The Unique Business Identifier (“UBI”) –  CR number vs BR number

by Cheap Incorporation Team | February 7, 2024

There used to be 2 different numbers – company registration number and business registration number for every company in Hong Kong before the Companies Registry’s most recent update in 2023. Now, there company registration number (CRN) is no longer in use. Instead, the business registration number (BRN) has replaced CRN as the only company number.  This article will explain the differences between the two and the reasons behind the change of policy.

Business Registration Number

Business and company registration numbers in Hong Kong used to serve distinct purposes and were governed by different government departments. Frequently, business owners inquire about their tax number, BR number, and CR number, leading to confusion regarding these identification numbers. This article mainly aims to shed light on this particular matter.

Company Registration Number

The Hong Kong government offers a comprehensive joint service through the Companies Registry and the Inland Revenue Department for business registration. Any individual applying for the incorporation of a local private limited company under the Companies Ordinance is considered to have applied for business registration. The Companies Registry issues the Certificate of Incorporation and the Business Registration Certificate concurrently after a company is successfully incorporated. Consequently, these two numbers serve as identity numbers for all Hong Kong Companies. These numbers are automatically assigned upon registration.

Unique Business Identifier

The Company Registration (CR) Number is a numerical combination used to identify a company and validate its registration. This number is given by the Companies Registry upon company formation and cannot be chosen or altered even if the company undergoes changes in name, business nature, or share structure. The CR number is a distinctive identifier for the company and is prominently displayed on the Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Association. The newly developed unique business identifier (UBI) is aimed to improve the overall quality and efficiency of communication between different parties like government ministries and different business entities to avoid any mistakes or confusion when identifying a particular company. Generally speaking, the introduction of the UBI reaffirms the fact that there is only one company number for business enterprises in Hong Kong  rather than having numerous ones like before.

You can find your company’s number from the references below.

We hope this article clarifies any confusion you may have had in regard to the new introduction  of the unique business identifier. If you have further questions or would like to form a company with us, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at or message us at +852 5404 0902 on WhatsApp. 

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