In Hong Kong’s modern legal framework, the term “joint stock company” is no longer used, reflecting an update in corporate nomenclature to align with international standards. The legal structure now distinguishes between various types of limited companies, specifically tailored to meet different shareholder and market needs:

  1. Private Limited Companies : These companies are limited to a maximum of 50 shareholders, excluding employees who hold shares or former employees who became shareholders during their tenure. There must be at least one shareholder, but no upper limit is set including the exempt groups..
  2. Public Limited Companies: Unlike private limited companies, public limited companies can have an unlimited number of shareholders. This flexibility makes them well-suited for raising capital through the public stock market.

This regulatory framework allows companies to adjust their ownership structure as needed to support growth and respond to the investment climate effectively.

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