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Regulatory Environment in Brunei

The political structure of Brunei operates within a framework of absolute monarchy, whereby the Sultan of Brunei is both head of state and head of government. The Sultan presides over and is advised by five councils as follows:

  • Council of Ministers (Cabinet), which consists of nine members including the Sultan as Prime Minister, performing the day-to-day administrative function of government

  • Legislative Council, with 33 appointed members by the Sultan, taking on a consultative role

  • The Privy Council, Religious Council and Council of Succession, with all members appointed by the Sultan

Brunei has a dual legal system, with the first inherited from British colonial rule and thus similar to Hong Kong’s common law system. In parallel, Brunei adopts a system of Shariah courts, which deal with offences among Muslims. In 2014, Brunei announced a new set of codes of Islamic law, which also affect business hours and holidays in the country.

The main legislative framework relevant for Hong Kong companies are the Companies Act (Revised 2015), Business Names Act and the Insolvency Order (2016). Other legislative frameworks of interest to Hong Kong companies are included in the following sections.


A Practical Guide to Doing Business in Brunei

  1. Regulatory Environment
  2. Establishing a Presence
  3. Intellectual Property Protection
  4. Staff Recruitment
  5. Tax Considerations
  6. Import/Export Procedures
  7. Further Information

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