Am I free to choose any name I want for my company?

No. There are some restrictions on the registration of company names. Generally speaking, a company name will not be registered if:

  1. it is the same as a name  appearing in the Index of Company Names kept by the Registar of Company (‘the Registar”).
  2. it is the name as that of a body corporate incorporated or established under an Ordiance.
  3. in the opinion of the Registar, its use would constitute a criminal offence; or
  4. in the opinion of the Registar, it is offensive or otherwise contary to the public interest.

Moreover, some company names require the approval of the Registrar before they can be registered. These include names which contain any of the words or expressions set out in the Companies (Words and Expressions in Company Names) Order (Cap. 622A) and names which would be likely to give the impression that the company is connected in any way with the Central People's Government or the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or any department or agency of either government.

In addition, a name which is identical to a name that has been subject to a change of name direction issued by the Registrar will not be registered except with the consent of the Registrar. Please refer to Q4 for details of the search on the old company names for which change of name directions have been issue.

Please refer to the Guideline on Registration of Company Names for Hong Kong Companies (pdf format) for details.