The Registrar-General’s Department (RGD), has announced the introduction of a new electronic system to aid in the processes and procedures of registering companies in the country and promote government’s efforts at improving the ease of doing business in Ghana.
According to the Registrar General, this is in compliance with the Companies Act 2019 (Act 992) as well as the implementation of the Beneficial Ownership Register.
A statement issued by the RGD stated that, “The Registrar-General’s Department wishes to inform the Business Community and the general public that the department has deployed the upgraded electronic system in compliance with the provisions of the Companies Act 2019 (Act 992) as well as the implementation of the Beneficial Ownership Register effective Thursday, 1st October 2020. ”
It noted that, “as a result of the introduction, the department will not receive new company registration applications on Thursday 1st October 2020 and Friday 2nd October 2020 to pave way for the testing and full operationalization of the new system.”
The department will, however, receive new company registration applications from Monday, 5th October 2020.
Earlier this month the Register-General, Jemima Oware, begun the deployment of a new Central Beneficial Ownership Register for all companies operating in the country.
It started with the extractive industry and other high-risk sectors like banks and other financial institutions.
Click here for the full statement:
What is Beneficial Ownership?
Beneficial ownership is a term in domestic and international commercial law that refers to the natural persons who exercise significant influence over and receive profits from a company who are not its legal owners.
Following the release of the Panama Papers and the global efforts to address issues related to anti-corruption and tax evasion, the Ghanaian government has been under pressure to act on beneficial ownership disclosure, hence the passage of the new Companies Act, 2019, (Act 992).
Also, the World Bank, notes that roughly 70% of the biggest corruption cases between 1980 and 2010 involved anonymous companies. When it comes to the oil, gas, and mining sectors, it has been estimated that up to US$1 trillion is siphoned out of developing countries in lost tax revenues through shell companies that hide their beneficial owners.