A Complete Guide: HK Shelf Company Registration

“Should I register a brand-new Limited Company in Hong Kong or buy an existing shelf company?” The answer is dependent, we will find it out together.

What is ready-made company?

In Hong Kong, some of the incorporation intermediaries pre-registered a large quantity of limited company at Companies Registry (CR) but has never traded its record is completely clean. Those pre-registered Hong Kong companies are readily made by these intermediaries for reselling to others as if a piece of off-the-shelf hardware.

Upon purchasing by others, the ownership of an off-the-shelf limited company will be transferred to new owners by filing amendment of director(s) and shareholder(s) to CR (change of company name, registered office address and company secretary are optional). Once the changes are filed in CR, the company is ready to use under the ownership of new owners.


  • Speed: Skipping the lead time of CR in formation of  a new Hong Kong limited company, buying a ready-made Hong Kong limited company can be done within 2 to 3 days since the process involves amendment of records only.
  • Age: When a freshly incorporated is not enough to make your customers and supplier feel confidence, buying an aged shelf-company is the feasible option.


  • Cost: Price tag of a shelf company is definitely higher than the service package of new company incorporation because the intermediaries have to charge buyers for the cost of upkeep – the cost of annual renewals and maintenance before a ready-made company is sold.
  • Annual renewal date: Most likely, the anniversary date of incorporation of a shelf company is earlier than the date of purchase, so the new owner of the company should expect the due date of renewal is less than 1-year after the purchase.

What is the compliance requirement of a ready-made company?

The obligation of a shelf Hong Kong company is completely the same as the Hong Kong company which is incorporated, you may refer to this guide.

AsiaBC can register your limited companies in Hong Kong, regardless of your nationality and residency.