Point 11: application of Societies (社團) under Cap. 151 Societies Ordinance
Definition of Societies: society (社團) means any club, company, partnership or association of persons, whatever the nature or objects, to which the provisions of this Ordinance apply; (Replaced 28 of 1961 s. 2).
FAQ for Societies provided by Hong Kong Police Force: https://www.police.gov.hk/ppp_en/13_faqs/faq_so.html
Q 4: How to register as a “non-profit-making organization” under the Societies Ordinance?
- The Societies Officer may register societies of different nature and objects or exempt them from registration under the Ordinance. However, the Ordinance provides no definition for "non-profit-making organization". Nor does it state any difference between “non-profit-making organization” and other organizations in respect of registration.
Q 5: Are the registered societies / exempted societies required to file tax return?
- The Societies Ordinance does not restrict the operation of a registered society / exempted society. For queries about tax affairs, please contact the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department directly on 187 8088 or visiting their website at (http://www.ird.gov.hk/)
Discussion: A society registered under Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151) normally will not be assigned any tax file number by IRD. A possible practice to handle tax fairs for a society is to register a HK company under Company Ordinance (Cap. 622) separately and deem the society is under the HK company (Or the HK company is under the society?) and use the HK company to file tax documents to IRD.
A "business", being: (i) operated by a group of persons and satisfying the definition of "society", (ii) was registered as a society under Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151), and (iii) earning taxable profits, might not automatically get a IRD tax files except registered another company under HK Company Ordinance (Cap. 622).
A society doesn't have Business Registration Certificate.
A society can't acquire any property.
A society registered under Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151) can apply and hold bank accounts and licenses, like: money lender license, Money Service Operators license, etc.
A society registered under Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151) isn't a Separate Legal Entity but qualified to be an Entity.