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Ease of Doing Business in

Hong Kong SAR, China

Hong Kong SAR, China Download Profile (1728.6KB, pdf)
Region East Asia & Pacific
Income Category High income
Population 7,305,700
GNI Per Capita (US$) 41,000
City covered Hong Kong

190

1

DB 2017 Rank

1

100

DB 2017 DTF (% points)

  • local_library
  • group
Topics DB 2017 Rank DB 2016 Rank info_outline Change in Rank DB 2017 DTF (% points) info_outline DB 2016 DTF (% points) info_outline Change in DTF (% points) info_outline
Overall 4 5 up
1
84.21 83.77 down
0.44
Starting a Business 3 4 up
1
98.20 98.12 up
0.08
Dealing with Construction Permits 5 5
-
84.82 84.78 up
0.04
Getting Electricity 3 5 up
2
99.02 94.74 up
4.28
Registering Property 61 60 down
1
69.79 69.78 up
0.01
Getting Credit 20 19 down
1
75.00 75.00
-
Protecting Minority Investors 3 3
-
80.00 80.00
-
Paying Taxes 3 3
-
98.69 98.69
-
Trading across Borders 42 42
-
88.94 88.94
-
Enforcing Contracts 21 21
-
72.57 72.57
-
Resolving Insolvency 28 27 down
1
75.06 75.06
-

Positive= Doing Business reform making it easier to do business.Negative= Change making it more difficult to do business.

DB 2017 Rank:

61

DB 2016 Rank:

60

Change in Rank:

down1

DB 2017 DTF (% points):

69.79

DB 2016 DTF (% points):

69.78

Change in DTF (% points):

up0.01

STANDARD PROPERTY TRANSFER
Property value HKD 16,713,973
City Hong Kong
Indicator Hong Kong SAR, China East Asia & Pacific OECD high income
Procedures (number) info_outline 5 5.4 4.7
Time (days) info_outline 27.5 74.4 22.4
Cost (% of property value) info_outline 7.7 4.5 4.2
Quality of the land administration index (0-30) info_outline 23 13.4 22.7
  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Purchaser’s solicitor does a land search at the Land Registry

    Agency: Land Registry and online

    It is a common Procedure that the Buyer's solicitor will conduct a land search before execution of the Agreement for Sale and Purchase (ASP) to ensure that the previous registration title of the property is complete and that no unusual encumbrance is registered against the property. All land records are available for search by the public by doing an online search. The service hours of an online search services have been extended from 16 to 20 hours daily since August 2010. In 2010/11, searches conducted online constituted about 91% of the total search volume. It is a common Procedure that the Purchaser’s solicitor conducts a land search online on the day of execution of the agreement for sale and purchase as a due diligence check. The prescribed fee is HK$25 for a full land search (which provides all historical and current data affecting the property) and HK$10 for an up-date land search (which provides the current data). This will take about one (1) day and in fact, immediately if it is done through the online internet service provided by the Land Registry, which many law firms in Hong Kong would have subscribed to such service.

    Less than a day (online procedure) HKD 25
    2

    Preparation of (i) Sale and Purchase Agreement and (ii) Assignment

    Agency: Solicitors' firm

    The Property Assignment will give the purchaser legal title and possession of the property.

    5 days HKD 30,000 + 0.25% of value exceeding HKD 5,000,000 (solicitor’s fee according to Solicitors -General- Costs Rules (Cap. 159G) which is negotiable).
    3

    Execution of Sale and Purchase Agreement and filing at the Land Registry

    Agency: Land Registry

    The Purchaser’s solicitor registers the executed agreement for sale and purchase with the Land Registry. At this time, the Purchaser usually gives a 10% down payment on the property and has time to arrange financing for the remainder owed. During the 30-day period, the Purchaser’s solicitor prepares an Assignment deed. In addition, during this period of time, the Buyer's solicitor will complete perusal of title deeds and clarify any title issues with the Seller's solicitors and confirm good title to the Buyer (through a final land search on the property to ensure there has not been any competing deed lodged with the Land Registry after the executed agreement for sale and purchase has been registered with the Land Registry).

    14 days - 30 days HKD 210
    * 4

    The Purchaser's solicitor settles the stamp duty payable with the Stamp Office via e-stamping

    Agency: Stamp Office

    All necessary forms and documents for stamping can be submitted online (www.gov.hk/estamping.) or in paper. The process of submission and payment is straight forward, details of the transaction are submitted over the internet, a stamp invoice is issued immediately which can be printed. After the online payment of stamp duty, solicitors can print the stamp certificates and attach them to the instruments as evidence of stamping. Payment of the stamp duty can be done using different methods, (PPS, MasterCard, and Visa). The current payment limits for credit cards are HK$5,000. If the duty amount exceeds the payment limits, payment can be made offline by printing a payment notice for settlement by telephone, bank ATM, internet or in person at the Stamp Office or Post Offices. After payment of stamp duty, a stamp certificate will be issued instantly and available for printing. Each stamp certificate will have its own "Stamp Certificate Number".
    For online payments and e-stamping, it is not required to present the original instruments to the Stamp Office. Details of the e-Stamping service in Hong Kong are available at www.ird.gov.hk/eng/tax/e_stamp.htm.

    Both methods fulfill the stamping requirement equally. Under the conventional method no stamp certificate is issued, instead, the relevant document (e.g. the assignment) would be stamped by the Stamp Office with the value of stamp duty paid.

    Less than a day (online procedure, simultaneous with procedure 3) 7.5% stamp duty for non-residential property
    * 5

    Purchaser’s solicitor registers the Property Assignment at the Land Registry

    Agency: Land Registry

    The duly stamped Assignment will then be presented by the solicitors to the Land Registry. The purchaser’s solicitor shall register the Assignment at the Land Registry within 30 days from the date of Assignment so as to preserve its priority under the law. After receipt of the original Assignment by the Land Registry,the Land Registry will complete the registration and return the Assignment to the solicitor’s office. The title is legally property of the purchaser once the Property Assignment is submitted to the Land Registry on the first day. The remaining days (or months) account for the Registry to document the transfer in microfilm and other media.

    1 day (simultaneous with procedure 3) HKD 450

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 23.0
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 5.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Land Registry
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Scanned 1.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? Yes 1.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? Yes 1.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? No 0.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 4.5
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.iris.gov.hk
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.landreg.gov.hk/en/services/reg_fee.htm   
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.landreg.gov.hk/en/about/perform.htm  
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? Yes 0.5
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015: 96,636
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Freely accessible by anyone 0.5
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access:  http://www.landsd.gov.hk/mapping/en/digital-map/common/doc/pricelist.pdf  ...
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.landsd.gov.hk/en/images/doc/pledge2014_e.pdf)
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 8.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? Yes 2.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 5.5
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? No 0.0
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Lawyer.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Lawyer.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? Yes 1.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? Hong Kong District Court
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 1 and 2 years 2.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0