In August 2013, Vistra issued a bulletin to its clients
introducing the passage of the new Hong Kong Companies Ordinance
and a summary of the major reforms that were passed into law by the
Hong Kong Legislative Council in July 2012. The new aspects of the
Ordinance become effective on 3rd March 2014 and are worth a timely
The most obvious change to the new Ordinance is the requirement
of having at least one natural person as a director for all private
companies that are incorporated from the 3 rd March 2014 onwards.
For those companies that have been incorporated prior to this date,
a 6 month "grace period" will be applied to allow
companies time to adjust and become compliant with the new
Ordinance. Importantly, this change does not abolish the use of
Corporate Directors in Hong Kong, however, the new Ordinance is
clear that at least one natural person must be appointed as a
director to a private company in addition to any other Corporate
Directors being employed for such purpose. Furthermore, unlike the
case in Singapore, the new Ordinance does not specify that such a
natural person appointed as Director must be resident in Hong Kong
in any way. While increasing accountability and transparency,
therefore, a great deal of flexibility has still been
Concerns remain over the privacy of personal data with respect
to the protection of a director's residential address and
his/her identification number. While the new Ordinance states that
a director is now required to provide both a correspondence address
in addition to the usual residential address (and the
correspondence address rather than the residential address shall be
on public record) and only partial identification number will be
made available on the Companies Register for public inspection,
these changes have yet to come into force. Therefore, a
director's residential address, which must be reported, and
his/her full identification number will be a matter of public
record until such changes become effective.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Confidentiality of corporate documents and information is one of
the key attractions of incorporating a company in the BVI. A
company search of the BVI Registrar of Corporate Affairs will only
disclose certain information and documents.
When pursuing a debt, it is common to add a claim for interest on the monies due.
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