Registrar-General: Some 50,000 companies to be deleted from database

“In that state, only a court can direct that the names of those companies be restored to the register”

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Some 50,000 firms currently registered in the database of the Registrar-General will be permanently removed from the end of this month, the Registrar-General, Jemima Oware has announced.

At a sensitization seminar on the new Companies Act of 2019, Act 992, the Registrar-General noted that this move is intended to restore sanity, clean up the companies’ register and improve the standards of corporate governance in the country.

A report filed by Ghana Talks Business indicated that the exercise had become necessary due to the inflation of the department’s database with dormant and non-compliant firms. Madam Oware observed that some of those firms had been registered since 2011 but had failed to file their annual returns like is required under Act 992.

“We started the exercise with a sample of about 50,000 companies on the register which failed to file their annual returns in compliance with the law. We gave them three-month notices and now we have gone past seven months, yet they have still not updated us with their records. So, in compliance with the law, we are striking out their names from the register by first putting them in a state of inactiveness,” she said

Jemima Oware further intimated that a company that is deemed to be inactive can only be restored into the register via a court order. Alternatively, the firm could apply to pay the annual return fee pegged at GHS50 in addition to a yearly penal charge of GHS450.

“In that state, only a court can direct that the names of those companies be restored to the register,” she said.

“When you file an annual return, you are updating the Registrar-General on changes that have taken place in your company, whether you have carried out any business or not. It is just GH¢50,” the report further mentions.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Seth Twum-Akwaboah has indicated that the sensitization program would help its members improve their corporate governance practices, in line with the new provisions of Act 992.

“The Act, as it is, promotes good business practices, and it is important for all firms registered in Ghana to operate within the law. Today, trading within the African Continental Free Trade Area has begun, and for local businesses which may require foreign partnerships to augment production capacity, good governance practices could be one of the criteria in forging such partnerships,” he said.

“Our local businesses will also be better placed to integrate into the global economy if corporate governance standards are upheld. I urge AGI member-companies incorporated before 2012 and which have still not complied with the re-registration directive to quickly do so, before the deadline elapses,” he further said.