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Companies must comply with new law — Registrar of Companies

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey
Jemima Oware— Registrar of Companies
Jemima Oware— Registrar of Companies

The Registrar of Companies, Mrs Jemima Oware, has urged companies to comply with the new Company Act and amend the major changes under the new law to enhance the registration and regulation of businesses in Ghana.

The Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992) seeks to introduce improved corporate governance standards for companies operating in Ghana.

Among others, the Companies Act, 2019 requires all companies to include suffixes to their names to ensure identification of the actual legal form of a registered company.

The suffixes include Private Company Limited (Ltd), Public Company Limited (PLC), Company Limited by Guarantee (LBG), Public Company Unlimited (PUC).

Forum

At a forum on the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992) organised by Corporate Law Institute and Ntrakwah and Co., legal practitioners and consultancy firm, in collaboration with the Office of the Registrar of Companies, Mrs Oware explained that the new law was to enhance the ease of doing business.

"For instance, because of the suffixes which all companies must amend, some companies are complaining and asking why the Office of the Registrar of Companies was compelling them to change their names. We are not compelling you to change your name," Mrs Oware said.

She said the addition of the suffix was to ensure that third parties and stakeholders had clarity on the legal form of the company they were dealing with.

Mrs Oware said the new Companies Act had improved beneficial ownership requirements as it required the identification of members and beneficial owners of companies.

Mrs Oware also announced that the office, with support from the World Bank, would deploy a software for digital business registration.

The software, she said, would ensure that the processes for registering and doing business in Ghana was made less stressful.

"You will not need to carry documents to our offices. We will migrate our current software on the new system and ease the burden of registering businesses," she said.

Read law

The Founder and Board Chairman of Ntrakwah and Co., Felix Ntrakwah, said there were challenges with the application of the new law "just as there were challenges with the old law".

He said the event, dubbed: “Users forum”, intended to be the first of a series, sought to create a platform to discuss the concerns of the users of the law "so we can all agree on the way forward".

Mr Ntrakwah advised persons who intended to set up companies to read the law before taking a step, and urged the public not to dump unnecessary documents on the Registrar of Companies.

The forum, the organisers said, was a periodic gathering of the users of the Companies Act, 2019 by which the administrators of the law and practitioners would exchange ideas on the best approach to the application of the law, especially the search for a common ground in relation to the giving of notice and the filing of statutory returns.