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Registered new firms hit record high

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A record high of 109,424 new local companies were registered with the Companies Registry last year, up 10.93% on 2008.

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The registry's annual statistics released today showed the number of companies incorporated surged to 20,251 in March and 12,594 in August, compared to the average monthly figure of about 9,000 for 2009. This was probably due to the business-registration fee waiver for new firms.?

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By the end of 2009 the number of live local companies registered under the Companies Ordinance was 772,253, up 61,487 on 2008.

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A total of 683 non-Hong Kong companies that have established a place of business in the city were registered last year, down from 872 a year earlier. The total number of such companies stood at 7,912 at the end of last year.

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Registrar of Companies Ada Chung said the registry is developing the Integrated Companies Registry Information System Phase II with a view to launching electronic incorporation of companies and a one-stop service for electronic company incorporation and business registration in the 2010-11 financial year.?

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"With the new electronic services in place, application for incorporation of a local company and business registration will be shortened from an average of four working days to within one day," she said.

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The number of charges on assets of companies received for registration last year was 27,459, down 29.47% from 38,933 in 2008. The number of memoranda of satisfaction and releases received for registration fell 15.36% to 24,126.

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Last year?168 prospectuses were registered, up from 153 the previous year. The total number of documents received for filing dropped 8.82% to 1,695,167.

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A total of 2,899,981 searches of document image records were conducted through the registry's electronic search services, a fall of 3.85%. The number of searches of the computerised Index of Directors rose 4.97% to 249,576. The number of Company Particulars Reports issued went up 6.7% to 167,868.

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The total number of summonses issued against companies for breaches of the Companies Ordinance, mainly for failure to file annual returns, was 5,399, down 0.79%.

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