The Companies Registry of Hong Kong has revealed a groundbreaking move, introducing a Unique Business Identifier (UBI) system set to transform corporate identity tracking. Scheduled for implementation on 27 December 2023, this second phase marks a pivotal step for entities under the Registrar of Companies. The UBI initiative aims to distinctly identify legal entities in various transactions and regulatory engagements.
Director of Companies Ada Chung stated, ‘The UBI will streamline interactions and enhance transparency.’
The UBI, adopted from the Business Registration Number (BRN), will be the identifier for all entities. Even companies without a BRN will receive a UBI, derived from previously held company numbers.
This system rollout is part of a dual-phase implementation strategy. The initial phase in 2021 targeted limited partnership funds, while this second phase includes all remaining entities.
Key features of phase 2 include:
- Adoption of BRN on certificates of incorporation and registration changes
- Mandating BRN on specific forms submitted to the Companies Registry
- BRN as the primary identifier across Registry services
The revamped forms accommodate the BRN as the UBI, also introducing structured address reporting formats and revised shareholder details.
During a transition period, both old and new forms will be accepted, with exceptions for specific forms. The goal is to ensure a seamless shift to the new system by 25 January 2024, with certain forms exclusively accepting the new format.
This transformative UBI system stands to revolutionise corporate identification, marking a significant milestone in Hong Kong’s business landscape. Vakilsearch’s experts applaud the Companies Registry’s initiative in introducing the Unique Business Identifier (UBI) system in Hong Kong. This groundbreaking move will significantly streamline corporate identification processes, simplifying regulatory interactions for businesses. By adopting the BRN as the UBI for all entities and devising a transition plan, Hong Kong demonstrates a forward-thinking approach in enhancing corporate transparency and compliance. This UBI system promises to strengthen the business ecosystem, aligning with international standards while ensuring improved efficiency and accountability.
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