Entities engaged in 18 service industries in Hong Kong will be able to get access to the mainland under Cepa provided they comply with the agreed definition of a service supplier. Foreign corporations that acquire or merge with Hong Kong companies will have to wait for a year before entering the mainland market under the definitions. In the agreement signed between Hong Kong and the mainland on June 29, only the definition of Hong Kong companies was agreed. The new deal means individuals, government-owned enterprises, trusts, partnerships, associations and other organisations will also be able to enjoy the benefits of Cepa. Under the requirements, companies and other forms of service suppliers have to be established in Hong Kong either through the Companies Ordinance or other relevant laws, they must have valid Business Registration Certificates, and they must pay profit tax in the special administrative region. They should own or rent their offices in Hong Kong and engage in substantive business operations here for between three and five years. At least 50 per cent of their staff should be Hong Kong residents without limit of stay. And more importantly, the scope and nature of business that these companies and groups aim to conduct on the mainland must be identical to what they do in Hong Kong. Such requirements are designed to prevent foreign corporates using Hong Kong as a back-door method of entering the mainland.