Regulations especially for a Hong Kong company formation and bank account issues that a Registrar needs to follow regarding the protection of identification numbers and residential addresses are as follows:
- Registrar must not allow the public viewing of the identification number and residential address with regards to the HOng Kong company formation and its bank account details.
- Registrar can make protective address that will be used for inspection.
- Registration on disclosure or use of protected information for the Registrar.
- Permitted use or disclosure of protected information by the Registrar.
- Disclosure of information under court’s order.
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Avoid public inspection of the number and address
The residential address and identification number when investors go through the Hong Kong incorporation process, should not be disclosed by the Registrar to the public inspection. This applies if:
- A document is being delivered to the Registrar for registration, regarding the relative ordinance or the companies ordinance or in a form prescribed by the relevant ordinance; or if any section of the document is required by the ordinance and contains the full name of the applicant’s identity card, passport or residential address; or if the Registrar has recorded some data.
- The Registrar must not allow the public inspection of the documents that is required by the relative ordinance and contains, usual residential address of any director of the company or the full number of the passport or the identity card.
Here, relative ordinance means the ordinance under which the documents are being transferred to the Registrar for registration with regards to the Hong Kong company formation and bank account/s.
A protected address can be made by the Registrar so that the public inspection is allowed. Following are few regulations related to protected address:
- Despite the above section, a protected address can be made available for public inspection, if the communication between the Registrar and the director remains confidential; or there is some evidence that the deliverance of documents to the director is not operative and the director does not receive it.
- Registrar should not make the above decision unless he/she has already notified the company and the director that he/she wants to make a protected address for public inspection; or has measured the representation regarding after what time period the protected address will be made ready for public inspection.
- The reason of the proposal and the specified period before the public inspection of the protected address, should be made clear beforehand.
- A notice regarding this should be sent to the directors, either at the protected address, or at the real address if one might think that the protected address is not effective.
If the Registrar is going to make a protected address available for public inspection, he/she must proceed if:
- The notice of changing the corresponding address with the protected address is being given to the director and the return approval is being received by the Registrar.
- A written notice must be given by the Registrar to the director and the company, when the procedure is done.
- On the written notice the decision date of making the protected address public must also be written.
- A written notice regarding this should be sent to the directors, either at the protected address, or at the real address if one might think that the protected address is not effective.
- The company must enter the protected address as the corresponding address, on the company’s register.
- If within a period of 5 years after the change of protected address, the director tells the company that he/she has changed the address, then that address should be added into the registers as the corresponding address.
- Within 5 years after the change of protected address, the company should not enter any address other than the protected address into the company’s register and also, does not state the notice, that the corresponding address is being changed by the protected address.
- The above three sections do not apply to the companies that are registered under section 777(1) as a non-Hong Kong company.
- If any company breaches the upper 3 sections, then they have committed a crime of level 4 and have to pay a fine of 70 dollars till the offence stops.
Permitted use or disclosure of protected information by the Registrar
A Registrar can use the protected information in the following ways:
- He/she can use the protective address and number to communicate with the director.
- He/she can use it for or in connection with his/her functions’ performance.
- Under the regulations of the ordinance, information can be disclosed to a person specified by it.
- The application that is to be made under the above subsection must, contain the data required by regulations; be equipped with the documents required by regulation and be equipped with a fee-challan of it.
- The Financial Secretary should:
- Make regulations to provide the required information in an application, including the ones specified by the Registrar.
- Make regulations to get the required documents with the application.
- Make regulations regarding the prescribe fee.
- Specify that person, to whom this info will be disclosed.
- Specify the conditions because of which the data is being enclosed.
Disclosure of information under court’s order
The disclosure of the protected address will only be ordered by the court, if the delivery service at that address is not effective and it is necessary for its disclosure because of its connection with the enforced law or if the court thinks that is satisfactory to make the order. This order can be made if the delivery of the documents of the creditor of the company is been received by the Registrar under the ordinance or the CO.