Enterprises and singular investors who desire to engage in one of the globe's most vibrant and ingenious fiscal hubs must initially obtain an investment permit in Hong Kong. This progression not merely accentuates the earnestness and lucidity of their undertakings, but it also unveils an abundance of investment vistas and collaborations in the locale. To engage in investment trade lawfully in Hong Kong, intrigued parties must enlist with the SFC overseer and obtain a particular style of commercial sanction; Hong Kong does not accommodate a disparate, specialized investment manifesto. 'Procuring an investing permit' in this composition connotes undergoing this course of action.

Initiating an investment charter in Hong Kong necessitates meticulous strategizing, acquaintance with indigenous jurisprudential and regulatory prerequisites, and comprehension of the distinctive facets of conducting commerce in this worldwide fiscal nucleus. The procedure of procuring a charter accentuates the necessity to satisfy elevated benchmarks of fiscal lucidity and to forestall fiscal transgressions such as money laundering and the subsidization of illicit syndicates.

Commencing an investment charter in Hong Kong involves surmounting several bureaucratic and juridical obstacles, necessitating applicants to furnish elaborate particulars about their pecuniary activities, corporate configuration, and executive cadre. Ultimately, efficaciously acquiring a charter not only validates a firm's adherence to globally acknowledged norms but also grants it entry to the premier fiscal exchanges and patronage in the Asia-Pacific vicinity.

Governance of capital ventures in Hong Kong

The main regulator is the SFC

Hong Kong's enrollment of investment mandates is intimately linked to the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), which guarantees financial interchange security and upholds elevated benchmarks, rendering it a unique and dependable investment locale universally.

The SFC ensures participants, from singular agents to expansive investment coalitions, adhere with Hong Kong legislation. It evaluates operational methodologies, corporate stewardship, and measures against pecuniary pollution, ensuring authorized entities commence and persist operating in conformity.

The SFC surveils markets for market machination and unrighteous behavior, ensuring Hong Kong's regulatory framework conforms with global standards and tackles financial realm matters, not solely during the inaugural licensing phase.

Soliciting an endowment manifesto in Hong Kong necessitates fulfilling stipulations, securing sanction, and conforming to SFC's lofty standards, showcasing dedication to excellent methodology and client considerations.

Legislation regulating investment funds in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's enlistment of investment mandates is closely connected to the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), which ensures financial market security and upholds eminent standards, making it an exceptional and dependable investment venue on a global scale.

The Limited Partnership Fund Ordinance (LPFO) in Hong Kong is pivotal for enrolling restricted coalition funds, drawing arcane funds like risk capital and confidential equity.

The Code on Unit Trusts and Mutual Funds sets standards for supervising investment aggregations, ensuring investor protection and maintaining stability in Hong Kong's fiscal sphere for funds targeted at ordinary citizens.

Highlighting the exigency for exhaustive scrutiny and adherence, the edicts in Hong Kong establish a stringent and equitable regulatory framework for investment repositories.

Pursuits overseen by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)

  1. Investments Transactions in Hong Kong: encompasses the procedures of purchasing, vending, and transacting of investments, whether on behalf of patrons or for the advantage of the establishment itself.
  2. Engaging in futurities comprehehends procuring, executing, and interchanging futurities duties on behalf of patrons or in the concern of the enterprise.
  3. Intercontinental currency barter on margin: includes the provision of intercontinental currency barter amenities using margin borrowing, which encompasses a heightened degree of peril.
  4. Securities Counsel in Hong Kong: proffers erudite guidance on facets of purchasing, vending, and investing in securities.
  5. Futures Arrangements Counsel: furnishes specialized counsel on trading and investing in futures arrangements.
  6. Corporate pecuniary counsel: dispenses counsel on pecuniary matters associated with corporate finance, including mergers and acquisitions and equity and bond financing.
  7. Commerce Mechanization: extends amenities to mechanize trading processes in fiscal exchanges using distinctive software that curtails human engagement.
  8. Securities lending: furnishing loans backed by securities, empowering clients to escalate the magnitude of their dealings in the market.
  9. Allocation Wealth Administration in Hong Kong: the administration of collections of securities and investment pools based on a fiduciary relationship with asset proprietors.
  10. Solvency evaluation appraisal: a process for evaluating the capacity of issuers to fulfill securities obligations based on analyses of financial state and payment chronicle.

