In last blog post, we shared some basic and essential information about Change of Company Name of a Hong Kong private limited company (link here); Companies Registry has provided FAQ section (link here) to answer some commonly asked questions, we also would like to share some interesting questions and respective answers where you may encounter in future.
Q1. Can I have Italian / Japanese / Simplified Chinese characters in my company name?
Company Registry currently only accepts English Company Name and Traditional Chinese Company Name, characters in any other languages will not be accepted.
Q2. Then, how about I wish to have an English Name “Go Go A Limited” with Chinese Name “高高A有限公司”?
In Company Registry FAQ#6 (https://www.cr.gov.hk/en/faq/faq02.htm#06), we aware that English words/letters can not combines with Chinese characters in a company name.
Yet, for this kind of request, we will suggest client to register the name ““高高A” as “Brand Name” (Business Name in official) in the Business Registration Certificate. Just like the famous brand name “Red A” or “紅A” in Hong Kong, their official registered name is actually “Star Industrial Co., Limited” (link here)
Q3. Do I need instruct my accounting/auditing representative to submit separate form/notification to the tax authority about my decision of change of company name?
The Business Registration Office is under the administration of Inland Revenue Department (IRD) (Tax Authority of Hong Kong), therefore, as Companies Registry will instruct Business Registration Officer to issue new Business Registration Certificate, the same information has shared to the tax authority as well.
Q4. Is it necessary to file Articles of Association with new company name to Compaies Registry?
This is NOT required to file Articles of Association with new company name. Even submitted, if company name is the only changes made, Companies Registry will not accept the filing.
Q5. I have a wonderful company in mind, but turn-out already registered by others, what should I do?
Make it more meaningful, or simply add one more generic word in between, such as “Global”, “International”, “Asia”, “Regional”, “Corporation”, “Enterprises”, “Holding”, “Group” … etc. to make it another unique company name for registration.
Q6. I have a potential company name in mind that might be rejected by the Registry, can I still give it a try?
Yes, but be prepared, the Companies Registry will ask you the purpose of choosing this particular company name but not any other choices, also, the linkage of the company name with the business nature of the company, where you need to show relevant supporting to proof the necessity to adopt such particular company name.
Q7. After change of company name, do we need to issue brand new share certificates reflecting the new name?
Only good to have while not necessary; because under Companies Registry, the former name and current name could be used to search, then identify a particular company. The records that shall be updated are the Registers of the Company as the company has the obligations to maintain the most up-to-date Registers.
Q8. How about ordering of new common seal, round chop and signature chop?
Yes, it is necessary. Two things to remind with, firstly, you should inform you bank about the change of company name together with the new imprint of the company chops with a proper effective date for smooth transition; secondly, common seal is no longer mandatory unless the articles of association of your company has specified the use of it.
Q9. Is it mandatory to have “Hong Kong” or “(Hong Kong)” or “HK” in my company name?
Not at all, you may notice that our company name “CatcherBiz Limited” does not include any wording of “Hong Kong”. Likewise, “China”, “Asia”, “Worldwide” are registrable words, yet, again, Companies Registry may further enquiry the purpose of including particular country within the company name while doing business in Hong Kong.
Q10. Seems to me that swop of company name is available (CR FAQ#11 - https://www.cr.gov.hk/en/faq/faq02.htm#11), yet, quite many requirements, do you have any other recommendation on this?
For swop of company name, this is the best way as it protects you from anyone else using your company name. In most of the time, if you only wish to keep one of the company name, you may choose a new company name, then make the switch (i.e. Co. 1 >> New Name, Co. 2 >> Co. 1, and Co. 1 >> Co. 2 if required), where approval from Companies Registry is not required in this arrangement.
Q11. The new company name I wish to adopt was previous used by others, or used by a dissolved company, can I or should I use it?
Yes and no. Yes, there is no restriction on Companies Registry side on using former name / dissolved name as a registrable company name; under our opinion, we will first check that when the particular name was registered in Companies Registry, as this might implies possible liabilities remain and affects your business if the name being adopted, otherwise, we will suggest client similar to the answer in above Q5, to adopt another company by adding one generic word.
Any additional information you would like to know, please feel free to drop us an email:- firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, we dig out below materials in case you need a little more insights.