What is a Certified True Copy in Hong Kong? How to Get it Done Properly?

Certified true copies play a crucial role in various business processes and formalities in Hong Kong. Whether you are incorporating a company, applying for a business bank account, or engaging in major transactions, you may be required to provide certified true copies of your documents. Understanding the concept of certified true copies and the procedures involved can help you navigate these requirements with clarity and ensure compliance.

Certified True Copies: An Overview

A certified true copy is a copy of an original document that has been verified by a qualified professional as an accurate and complete reproduction of the original. It serves as evidence that the copy has not been tampered with and maintains the integrity of the original document. Certified true copies are commonly requested for important documents such as birth certificates, passports, and driver’s licenses.

Importance of Certified True Copies in Hong Kong

Certified true copies are essential when conducting business in Hong Kong. They are often required for activities such as opening a business bank account, registering a company, and making land or real estate purchases. These copies serve as substitutes for the original documents, allowing you to retain the originals while providing verifiable proof of their contents. This is particularly valuable for identity documents, as it minimizes the risk of loss or damage.

Distinction Between Certified True Copies and Notarized Copies

The terms “certified true copy” and “notarized copy” are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between them. While both types of copies involve verification by a qualified professional, certified true copies attest to the accuracy and completeness of the copy itself, whereas notarized copies typically involve the notary witnessing the signing of a document. It is important to clarify the specific requirements with the institution requesting the copies to ensure compliance.

Who Can Certify True Copies in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, certified true copies are generally accepted if certified by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a solicitor, or a Notary Public. These professionals have the authority to verify and certify the authenticity of documents. It is advisable to confirm the specific requirements of the requesting institution to ensure that the certification meets their criteria. Additionally, individuals residing outside of Hong Kong may seek certification from an embassy officer or a Justice of the Peace.

Format and Contents of Certified True Copies

A certified true copy must adhere to certain formatting requirements to be considered valid. The certifier should sign and date the document, clearly print their name and position, and include a statement affirming that the copy is a true reproduction of the original. The number of pages included should also be indicated. It is important to note that certified true copies are typically expected to be in English or Chinese, and documents in other languages may require translation.

Validity Period of Certified True Copies

Certified true copies are generally valid for a specific period, which varies depending on the document and the institution’s requirements. It is crucial to check the validity period before obtaining certified copies to ensure that they remain valid when submitted. Submitting expired copies may result in the rejection of your application or request.

Obtaining Certified True Copies in Hong Kong

To obtain certified true copies, you can seek assistance from qualified professionals such as CPAs, solicitors, or Notary Publics. The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Law Society of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Society of Notaries can help you find suitable professionals. It is advisable to compare costs and services among different providers to ensure you receive reliable and recognized certification.

Cost Considerations and Alternatives

The cost of obtaining certified true copies may vary depending on the service provider and the specific requirements. It is recommended to research and compare the costs and legitimacy of different services before making a decision. However, it is important to prioritize reliability and recognition by the institution requesting the copies to avoid any complications or rejections.


Certified true copies are an integral part of various business processes in Hong Kong. Understanding their significance, the requirements for obtaining them, and the professionals authorized to certify them is essential for smooth business operations. By ensuring compliance with the certification procedures and seeking reliable services, you can confidently provide certified true copies when required, facilitating your business activities in Hong Kong.

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