Business Identifier (UBI) for legal entities comes into effect in Hong Kong

28th of December, 2023

From December 27, 2023, the second phase of implementation of the Business Identification Code (UBI) for legal entities registered with the Registrar of Companies has started. The UBI replaces the CRN.

The Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department is switching from CRN to BRN, the latter serving as a separate identifier for businesses in the territory and issued upon registration. Hong Kong business owners need to pay close attention to the change and see if any changes need to be made to their company documents. 

The BRN will be the key number for searching and identifying legal entities in various services. The BRN (the first 8 digits mentioned in the business license) is now accepted as the UBI of companies. 

There is now a six month transition period during which any form of identifiers will be accepted. However, there are the following exceptions:

  • NNC1, NNC1G, NNC5 and NN1 forms have a shorter transition period of four weeks. Beginning January 25, 2024, only new forms will be accepted. 
  • Open Funds forms do not have a transition period.

Where an entity was incorporated before December 27, 2023 and does not have a BRN number (which means that it is exempt from the obligation to obtain a business license), a unique identification number (UBI) will be created for the company. For Hong Kong companies, the UBI will be generated based on the company registration number with the addition of the prefix "C", while for overseas companies registered in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the prefix will be "F".

The implementation of UBI has been divided into two phases. The first one started on November 1, 2021 for funds and partnerships. The next phase started today in conjunction with the launch of the upgraded Integrated CR Hong Kong Information System (ICRIS). This phase covers the following types of organizations:

  • established under the Companies Ordinance (Cap 622);
  • open-ended investment companies (OFCs) - Part IVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap 571);
  • limited liability partnerships;
  • trustee corporations, companies registered under the Trustee Registration Ordinance (Chapter 306);
  • other types of organizations created by the Registrar of Companies.

The BRN number will replace the CRN number after the implementation of UBI.

The e-services portal ( was also launched. All electronic services of the Registry, including e-filing and search services, can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The ICRIS website ( has ceased to function.

To register a company in Hong Kong and open an account in a Chinese bank, we recommend you to contact our specialists. Intelligent Solution Group employees thoroughly know the laws of Hong Kong and keep track of all changes. It can be difficult to open a turnkey business in Hong Kong on your own for an entrepreneur who has not previously encountered the nuances of company registration, so we are ready to help at all stages:

  • collection and execution of necessary documents;
  • submission of documents for company registration;
  • obtaining registration documents;
  • we provide services for obtaining the necessary licenses to carry out activities;
  • we assist in opening a bank account for the business or an account in a non-bank;
  • further support: prolongation of the company, preparation and filing of reports, resolving issues that may arise with the bank.

Contact our manager and make an appointment for a free consultation.