The procedure of enrolling with the Hong Kong SFC to carry out these pursuits guarantees adherence with recognized worldwide norms of lucidity and dependability, consequently advancing the assurance of investors and market players.

Licence conditions

In broad terms, a permit is necessary to conduct investment undertakings in Hong Kong unless your establishment is an accredited pecuniary entity and satisfies the ensuing stipulations:

  • In accordance with the Securities and Futures Act, subsections 114(1) and (2), thine enterprise operates as a concern conducting commerce in Hong Kong;
  • Wheresoever the concern's amenities are proffered, they art deemed regulated pursuits under the Securities and Futures Act pursuant to section 115. This holds verity whether the firm dispenses them forthrightly or via tertiary agents.

If you are a solitary proprietor conducting overseen transactions on behalf of an authorized entity, you necessitate a surrogate charter and must be endorsed by your firm in conformity with segments 114(3) and (4) of the Statute. Administrating overseers of such organizations similarly must be validated as a conscientious overseer under Segment 125(1)(a) of the Securities and Futures Act.

Stipulations for the enrollment of a sanctioned pecuniary establishment in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, ‘Authorised Institutions’ (AIs) encompass chartered banks, restricted charter banks, and depositional enterprises. These entities must be enrolled and subject to oversight by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) to ensure that the tenets of secure and effective financial sector operations are upheld. The SEs Register encompasses an exhaustive inventory of such entities.

'Non-empowered pecuniary establishments', in reverse, are those that are unlicensed by the HKMA and are not under its oversight. Such establishments cannot lawfully provide fiscal services, which frequently entails heightened hazard to consumers and exposes them to the menace of fiscal deceit.

The primary disparity between sanctioned and unsanctioned establishments is the existence of a charter and regulatory supervision. Sanctioned establishments are obligated to enroll with the HKMA, which affirms their adherence to lawful and regulatory mandates. Non-sanctioned establishments, conversely, must procure a charter if they desire to formally partake in monetary pursuits, which entails adhering to specific regulations and security criteria. This is to safeguard the concerns of consumers and avert fiscal transgressions.

Henceforth, contingent upon the exclusions stipulated in segments 114(1) and (2) of the extant decree, fiscal transactions in Hong Kong executed on behalf of an endorsed monetary institution and concerning the regulated enterprises are liable to compulsory enlistment. Amenities that, when rendered in Hong Kong, necessitate registration pursuant to section 115 of the extant legislation are beholden to the identical notion.

All duly authorized companies and enrolled establishments are regarded as 'intermediaries', with individual proprietorships or collaborations not being authorized to acquire a permit to conduct investment undertakings.

Going through the SFC clearance process

Popular Types of Legal Entities for Investment Activities in Hong Kong

Investment reservoirs that are configured as cloistered fraternities, with the principal designer (GP) directly supervising and commandeering the reservoir's undertakings, are infrequent in Hong Kong praxis. The GP is entitled to garner various forms of remuneration, encompassing a stewardship remuneration and a portion of the reservoir's gains, owing to its ministrations. Pivotal, the GP necessitates the suitable authorization to conduct fiscal stewardship undertakings in Hong Kong that fall beneath Categorization 9 (RA9) of the SFO Act. Anyone overseeing a general practitioner's (GP's) holdings must also possess the suitable mandate, which may incorporate an attestation as a Responsible Officer (RO).

Nevertheless, in circumstances where asset stewardship tasks are entirely entrusted to another licensed or registered entity, the General Practitioner does not necessitate an RA9 permit to conduct these undertakings. Pursuant to section 114 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO), no individual lacking a licence may hold oneself out as being involved in the trade of regulated undertakings. Specifically, an illicit General Practitioner must refrain from asserting that it administers an investment pool in Hong Kong.Subsequent to limited partnerships, alternative juridical configurations for investment undertakings are likewise favored in Hong Kong, encompassing Open-ended Investment Entities (OIEs) and fiduciary arrangements. OIEs furnish investors with the prospect to engage in a varied assortment of holdings with administrative adaptability and fluidity. Fiduciary arrangements provide a structured communal investment apparatus wherein holdings are supervised by a fiduciary on behalf of the beneficiaries. Enrollment of investment funds in the guise of an OIE or fiduciary arrangement further encompasses conformity with SFC regulatory standards and necessitates procurement of suitable permits to function.

Steps to become licensed with the Hong Kong SFC

When inaugurating an SFC permit in Hong Kong, a specific succession of procedures should be adhered to to guarantee conformity with all the requisites of the regulator.

