Following the passing of the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992), the Registrar of Companies has finally established its own office to register and regulate all types of business entities in Ghana.
Previously, the Registrar-General’s Department was responsible for the registration and regulation of businesses in Ghana, in addition to its many other functions such as the registration of marriages, and intellectual property rights, among others.
Realizing the practical problems that this previous system posed, the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992) established the Office of the Registrar of Companies to ease the pressure on the Registrar-General’s Department and to facilitate business operations while improving the quality of services rendered to business owners in the country. This is a welcoming improvement to the company and commercial practice industry in Ghana, as it facilitates a huge chunk of the work that lawyers are often hired to do for their clients.
The new Office of the Registrar of Companies is expected to operate on its own with its own board, funded by internally generated funds.
Further, during the transition phase, the Registrar-General has assured Ghanaians that the establishment of the new office does not invalidate any previous contracts entered into with the Registrar-General’s Department in respect of business registrations.
From a legal perspective, this innovation is a timely one. It will greatly simplify and improve the company registration and administration process. Hopefully, this new office is given all the resources it requires to run efficiently and effectively so that the previous challenges that lawyers faced with company registration and other corporate administration will be alleviated if not eradicated.
Going forward, the Office of the Registrar of Companies could adopt a more efficient digital approach to more of their functions to further simplify matters for clients and lawyers alike. Notwithstanding this, the establishment of the new Office of the Registrar of Companies is a step in the right direction.
Author: Yorm Ama Abledu, Senior International Associate, Centurion Law Group, Ghana.