Gov’t to streamline business registration processes

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

Government is seeking to streamline the business registration process and allow for the issuance of just a Certificate to Commence Business, as part of reforms contained in the amended Companies Act currently before Parliament.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia was speaking at the launch of the Registrar General’s Department E-Certificate at the Banquet Hall, State House.

“Under the new online registration, you no longer have to go to the Registrar General’s office to queue to register a business. What we are witnessing today is the hard work of a Public-Private Partnership by the government of Ghana with support from the World Bank, with the aim of re-engineering business processes of the Ghana Revenue Authority and Registrar General’s Department

However, the amended Companies Act – when it’s passed, which will be soon – there will be no longer be requirement for a commencement of business certificate to start a business once you receive the certificate of incorporation,” the Vice President stated.

The Vice President pledged government’s commitment to working with Parliament to ensure speedy passage of the amended Companies Act – stating that with the use of technology, developing human capacity and an enforcement of the rule of law, Ghana will reach its highest potential in economic stability.

The launch of this E-Certificate today marks a lot of hard work over several years in reforms of the RGD’s processes. The objective of these reforms is to initiate an appropriate business regime, and they are to bring about reductions in business registration processes as well.

Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ms. Gloria Afua Akuffo, speaking at the event said: “We are told that the Department now boasts shared services with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). This includes communication features such as scheduling of appointments online, email, SMS, live chat, business intelligence, web statistics and portal reporting.  I am hopeful that the delivery of these services will serve as a worthy example for other modules on the e-Government platform”.

She therefore told the gathering that though corruption, as is in most parts of the world, remains a scourge that impedes socio-economic development – and in particular businesses in our country. She expressed optimism that the establishment of these new systems will drastically reduce corruption.

“I would caution all stakeholders to avoid abusing the systems so as to reap the full benefits of this innovative way of doing business. I also want entreat both the Registrar-General’s Department and GCNet to adhere to a rigorous and regular maintenance regime so as to gain optimum advantage from the systems,” she added.

The Registrar-General, Mrs. Jemima Oware said: “The introduction of an e-certificate allows clients to have an end to end process when they use the portal. This means our clients can now apply for registration of their businesses online and get their Business Registration Certificate, Incorporation and Commencement Certificates at the end of the process. The applicant will receive a notification after final approval is given. For the authenticity of these online documents, one needs to request the Public key from the RGD”.

According to the Registrar-General, Section 6 of Act 835 provides that where in an enactment a person is required to provide evidence of a transaction in respect of a matter specified under the Companies Act, proof of that matter as transacted electronically in the manner approved by the Registrar shall suffice.

“This means the e- certificate issued at the end of the registration process on the portal is as good as the hard-copy certificate that is issued when you register at any of our offices in the country.”

Linked to the RGD portal is a fully functional e-payment platform that allows payments to be made in the course of online transactions.

By: Norvan Acquah-Hayford | | Ghana

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