Step 1: Register in the WINGS system.

To commence the permit procedure, candidates must establish an internet profile in the WINGS framework supplied by SFC. Candidates may utilize either an ‘Individual Record’ or an ‘advisory partnership account sub-account’ to dispatch their submissions.

Step 2: Gather and prepare required documentation.

Collect all parchments necessary for filing, encompassing an elaborate enterprise scheme, pecuniary declarations, and pivotal personnel particulars delineating their competencies.

Step 3: Apply online through WINGS.

Utilizing your WINGS account, accomplish and submit the petition, appending all obligatory papers and templates.

Step 4: The application will be analysed by the SFC regulator.

Upon the submittal of the petition, the SFC will conduct an exhaustive evaluation of the submission, which may encompass an examination of the pecuniary and corporate records tendered, alongside the vocational history of the firm's principal figures.

Step 5: Decision on the licence and its issuance.

If all prerequisites are fulfilled, the SFC will render an affirmative determination to grant the permit. A notification will be dispatched to the petitioner to remit the enrollment charge via the internet payment platform on WINGS to finalize the licensing procedure.It is crucial to observe that enrolling an investment pool in Hong Kong and proceeding through the complete licensing procedure necessitates meticulous examination of all regulatory requisites and formulation of a superior collection of documents, which will secure prosperous finalization of the procedure and acquisition of the essential permit for subsequent undertakings.

Amounts of registration fees for filing an application

The procedure of petitioning for an SFC leave in Hong Kong encompasses varied enrollment charges contingent on the kind of solicitation and the governed pursuit.


Type of regulated activity (RA)

Amount of the registration fee

Licensed Corporation (LC)

Types 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

US$4,740 for each type of RA

Type 3


Temporarily Licensed Corporation

Types 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10

US$4,900 for each type of RA

Registered Institution (RI)

Types 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10

US$23,500 for each type of RA

Licenced representative

Types 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

US$1,790 for each type of RA

Type 3


Temporary Licensed Representative

Types 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10

US$1,850 for each type of RA

Approval of a responsible officer

Types 1-10

US$2,950 for each type of RA

These remunerations are imperative disbursements to be rendered during the SFC sanctioning process, accentuating the significance of meticulous groundwork for the sanctioning modality. It is pivotal to observe that the remunerations may mirror the intricacy and expanse of the SFC's scrutinies for each form of regulated enterprise, as well as accentuating the licensee's duties to the overseer and patrons. Acquiring an SFC permit in Hong Kong demands not solely a pecuniary investment at the submission phase, but also evidence of adherence to the elevated benchmarks of functioning established by the overseer.

Timeframe for obtaining a licence

Contingent upon the sort of tendering, the duration it necessitates for the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to handle petitions for investment charters in Hong Kong could fluctuate. Timeframes for nascent marketplace participants are customarily as delineated:

  • A pre-licensure delegate is handled in roughly 7 laboring days, which is the speediest alternative to commence in the investment field.
  • A customary certified delegate submission takes roughly 8 fortnights to process. This procedure comprises a more intricate inspection and affirmation of the contender's suitability.
  • A conscientious executive submission takes about 10 fortnights to process. This duration is due to the necessity to meticulously evaluate the contender's credentials for the role.
  • An application for a certified enterprise is handled within 15 fortnights as it entails an exhaustive examination of all facets of the institution.

The genre of amenities or wares provided, the caliber of the supplication and corroborating manuscripts, and any alterations to the supplication (which could be correlated to the range of the enterprise, possession configuration, pivotal personnel, and other constituents) can all impact how prolonged it takes to maneuver the entreaty. The aggregate duration it takes to consummate the procedure could be influenced by how prolonged it takes to procure a toil permit in Hong Kong, how ample capital is requisite, and inquiries proffered to other jurisdictions.

It is crucial to observe that the caliber and entirety of the intelligence furnished, along with the celerity of rejoinder to SFC interrogations, can notably hasten the progression of securing a permit. Furthermore, the SFC's existing workload also influences the calculation of the handling duration for every instance.

Hence, effectively acquiring an investment charter in Hong Kong necessitates not solely meticulous groundwork of the petition, but also contemplation of all conceivable hindrances linked with the licensing process.

Possible reasons for returning or refusing to issue a licence

Throughout the procedure of incorporating a firm with the Hong Kong SFC, diverse circumstances may emerge wherein your petition will be sent back or your authorization will be declined.

