewal of licences and endorsement on licences; as well as maintaining a register of money lenders for inspection by members of the public.
Commissioner of Police
Responsible for enforcing the Money Lenders Ordinance, including carrying out examinations on applications for money lenders licences, renewal of licences and endorsements on licences; and investigations of complaints against money lenders.

Obtaining a SFC Licence in Hong Kong

Our services include

  • Advise on corporate structure and business plan
  • Prepare and submit licensing applications
  • Handle SFC correspondence and requirements
  • Prepare compliance manuals and other necessary documents for licence application
  • Annual compliance maintenance services

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Every company or individual carrying on regulated activities in the securities and futures markets and the non-bank retail leveraged foreign exchange market in Hong Kong has to be licensed or registered with the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”), unless a specific exemption is applicable.

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Regulatory Authority
The Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) is defined and governed by the Securities and Futures Ordinance ("SFO"), which sets out powers, roles and responsibilities. Their statutory objectives include:
  • to maintain and promote a fair, efficient, competitive, transparent and orderly securities and futures industry;
  • to help the public understand the workings of the securities and futures industry;
  • to provide protection for the investing public;
  • to minimise crime and misconduct in the industry;
  • to reduce systemic risks in the industry; and
  • to assist the Government in maintaining Hong Kong's financial stability.
How SFC regulate
  • Set licensing standards to ensure that all practitioners are fit and proper
  • Approve licences and issue codes and guidelines to inform the industry about expected standards of conduct and set financial resources requirements
  • Monitor licensees' financial soundness and whether they comply with the relevant ordinances, codes and guidelines
  • Handle and investigate complaints against misconduct of licensees, and take action if necessary
We can assist client in applying for licenses from the SFC for carrying on the following regulated activities in Hong Kong. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.
  • Type 1 - Dealing in securities
  • Type 2 - Dealing in futures contracts
  • Type 3 - Leveraged foreign exchange trading
  • Type 4 - Advising on securities
  • Type 5 - Advising on futures contracts
  • Type 6 - Advising on corporate finance
  • Type 7 - Providing automated trading services
  • Type 8 - Securities margin financing
  • Type 9 - Asset management
  • Type 10 - Providing credit rating services

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