The Registrar General’s Department (RGD) is piloting a system that will ensure that businesses that register to operate in the country concurrently receive tax identification numbers (TINs) and business operating permits from local assemblies.
This is made possible after the integration of the RGD’s systems with those of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Post, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and other relevant bodies.
The department has consequently made it mandatory for all businesses to acquire digital addresses before they can be registered to operate.
The Registrar General, Mrs Jemima Oware, who disclosed this at a press conference in Accra yes— had also linked the systems of the RGD to all the 29 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in the region to facilitate the issuance of business operating permits.
Ease of doing business
“From today, all businesses cannot be registered all over the country until their digital addresses are supplied together with other data of the business to enable us to complete the registration seamlessly,” Mrs Oware said.
She said the reform being piloted was expected to reduce the number of days it took for businesses to start operations from an average of 14 days to three.
The aim, she explained, was to improve the ease of doing business in the country.
Ghana improved six places on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index from 120th places to 114th position among 190 countries surveyed in the report.
As part of the business registration process to make Ghana an attractive business destination, Mrs Oware said sharing electronic information of businesses with the MMDAs would allow officers at the assemblies to follow up after a business had electronically paid for a business operating permit at a flat fee of GH¢50.
“With the business operating permit in place, the department will register the business and provide it with a provisional business operating permit for 90 days,” she said.
She pointed out that under the reform, the department had integrated the GRA, SSNIT and the MMDAs into its registration processes and had developed a single-fused form to be filled by businesses to serve as “one-stop-shop data fields of the RGD, the SSNIT, the GRA and the MMDAs”.
The Registrar General said the department would begin to generate unique TINs for businesses after they furnished the department with a national identification card by the end of March this year.
“If we are able to get a driving licence, a voter card and a Ghana Card, it will be captured into the department’s e-register database to generate instant automatic TIN and it is not going to be like in the past when the GRA officers take time to validate such national IDs,” she explained.