In This Article

What is a Certificate of Good Standing in Hong Kong? [Sample Included]

Byron Chan
March 14, 2024
2 min read

In This Article

Key Takeaways

A certificate of incumbency (COI) legitimizes a company’s existence, structure and the identities of authoritative company representatives involved, such as CEOs, shareholders, and key officers.

The COI is used to give authority to perform legally binding actions by a company representative listed in the document, such as opening a bank account and conducting overseas deals.

In Hong Kong, a COI is usually issued by a practicing CPA, lawyer, or the Companies Registry.

What is a Certificate of Good Standing?

A Certificate of Good Standing, better known in Hong Kong as the Certificate of Continuing Registration, is written legal proof that a company is still registered and is in good standing with the government. This document is not to be confused with a Certificate of Incumbency , which details a company’s structure and key officers, a Business Registration Certificate, which is meant to be displayed in the office, nor can the Certificate of Good Standing act as a replacement for a Certificate of Incorporation, which serves as evidence that the company has incorporated.

Sample of a Certificate of Continuing Registration
Source: HK Core

What does it mean to be in good standing?

To be in good standing means that the company is not in the process of dissolution, has submitted all the required government paperwork, and has paid all the necessary fees to continue operating. In other words, the company is in good standing with the government. That does not mean however, that the company is necessarily financially stable.

When would I need a Certificate of Good Standing?

A certificate of Good Standing is usually needed when it’s requested by another party as proof the company is still legitimate, such as:

  • Individuals or a company with whom you have a business relationship with – When applying for a bank account, company credit card, bank loans, etc.
  • Foreign government departments – When applying for a business registration in another jurisdiction as a foreign entity, ie. a Hong Kong company expanding into a new market.

What information is included on a Certificate of Good Standing?

The Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Continuing Registration includes the following:

  1. The name of the company in question.
  2. The date that said company was incorporated.
  3. The date the certificate was issued.
  4. The signature of the authorized representative from the Company Registries.

This information is usually presented in the form of a written statement like the following:

“[Company Name] was incorporated in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance on [date], and as at the date of this certificate, the company remains on the Register of Companies maintained by the Hong Kong Company Registry.”

How do I get a Certificate of Good Standing?

You can apply for a certificate of good standing through the company registry’s e-service portal, or we could help you obtain one in 2-5 business days.

If you’d like assistance in obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing and other important documents pertaining to your business, talk to us today!

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