Ghana introduces beneficial ownership regime for company registration

The Registrar-General’s Department (RGD) has introduced the Beneficial Ownership (BO) Transparency Regime as part of the Company Registration processes under the Companies Act 2019 (Act 992).

A statement signed by Mrs Jemima M. Oware, the Registrar-General, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said one of the purposes for which the BO Regime had been added to the processes was to ensure that Companies knew who they were transacting business with.

The statement said every Company must compile its Register of Members which should include its BO who must be verified and validated before submission of their documents at the Department by Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

A Beneficial Owner (or Owners) is the individual or natural person who owns, controls and has interest in, or exercises influence over the legal person (or arrangement) or receives substantial benefit from its activities. A beneficial owner is an individual and should not be a Company.

The statement said anyone who wished to register companies such as a Company Limited by Shares (Public &Private), a Company Limited by Guarantee (Public & Private), an Unlimited Company (Public & Private) and an External Company, must provide details of their BO to the Department.

Additionally, it said all existing Companies and new Companies were expected to provide details of their BO during the incorporation of a Company, annual returns filing, amendment of Company information and upon request by the Registrar.

For most Companies, BO will be declared when the real people who individually own 20 per cent or more of the Company Shares as well as those who have significant influence over the decision making in the Company.

The other categories that require the declaration of a BO is when he or she owns 20 per cent general reportable threshold for all other Sectors, 5 per cent for High Risk Sectors including the Extractive, Financial, Insurance, Real Estate and Used Car Dealership, 5 per cent for Foreign Politically Exposed Persons and 0 per cent for Local Politically Exposed Persons.

“A 5 per cent threshold applies for Companies in the Extractive, Financial and other High Risk Sectors,” the statement said.

It said sanctions would be rolled out for Companies and persons who failed to declare their BO or provided false or misleading information to the Department.

“Clients are to note that an additional cost of GHS60.00 will be charged to update the BO information. For further information, visit / for Beneficial Ownership Educative Learning Modules or call 055-765-3130 for clarification,” the statement said.

Source: GNA

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