Nature of Business in Hong Kong: All You Need to Know

Nature of Business in Hong Kong: All You Need to Know


Deciding on the wording of your nature of business is one of the first steps to creating a company in Hong Kong. It isn’t rocket science, but there are a few things to consider as you determine what nature of business you will report. In this article, you will find all the information you need to do this correctly.


The Definition of “Nature of Business”:
Business nature is a common description of the business of a Hong Kong limited company. It is shown on the business registration certificate.

What Does The Law Say?

You need to declare your nature of business to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), e.g. if you are in the business of trading clothing, then the nature of your business could be Trading Clothes.  If you are running a restaurant, then the nature of your business could be Food & Beverage. Such declaration should be made upon incorporation, and whenever, if ever, the company drastically changes its business nature.

The definition of your business (or nature of business) will be shown on the Business Registration License. The length of the business nature (including punctuation, symbols, and spaces) cannot exceed 30 characters for a Chinese business description and nature and 60 characters for an English business description and nature.


Your nature of business can be brief but shouldn’t be too vague. The IRD expects your nature of business to be descriptive enough, so it is clear what you do. For example “Trading” or “Consulting” would be too general whereas “Trading Clothes” or “IT Consulting” are acceptable.

Said that it is not necessary to spend too much time on your nature of business as, by law, companies are authorized to exercise in any legal business whatever their definition of business is (as long as it isn’t regulated).

How to Write Your Nature of Business ?


Some people spend a lot of time and effort, creating a long and detailed description of their nature of business when, in fact, a simple definition will suffice.

As mentioned, the business nature can be short and sweet but still descriptive somehow. Note that what you choose as your business nature is not only important for IRD reporting purposes but will also be a key factor in how banks will assess your application for a corporate account. . That said a good way to determine your business nature is to ask two simple questions which we cover below.

Answer two questions :

Formulate a descriptive yet simple business nature that should suffice for reporting purposes based on the following two main points:

  1. What does the company do?  

Trading, holding, investment, manufacturing, consulting, etc.

  1. In which sector does the company operate?

Garment, food, IT, transportation, etc.

Examples of Nature of Business :

So, based on the above questions, the nature of business could be :

  • “Trading of fitness goods”
  • “Manufacturing smartphone peripherals and software”
  • “IT consulting”
  • “Advising and consulting startups”
  • “Coaching executives”
  • “Investingin art pieces”
  • “Garment retail”
  • “Interior design”
  • “Food and beverage catering”
  • “Operating e-commerce”
  • “Event management”
  • etc.

Meanwhile, remember to note the following,


  • Length of the nature (including punctuation, symbols, and spaces) if in,
    • English: Cannot exceed 60 characters, and if over 30 characters total, it can be divided equally into two lines with 30 characters each.
    • Chinese: Cannot exceed 30 characters.
  • For regulated businesses: Make sure to double check with the relevant authority if there are specific requirements/wordings to follow.




As with many things, less can be more when you choose your business nature. While you don’t need to spend a lot of time hashing it out, you can consider adding some description in order to give IRD and banks an idea of what the company does.

Already chosen your business nature and ready to incorporate?

nature of businessOr feel free to contact us.

The iNCUBEE Team will be pleased to answer you.