The Financial Secretary of the HKSAR on his Budget Speech delivered on 1 February 2012 proposed to waive the business registration fees for one year, starting from 1 April 2012. The Government will introduce the relevant budget legislation into the Legislative Council as soon as possible to effect the proposal.
Implementation Details of the Waiver of Business Registration Fees
In respect of local companies registered under the One-stop company incorporation and business registration regime ("One-stop Registration"), the fees payable under section 5A(1)(a) will be reduced by a sum of $2,000 if the related incorporation applications are made within the period from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013 ("Waiver Period"). For other cases, the fees payable in respect of business registration certificates and branch registration certificates with commencement date falling within the Waiver Period will be reduced by a sum of $2,000 and $73 respectively.
Businesses are still required to pay the levy for the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund.
Please refer to the business registration fee & levy table for details of the total amount payable in respect of a certificate.
Concessionary Refund of Registration Fees Paid
The proposal only relates to the waiver of one year registration fees for the incorporation applications made under the One-stop Registration within the Waiver Period or, in other cases, new certificates or renewal certificates with commencement date falling within the Waiver Period. It does not provide for the refund of fees paid in respect of the Waiver Period.
In order that the waiver can also benefit those businesses that have paid the registration fees for the Waiver Period but are not required to renew their certificates in such period, concessionary refunds of the relevant amount of business registration fees paid will be allowed to them, upon applications. They include the following:-
(1) Businesses or branches, which hold a 3-year registration certificate with a commencement date before 1 April 2012 and an expiry date on or after 31 March 2013;
(2) Ceased businesses or branches, which last hold a 1-year registration certificate with a commencement date between 1 August 2011 and 31 March 2012;
(3) Ceased businesses or branches, which last hold a 3-year registration certificate with an expiry date between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013; and
(4) Local companies registered under the One-stop Registration, which make incorporation applications between 1 August 2011 and 31 March 2012 and hold a 1-year or 3-year registration certificate with a commencement date between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013.
The relevant amount of the concessionary refund is the amount of business registration fees paid on a pro-rata basis, in respect of the number of days in the Waiver Period (see item 1 above) which are covered by the business registration certificate in question. The IRD will announce the application and refund procedures after the relevant budget legislation is passed by the Legislative Council.