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Unique Business Identifier

Unique Business Identifier (“UBI”) has been adopted in many other economies over the world, enabling governments and businesses to distinctly identify legal entities in various transactions and regulatory interactions. UBI reduces possible errors caused by the use of different identifiers in identifying the same entity and in turn, helps communication and exchange of data across government departments and businesses.

To implement the UBI in Hong Kong, the Government has decided to adopt the Business Registration Number (“BRN”) assigned by the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department (“IRD”) as the UBI of companies and entities.

For companies and entities under the administration of the Registrar of Companies (“the Registrar”), the Companies Registry (“the Registry”) undertakes to implement the UBI by two phases. The first phase was implemented for Limited Partnership Funds with effect from 1 November 2021. The second phase, implemented on 27 December 2023, covers the following companies and entities:

(a) companies incorporated or registered under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622);
(b) open-ended fund companies incorporated or registered under Part IVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571);
(c) limited partnerships registered under the Limited Partnerships Ordinance (Cap. 37);
(d) registered trustees corporations incorporated under the Registered Trustees Incorporation Ordinance (Cap. 306); and
(e) other entities formed or registered under various Ordinances administered by the Registrar.

For the companies / entities incorporated / registered before 27 December 2023 under the ordinances administered by the Registrar which do not have a BRN, such as companies exempted from registration under the Business Registration Ordinance (Cap. 310), the Registry has assigned a dummy BRN with an alphabetic prefix to these companies / entities.

You are reminded that companies or entities having been assigned a dummy BRN with an alphabetic prefix do not have business records in the Business Register maintained by the IRD. Please do not use dummy BRN for the application of the business registration documents or duplicates of a Valid Business / Branch Registration Certificate.

Such companies or entities have to apply for the business registration if they are so required under the Business Registration Ordinance.

More details about the "Business" Required to be Registered and Application for Business Registration

More details about the UBI on the Registry’s website