Adoption of UBI


The use of Unique Business Identifier (“UBI”) has been widely adopted around the world as it allows governments and businesses to identify entities more easily and effectively, and enables exchange of data across government departments and businesses.

Starting from 27 December 2023, the Hong Kong Government will implement Phase 2 of the UBI, which is to adopt the Business Registration Number (“BRN”) as the UBI for a number of entities, including companies incorporated or registered under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622).

BRN refers to the first 8 digits of the Business Registration Certificate number which has been assigned to the entity by the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department.

The key takeaways for the implementation of Phase 2 of the UBI are:

1. BRN will:

(a) be adopted as the number on the “Certificate of Incorporation” or “Certificate of Change of Name” (“Certificates”) issued by the Companies Registry;

(b) be quoted on forms and documents delivered to the Companies Registry; and

(c) become the key number for searching and identifying an entity, and for communicating with government departments and businesses.

2. The Certificates will not be re-issued for limited companies and entities incorporated and registered before 27 December 2023.

3. The Companies Registry will publish revised forms, which the companies/ entities should start using from 27 December 2023. The companies/ entities are required to cite the UBI in the forms.

4. Companies may obtain evidence on the change in identification number by applying to the Companies Registry for a Letter of Confirmation. Such letters can be applied through the revamped Integrated Companies Registry Information System, which shall be launched on 27 December 2023.

Tim Drew and Carol Ling

If you would like to discuss any of the matters raised in this article, please contact:

Tim Drew

Partner | Email

Disclaimer: This publication is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.