Do I need to apply for a license to open an online shop? See if you need to apply for a license for the goods you are selling!
Do I need a license to open an online shop? In fact, it depends on the business of your online store and the products you sell. Certain types of businesses need to be licensed before they can be legally sold!
If it is a general online shop, such as selling homemade accessories, daily necessities or providing professional photography services, printing services, etc., under normal circumstances, licenses are not required.
However, if the goods sold or the services provided by the online shop cover the scope regulated by the licensing laws, such as telecommunications business, import and export services, environmental protection, restaurants, etc., you need to apply for the relevant license.
It’s easy for online shop operators to neglect to obtain a license. There was news that in 2017, an online shop operator in his twenties was fined HK$3,000 for selling homemade cakes online without a license.
The government introduced a licensing system for online sale of restricted food in February 2016, which stipulates the conditions for online sale of restricted food, and requires that online sale of restricted food including sashimi, sushi, oysters and frozen meat must be licensed (detailed See Schedule 2 of the Food Business Regulations, Chapter 132X of the Laws of Hong Kong, and the relevant license application guide.
Even if you only sell cookies or cakes you make online, you still need to obtain a food factory license and a bakery shop license from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department in accordance with the Food Business Regulation. The food factory required by the law must Comply with land use and comply with a series of health and safety requirements (see Part II and IV of the Food Business Regulation for details).
In recent years, the business of selling home-made food online has become popular, and the person in charge of some food manufacturing factories also understands that it is difficult for small online shop operators to obtain a license, so under the name of "shared license", they privately lease their licensed places to these online shops. Shopkeeper. This practice actually wanders in a gray area of the law. Article 34A of the Food Business Regulation stipulates that unless the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene The nature of the law is exclusive to individuals, so before using a shared license to sell food online, you must carefully read the terms of the contract given to you by the licensee and obtain independent legal advice. Violation of the licensing requirements is a criminal offence. According to Article 35 of the Food Business Regulation, a person who is engaged in the production, storage or sale of food without a license is liable to a fine of up to HK$50,000 and 6 months’ imprisonment upon conviction. During the period of unlicensed operation, the maximum fine is HK$900 per day.