Cost of registering business in Ghana too low – Minority Leader

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrissu, has indicated that the government must reconsider its decision to peg the cost of registering new businesses in the country.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu

He explained that the pegging of registration fees of companies at GH¢120 in the new Companies Bill before Parliament is too low particularly for multinational companies that would be registered as limited liability companies or companies limited by guarantee.

“We should take a look at the fees and make it more realistic. You cannot at this age allow big companies to come to Ghana and let them pay GH¢120 for registration that is less than $50. We should re-examine it.”

“The companies we are talking about, assuming Exxon Mobil or Aker want an entity registered here must they be paying GH¢120? Certainly not, If Kosmos Energy was going to register in the United States how much will they pay and pay less when they come to Ghana?”

He said this after the Second Reading of the Bill by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo.

The new Companies Bill was laid before Parliament since April 2018, the bill is to amend the provisions in the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179) to be in tune with the current demands in the economy and business environment.

The bill seeks to create an autonomous Registrar of Business out of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), reduce required age for business registration from 21 years to 18 years, as well a change in the end of the name of companies such as private companies limited by shares (Ltd), Public companies limited by shares (PLC) and for companies limited by guarantee (LGD).

However, Mr Iddrisu said that it is worrying that more companies are registering in Ghana but the country is recording fewer taxes.

“It is estimated that our tax revenue has remained the same yet many companies have been registered. While they are increasing, what they are paying to the state is withholding tax or whatever tax, income tax, we need to know,” he said.

He indicated that the relationship between the Ministry of Finance, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the RGD must be good in order to help fight against corruption.

He also made a strong case for the resourcing of the Office of the RGD saying “they need to be adequately resourced other than that we may have to make a provision in this bill for retention of their internally generated funds and justify it in order to achieve the functionality and viability of the Office of the Registrar General.”

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