Businesses that have still yet to file their Annual Reports and duly update their records at the Registrar General’s Department now have up to the end of the year to do so or face the sanctions.

This is because the Acting Registrar, General, Jemima Oware has extended the deadline for compliance to the end of December.

Already registered companies and partnerships are required by law to file Annual Reports/Returns within three months after their financial year and for newly-registered firms, one and half years after incorporation –  at a fee of GHC50.  Sole-Proprietorships are also required to renew their business names every year by at a fee of GHC25.

The Registrar General Department earlier in October started enforcing the law which stipulates a fine of GHC300 after each day of default.

But in an exclusive interview with Joy Business Editor, Emmanuel Agyei, the Acting Registrar General, Jemima Oware, said the response by companies so far has necessitated an extension of the deadline to the end of the year.                                                                       

"A lot of businesses and companies took the notice we put out very serious and our offices were filled with people making every effort to beat the deadline. Based on the fact that people have also inundated us with calls to extend the timeline, we have decided to listen to their pleas.  

“We decided to extend it to the end of the year which is December 31, 2016, by which time I hope that everybody who’s doing serious business in Ghana will ensure that they’ve filed their annual returns up to date and as a result of that we will also update the records into the new database i.e. the E-registrar” she said.

 According to her, companies that fail to comply will then pay the fine of GHC300 for each day of default whilst sole proprietorships, their business names will be moved a state of inactive and thus automatically be locked out of the system from January 1, until the end of 2017.

“So when the proprietors come here and they want a change of name, address or any change in whatever form, we will not be able to work on that business name until they’ve renewed it up to date.”

“We’ve launched our portal and as I said people will be doing searches online to find serious businesses in Ghana and nobody will sign any contract with you if your status is inactive," she implored.

Mrs Oware added that update of records is free apart from the fees to be paid for renewing the Businesses or filing of Annual Returns for the number of years in default.

She also advised businesses to make all payments at the Department’s on-site Bank, Fidelity Bank Limited and NOT to any individual.

The filing of Annual Returns and update of records is ongoing at the offices of the Registrar General’s Department in Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale as well as online.