How To Become A Company Secretary In Hong Kong

[Guide] How To Become A Company Secretary In Hong Kong

To become a company secretary in Hong Kong, it is essential to understand the specific qualifications and requirements necessary for the role. This comprehensive guide outlines the key responsibilities, such as maintaining statutory records and ensuring regulatory compliance. By following these steps, aspiring professionals can successfully embark on a rewarding career path in corporate governance.

Becoming a company secretary in Hong Kong is a rewarding career path that offers many opportunities for professional growth. However, it is important to understand the requirements and qualifications needed to succeed in this field. 

This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to start your journey to becoming a company secretary in Hong Kong.

Unraveling the Essence of a Company Secretary

In the dynamic business hub of Hong Kong, a company secretary's responsibilities extend far beyond mere administrative duties. 

They serve as the linchpin between the organization and the governing authorities, facilitating compliance with the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance and fostering effective corporate governance.

At its core, the role of a company secretary involves acting as a conduit between the company and regulatory bodies such as the Companies Registry and the Inland Revenue Department. 

They ensure that statutory obligations are met, deadlines are adhered to, and communication channels remain open and transparent.

Decoding the Role of a Company Secretary

A company secretary in Hong Kong serves as the linchpin between the business entity and the governing authorities, facilitating seamless communication and adherence to statutory obligations. 

How To Become A Company Secretary In Hong Kong

This multifaceted role transcends mere administrative duties, extending into realms of corporate governance, legal advisory, and stakeholder management.

To illustrate, a company secretary's pivotal responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining meticulous statutory records and registers, ensuring accuracy and timely updates.
  • Preparing and filing mandatory documents, such as annual returns and incorporation paperwork, with the Companies Registry.
  • Organizing and attending board meetings, shareholder assemblies, and ensuring adherence to procedural protocols.
  • Advising the board of directors on corporate governance best practices, regulatory compliance, and strategic decision-making.
  • Facilitating effective communication between the company, shareholders, and government agencies like the Inland Revenue Department.
  • Overseeing share transfers, dividend distributions, and other shareholder-related matters.

Hong Kong Company Secretary Requirements

To embark on the journey of becoming a company secretary in Hong Kong, it is essential to meet specific qualifications and eligibility criteria. 

These requirements ensure that individuals possessing the necessary knowledge, expertise, and integrity are entrusted with this critical role.

1. Residency Requirements

One of the fundamental prerequisites for an individual to serve as a company secretary in Hong Kong is residency status. 

The Companies Ordinance stipulates that a company secretary must be ordinarily residing in Hong Kong. This requirement can be met by:

  • Being a Hong Kong permanent resident.
  • Holding a valid employment visa that allows residency in Hong Kong.
  • Representing a corporate entity incorporated in Hong Kong and licensed as a Trust and Corporate Service Provider (TCSP).

2. Educational and Professional Qualifications

While there are no specific educational qualifications mandated by law, many companies prefer to appoint company secretaries who possess relevant certifications or memberships in professional bodies. 

These include:

  • Membership in the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) or the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).
  • A degree or professional qualification in fields such as law, accounting, or business administration.
  • Relevant work experience in corporate governance, compliance, or company secretarial roles.

It is worth noting that for public companies, the Companies Ordinance imposes additional requirements. 

A company secretary for a public company must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Being a member of the HKICS.
  • Being a solicitor or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
  • Having at least three years of experience as a company secretary of a public company within the preceding five years.

3. Knowledge and Experience

Beyond formal qualifications, a company secretary in Hong Kong must possess a comprehensive understanding of the region's corporate laws, regulations, and governance practices. This includes:

  • Extensive knowledge of the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance and its implications for various business entities.
  • Familiarity with tax laws, filing requirements, and compliance procedures mandated by the Inland Revenue Department.
  • Expertise in corporate governance principles, best practices, and ethical decision-making frameworks.

Additionally, practical experience in handling company secretarial matters, such as organizing meetings, maintaining records, and communicating with regulatory authorities, is highly valued by potential employers.


Becoming a company secretary in Hong Kong is a challenging but rewarding career path. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of success in this field. 

With hard work and dedication, you can become a valuable asset to any organization and make a significant contribution to the Hong Kong business community.