The second phase of the Unique Business Identifier (UBI) will be implemented starting from December 27, 2023. The following types of companies/entities will use the Business Registration Number (first 8 digits of the Business Registration Certificate number) as their Unique Business Identifier, replacing the existing Company Number for limited companies (note that this does not mean exemption from company registration):
- Companies incorporated or registered under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 622).
- Open-ended fund companies incorporated or registered under Part IVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Chapter 571).
- Limited partnerships registered under the Limited Partnership Ordinance (Chapter 37).
- Registered trustees corporations incorporated under the Registered Trustees Incorporation Ordinance (Chapter 306).
- Other entities established or registered under other ordinances for which the Registrar of Companies is responsible.
Why Adopt the "Unique Business Identifier"?
The Unique Business Identifier is a common practice worldwide for governments and businesses to identify entities in a unified and unique manner using the Business Registration Number. This not only aligns with global standards but also facilitates communication between departments or companies, reducing any errors caused by entities having and using different identification codes (Business Registration Number, Company Number) simultaneously. It enhances public service and strengthens regulatory effectiveness.
Applications of the "Unique Business Identifier"
- The Business Registration Number, serving as the Unique Business Identifier, can be used for communication with government departments or commercial organizations.
- The Business Registration Number will be used for submitting forms and documents to the Companies Registry.
- The Business Registration Number will serve as a key identifier for companies or entities in Electronic Search Services of the Registry.
How to Find My Company's Unique Business Identifier?
Apart from obtaining the Unique Business Identifier from the Business Registration Certificate, companies without a Business Registration Number will be assigned a "Virtual Business Registration Number" based on the instructions of the Companies Registry. This will convert their existing Company Number to a Business Registration Number (existing local companies without a Business Registration Number will have the letter "C" added as the prefix).
For example, if a local company previously registered without a Business Registration Number has a Company Number of "12345," its converted Unique Business Identifier will be "C0012345." If the original Company Number is less than 8 digits, a "0" will be inserted between the prefix letter and the number to make up an 8-digit code. For instance, if a company has a registration number of "F1234," it will be converted to "F0001234."
With the implementation of the Unique Business Identifier, the Companies Registry has updated related forms and documents such as the Annual Return form (NAR1), Change of Registered Address form (NR1), etc. After the second phase implementation, companies will need to use the latest versions of these forms to avoid any document submission errors.
A professional company secretary can greatly alleviate your concerns. OneStart Business Centre offers various professional company secretary services, such as secretary service packages and one-time updates of Business Registration Certificates. For more information, call 3575 6888 or WhatsApp OneStart Business Consultant.
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