Data obtained from the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) indicates that business name and company registrations increased during the first quarter 2019 recording more than 1,000 new entities over the number recorded during the last quarter of 2018, the Goldstreet Business can confirm.
The increase, according to the Department, is as a result of its strategy in the area of improving efficiency and customer experience which is aimed at putting in place measures to enhance the ease of doing business in the country.
This development depicts that the formal sector of the economy is increasingly growing, taking enterprises out of the informal sector as more players in the industry, most especially those in the “sole proprietor” category begin to register their businesses as a result of rising business confidence in the economy.
The Department registered 21,136 new businesses and companies in the last quarter of 2018 as against 22, 187 registered in the first quarter of 2019. This represents an increase of 1,051 business registrations during the first quarter of 2019 translating to an increase of five percent.
The types of entities allowed under the registration process include Subsidiary Business Name, Company Limited Guarantee, Partnership, Company Limited by Shares, Sole Proprietor and External Company.
The highest registrations come under “Sole Proprietor” which recorded 15,442 during first quarter 2019 as compared to 14,383 in the last quarter of 2018.
From January to December 2018, the total number of companies and businesses registered amounted to 86, 669 and the RGD is optimistic this year’s figures will continue to surge due to the removal of bottlenecks associated with the business registration procedure.
For instance, following the merger of all four starting-a-business application forms namely Tax Identification Numbers (TINs), Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Business Operating Permit application and Business Registration forms, information Goldstreet Business gathered at the premises of the Department indicates that this new initiative has enabled business promoters to fast track the entire business registration process.
|Entity Types (First Qtr. 2019)||Registrations||Entity Types (Fourth Qtr. 2018)||Registrations|
|Subsidiary Business Name||154||Subsidiary Business Name||171|
|Company Limited Guarantee||1715||Company Limited by Guarantee||1732|
|Company Limited by Shares||4793||Company Limited by Shares||4751|
|Sole Proprietor||15442||Sole Proprietor||14383|
|External Company||20||External Company||51|
This initiative is helping to formalize the economy as the RGD leverages on technology and digitization to improve on administrative systems by automating some processes to ease the cost and time needed to register businesses in Ghana. The automation of the application process also comes along with instant online issuance of business registration certificate following payment. Hitherto, such business registration steps had to be done at several different offices.
It is estimated that the private sector provides nine out of 10 jobs in developing countries, a recent International Finance Corporation (IFC) study says. The increase in number of business registrations thus gives a strong positive signal about the economy.
In the developed countries, such data are used by investors, policy making bodies and the private sector to effectively track business activities and measure business confidence. This enables them to forecast how economic growth will be going forward.
New Companies’ Act
The creation of a new Office – the Registrar of Companies, out of the RGD has been inserted into the revised Companies Act. The new Office of the Registrar will be tasked with dealing with registration and regulation of companies and business enterprises and will be autonomous with its internally generated funds being used to sustain its operations.
By Dundas Whigham