Incomplete application or presence of fundamental problems.

If your petition is deficient or has unresolved crucial concerns, SFC will send it back for amendment. You will be requested to finalize it with the necessary papers or details and resubmit it for reassessment.

Selecting an inappropriate type of regulated activity.

Where the pursuit applied for does not correspond to the sort of governed endeavor encompassed by the permit.

Deficiency of requisite configurations and records.

When establishing an investment enterprise in Hong Kong, it is crucial to thoroughly execute all obligatory paperwork and furnish all documents to substantiate your credentials and entitlement to operate.

Insufficient information on competencies.

Your petition may be sent back if there is inadequate proof of competence prerequisites, notably if ‘Yes’ has been indicated in reply to queries on punitive measures, pecuniary condition, individual disposition, and cerebral wellness.

Lack of an adequate number of responsible officials.

Each genus of obligatory pursuit must possess a minimum of two adept overseers. You might not have encountered the legal requisites or proffered compelling rationales for why you ought to be accorded a license if your solicitation for one is rebuffed. Nevertheless, you shall have the opportunity to proffer additional rationales in your vindication before a conclusive verdict is rendered. In the event of a denial, you may petition the Securities and Futures Appeal Tribunal to reassess their determination within 21 days.

Useful information for those wishing to open an investment licence in Hong Kong

Volitional investment prerogatives to petition for an investment charter in Hong Kong

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) stipulates that to segregate the regulated undertakings of RA9 from securities and futures counsel services, asset overseers must be accorded complete autonomous fund supervision authorities. The SFC evaluates whether a corporation possesses such authorities by scrutinizing each instance distinctly, encompassing the investment determination process, the functions of accredited individuals, and their engagement in that procedure.

Colleagues of the investment convocation and their role in the manipulation of an investment mandate in Hong Kong

Hong Kong plenipotentiary symposia are frequently established by private equity firms with a RA9 franchise. Momentous investment determinations must be executed by suitably credentialed and, if necessary, admonished symposia participants who will function as Responsible Officers (ROs).

Ventures in clandestine enterprises

Overseeing a collection of securities or forward commitments on behalf of other parties is an facet of estate surveillance that is encompassed by the license. Nevertheless, this distinction typically does not pertain to the equities or debentures of unregistered enterprises. When determining whether a license is necessary, the SFC examines the configuration of the exhaustive investment assemblage, which is a customary procedure for Hong Kong-registered exclusive equity funds to employ special purpose vehicles (SPVs) for investment objectives.

Collaborative-investment fortuities

Enterprises involved in mutual investment propositions are typically obligated to possess a Type 1 sanctioned endeavor credential (RA1). Nonetheless, enterprises that have received an RA9 credential to administer private equity resources may be excused from the necessity to acquire an extra RA1 credential if their mutual investment proposals are closely associated with their fundamental operational undertakings. Commercialization maneuvers of resources.

Undertakings pertaining to capital promotion and securities bartering in Hong Kong typically necessitate an RA1 permit. Nevertheless, enterprises possessing an RA9 permit may conduct promotional endeavors without an extra RA1 permit if such undertakings are executed as constituents of their fundamental asset management mandate.

Requital Prerequisites for Accountable Executors

SFC accepts a myriad of erudition for Principal Official (PO) aspirants, encompassing erudition in exploration, executive advising, investment oversight, and structuring business dealings, provided it is pertinent to their forthcoming duties.


Hong Kong's Security and Future Watchdog (SFC) supervises the investment permit progression, necessitating contenders to be seasoned and punctilious, from enrolling with WINGS to fulfilling requirements.

A vise authorization in Hong Kong not singularly verifies your company's genuineness and adherence to worldwide norms, but also bestows ingress to a vast gamut of mercantile opportunities. It is pivotal to ruminate upon the conceivable origins for rebuffed supplications or authorization repudiations and endeavor to forestall such circumstances by fastidiously readying for every juncture of the process.

Whilst matriculating a consortium with the Hong Kong SFC may seem labyrinthine and time-consuming, it is a pivotal stride towards a flourishing investment in Hong Kong. Apt strategizing, a comprehensive apprehension of the regulatory requisites, and proactive cooperation with the regulator can markedly streamline the procedure and aid you in achieving your commercial aims. Our experts are primed to provide all the particulars you require to procure an SFC license in Hong Kong. To contact us, you can elect a fitting approach from the 'Get in Touch' segment.