Over 700,000 business entities not in good standing

Jemima M. Oware, the Registrar of Companies
  • forcing ORC to extend deadline for filing annual returns and renewals

The Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC) has registered a total of 1,023,715 business entities since 2011.

However, as of June 30, 2023, only some 257,038 of these registered entities are in good standing while the remaining 719,973 businesses are not, the B&FT can confirm.

The ORC has therefore decided to extend the deadline for filing annual returns and renewals to September 30, 2023.

This extension is intended to allow companies and businesses in default to complete the necessary processes for filing their annual returns and renewals.

These include companies limited by shares, companies limited by guarantee, external companies, partnerships, business names (sole proprietorships) and subsidiary business names.

“The deadline-extension is to enable Companies and Businesses in default to complete the processes for filing their annual returns and renewals, which they invariably could not complete due to the downtimes experienced by our software application system throughout the period,” the Registrar of Companies, Jemima Mamaa Oware, stated in a statement seen by the B&FT.

The deadline extension applies to business names, companies limited by shares, companies limited by guarantee – churches, schools, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society organisations (CSOs), foundations, associations, unions, societies and charities etc. – external companies, partnerships and professional bodies.

Striking off

If companies and businesses fail to comply with the extended deadline, the ORC will initiate the process of striking off these entities from the register by end-September 2023 per Section 5A (2) of the Registration of Business Names Act, 1962 (Act 151), Mrs. Oware warned.

The Act grants the ORC authority to remove defaulting business names and subsidiary business names from the register after three months.

“Kindly note that the ORC will implement fully for the first time section 126(7) of the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992) which spells out the administrative penalty of GH¢300 (currently GH¢12 per unit for 25 penalty units) to be charged against the companies and every officer for each day the default continues for non-filing,” added Mrs. Oware.

She therefore urged companies not to rest on their oars because of this extension, but continue preparing all the necessary documents to file their annual returns on time “to avoid paying this administrative penalty or pushing their companies into the status of not being in good standing”.

Below is the list of companies and businesses registered by ORC since 2011, and those that had complied by filing their annual returns and renewals and are in good standing as of June 30, 2023.

Business Entity Number Registered Number in Good Standing Number Not in Good Standing
Companies Limited by Shares 220,214 46,704 173,510
Companies Limited by Guarantee 71,104 19,074 52,030
External Companies 1,379 438 941
Partnerships 2,883 752 2,131
Business Names (Sole Proprietorships) 721,817 235,481 486,336
Subsidiary  Business Names 6,318 1,293 5,025


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