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If you have a business in Hong Kong or are planning to start one, it is essential to know whether or not you need a business licence to carry out your activities.
Some businesses require a licence from either a Hong Kong government department or agency.
You must first have a registered business in Hong Kong to apply for a licence.
Once you are a registered business, you must identify whether your type of business requires a licence. Not all businesses require one.
You will need a ‘Certificate of Registration of a School’ to operate an education business in Hong Kong.
The certificate of registration is issued by the Education Bureau of Hong Kong.
After being issued a certificate, you will be able to set up the following institutions that provide certification or a diploma:
You will need a ‘Licence to Operate an Employment Agency’ to provide placement and recruitment services to other employers or organisations.
The Hong Kong Labour Department issues the licence under the Employment Ordinance.
It is valid for one year once it is issued and must be renewed before it expires.
A licence is required by all employment agencies, which include the following:
The type of licence required by an event management company depends upon the nature of the event that is being organised.
Event management companies are generally described as those which host community events, outdoor events, sporting events, concerts, exhibitions, conferences and conventions.
A ‘Place of Public Entertainment Licence’ issued by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department is required to organise events which are open to the public.
This includes both free and paid ticketed events.
If the event is temporary, then a ‘Temporary Place of Public Entertainment Licence’ is required.
Public entertainment events include musical stage performance events, cinemas, lectures, exhibitions, amusement rides, contests or even a circus.
Additionally, you will need the following licences depending on the nature of the event:
In fact, the restaurant license in Hong Kong is one of the most regulated, here is a full list of what that entails.
You will need a financial services company licence depending upon the nature of the financial services you offer.
The following types of licences may be required:
A ‘General Restaurant Licence’ issued by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department is required to open a restaurant in Hong Kong.
You will also first need to establish a place of retail operation before applying for the licence.
As a food and beverage business, you may need the following additional licences depending on the nature of your restaurant and the type of products you provide:
You will need a licence if you own and operate a retail shop in Hong Kong.
Depending on the nature of your retail business, more than one licence may be required.
This is usually the case if you sell different goods and services.
The following licences are required for a retail business in Hong Kong:
You will need a trading company licence if your business involves importing and exporting products.
If your business trades controlled goods such as cigarettes and tobacco products, petrochemicals, drugs, animals and food products, you would need a trading licence.
Depending on the type of products you import and export, you may require the following licenses:
You will need a ‘Travel Agent’s Licence’ issued by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau to operate as a travel agency that provides travel services and packages.
A Travel Agent’s Licence enables you to provide tour offers, travel packages and transportation services.
Moreover, the licence allows you to sell tickets for tours and transportation, arrange hotel accommodation and provide other related services.
Here is what you should always have in mind:
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