The Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC) has commenced legal processes to deregister 8,531 companies limited by shares that have been in default for over two years.
This action is set to be completed by the end of May 2024, the ORC said.
“This decision by the Office has become necessary to purge the register of dormant companies and companies in default for failure to file their annual returns and update their records, as directed by the Registrar of Companies in accordance with Section 126 of the Companies Act 2019 (Act 992),” the Registrar Of Companies, Jemima Oware, stated in a statement issued on Monday, February 12, 2024.
According to Mrs. Oware, at present 8,531 companies limited by shares, including both private and public entities, have ignored the Registrar’s instructions to submit their annual returns.
As a result, they have been identified as being in default, she noted, and as a consequence, have been scheduled to be removed from the Companies Register by May 31, 2024.
Nevertheless, Mrs. Oware said there is still an opportunity for these companies to submit their annual returns along with their audited financial statements to the Office before conclusion of the striking-off process at the end of May 2024.
The ORC is taking this decision after two years of rigorous sensitisation and multiple publications of these companies in default in the media and its official website, as the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992) requires of the Registrar of Companies.
“Despite all efforts by the Office of the Registrar of Companies to encourage stakeholders to file their returns, some companies have still not complied with this directive,” Mrs. Oware said.
She reminded company officials that the ORC, in the light of this recent development, will commence the implementation of a one-off administrative penalty of GH¢1,000 against any company in default – effective May 1, 2024.
“This will be strictly implemented in accordance with the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992). Officials of the affected companies are kindly reminded by the Office that as per section 289 (5) (Act 992), a company that has its name struck off from the Register is not permitted to conduct business under the company name for 12 years,” stated Mrs. Oware.
A company struck off the Register can only be restored by the Registrar of Companies after a court finds sufficient cause and therefore issues an order to the Registrar of Companies directing restoration of the delisted name to the Register as per Section 289 (7) of the Companies Act 992.