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Understanding the Unique Business Identifier (UBI) Implementation by the Hong Kong Companies Registry

Understanding the Unique Business Identifier (UBI) Implementation by the Hong Kong Companies Registry

02 January, 2024

1. What is the Unique Business Identifier introduced by the Hong Kong Companies Registry? 

The Unique Business Identifier (UBI) is a new identification system implemented by the Hong Kong Companies Registry (HKCR) to uniquely identify legal entities, streamlining transactions and regulatory interactions. 

2. Why was the UBI introduced, and how does it benefit businesses? 

The UBI facilitates error reduction, simplifies processes, and enhances communication between government departments and businesses, aligning with international standards adopted by economies like Singapore, New Zealand, and Canada. 

3. When will the UBI be implemented in Hong Kong, and which entities does it cover? 

The UBI is being implemented in two phases: 

  • The first phase, effective from November 1st 2021, covered Limited Partnership Funds (LPFs).  

  • The second phase, launching on December 27th 2023, extends to various entities, including companies, open-ended fund companies, limited partnerships, and more. 

4. Where will the UBI be used, and how will it replace existing identification numbers? 

The Business Registration Number (BRN) is adopted as the UBI and will be used in communication with government departments, filing forms with the registry, and as the key number for searching and identifying entities. For companies incorporated after December 27th 2023, the BRN will also appear on the Certificate of Incorporation. 

5. How can I find the UBI of a company or entity? 

After the second phase implementation on December 27th 2023, you can look up the BRN using existing identifiers through the "Quick Search > CR/BRN Mapping" function in the electronic search services of the Companies Registry. 

6. Will there be proof of the change in identification number to UBI for my company or entity? 

The Companies Registry will issue a letter to inform each company of the change and its BRN before Phase 2 of UBI. An Information Sheet reflecting the change will be available for public inspection shortly after December 27th 2023, and companies can apply for a Letter of Confirmation as evidence. 

How can Ocorian help? 

We're here to help you navigate this change. If you have any questions or need assistance with the Unique Business Identifier implementation, please reach out to our team of experts.