Charltons provides a full range of company law and corporate secretarial services, covering the entire life cycle of various corporate entities in Hong Kong, PRC and Myanmar companies, from establishment, to annual maintenance filings, to deregistration and liquidation.
We provide guidance on corporate administration matters, including shareholder and director meetings, procedures for appointing and removing directors, legal representatives, supervisors and auditors, requirements for company accounts, and annual returns. We often assist clients to prepare for company meetings, including drafting written resolutions and minutes, preparing proxies and corporate authorisations, and advising on procedures under constitutional documents or applicable company law. For non-Hong Kong companies establishing branches in Hong Kong, we can provide guidance on requirements under Part XVI of the Companies Ordinance. We also advise on share subscriptions and transfers of shares and equity. We regularly advise on directors’ duties, minority protections and shareholder disputes, often as part of a wider M&A, corporate finance or joint venture transaction.
We also have significant experience dealing with incorporation formalities and ongoing company administration in major offshore jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands.
In addition to assisting clients to establish a presence or make an initial investment in Hong Kong, China or Myanmar, we also provide guidance on domestic company laws, securities laws, environmental laws, tax laws, employment laws, competition laws and other laws and regulations applicable to our clients’ businesses.
Hong Kong incorporated and registered companies are regulated by the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (“Companies Ordinance”) and its subsidiary legislation. Provisions relating to prospectuses, winding-up, insolvency of companies and disqualification of directors are separately contained in the Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 32 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (“CWUMPO”).
Some key requirements relating to Hong Kong incorporated or registered companies are set out below:
- the articles of association is the constitutional document of a company
- Model Articles are prescribed under the Companies Ordinance for use by private companies limited by shares, public companies and companies limited by guarantee
- it is optional to keep or use a common seal
- a company’s shares have no nominal par value
- companies are required to submit a statement of capital whenever there is a change in share capital which would provide a “snapshot” of a company’s latest share capital
- at least one director of a company must be a natural person
- directors’ employment contract exceeding 3 years requires members’ approval
- for private companies, annual returns must be delivered for registration within 42 days from the anniversary of the day of the company’s incorporation
- for public companies, annual returns must be delivered for registration within 42 days from the date falling 6 months from the company’s accounting reference period
- companies are required to prepare proper financial statements and directors’ reports although small and medium enterprises (SME) may prepare simplified forms if they satisfy any two of the following conditions:
– total annual revenue does not exceed HK$100 million
– total asset does not exceed HK$100 million
– have no more than 100 employees on average over the financial year
- annual general meetings must be held with reference to the accounting reference period unless the requirement is dispensed through unanimous shareholders’ consent
- certified copy of instruments creating or releasing charges over registrable assets of a company must be delivered with the relevant specified form to the Companies Registry for registration within 5 weeks from the date of the instrument
- offers of shares of a company to the general public in Hong Kong may be subject to the prospectus requirements under the CWUMPO or the authorisation requirements under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (“SFO”), unless relevant prescribed statutory exemptions apply (e.g. if the offer is only available to professional investors (as the term is defined in section 1 of Part 1 of the SFO) or only available to no more than 50 persons in Hong Kong)
Charltons provides a full range of company law and corporate secretarial services and offers guidance on corporate administration matters.