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New levy rate of Business Registration Certificate

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The Business Registration Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) Order 2013 (Order) comes into operation today (July 19).

Pursuant to the Order, the rate of the Business Registration Certificate (BRC) levy, which finances the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund (the Fund), is reduced from $450 per annum to $250 per annum with effect from July 19.

Concomitant with the favourable local economy in recent years, the Fund has recorded a decline in payouts for ex gratia payments and a continual improvement in financial position. Balancing various relevant factors, the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund Board (Fund Board) made a proposal to reduce the levy rate to $250 per annum. The proposal is enacted after scrutiny by the Legislative Council.

The new rate is applicable to (1) business registration certificates to be issued on simultaneous business registration applications if the related incorporation applications are made on or after July 19 and (2) for other cases, business/branch registration certificates beginning on or after July 19.

The Fund provides to employees whose employers become insolvent an ex gratia payment covering wages, wages in lieu of notice, severance payment, pay for untaken annual leave and untaken statutory holidays. It is financed by a levy on each BRC or branch registration certificate issued under the Business Registration Ordinance. The Fund Board has the statutory functions of administering the Fund and making recommendations to the Chief Executive with respect to the rate of levy.

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