Licensed representative or responsible officer: When an individual wants to conduct regulated activities in Hong Kong, s/he can be licensed either as a “licensed representative” only or as a “responsible officer”. A responsible officer assumes greater responsibilities and has more authority than a representative as s/he is also involved in supervising the regulated activities of the company. If the individual is a member of the board of directors and carries on or supervises regulated activities s/he is an “executive director” and must be licensed as a responsible officer. A licensed company is required to have at least two responsible officers per regulated activity and one of them must be an executive director.
Is six months long enough? The SFC often gives licensed individuals six months to take the relevant licensing exams. As people often have busy business schedules and other commitments, finding time to study and sit for the exams within six months can often be a difficult juggling act. However, licensed individuals should enrol and sit for exams as soon as possible. The SFC is reluctant to grant an extension if the individual has not sat the exam within the six months grace period without a good reason, although it may do so if the applicant has sat the exam but failed to pass.