How to renew your business and file annual returns   

The Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC) has procedures that business owners must follow to renew their businesses and file annual returns.  

Established by an Act of Parliament under Section 351 of the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992), the ORC is mandated to register and regulate business entities in Ghana.  

Businesses and companies are also obliged to renew and file their annual returns.  

Renewing and filing annual returns keep business entities in good standing and prevent businesses from being taken out from the ORC’s Register.  

Business entities that come under the regulation of the ORC include Business Names (Sole Proprietorships), Subsidiary Business Names (Sole Proprietorships owned by corporate bodies other than individuals), Partnerships, Companies Limited by Shares (for-profit and include private and public), Companies Limited by Guarantee (not-for-profit, including schools, churches, associations, unions, and NGOs), and External Companies (Foreign companies with branch offices in Ghana).  

Sole proprietorships, subsidiary business names, and partnerships renew their businesses whilst companies file annual returns.  

Thus, sole proprietorships, subsidiary business names, and partnerships have to complete the Annual Renewal Form whilst companies complete the Annual Returns Form.    

All the business types have to make payment at the ORC’s in-house Fidelity Bank.  

According to the ORC, as of now, only the sole proprietor has the other option of renewing online by dialing *222# and making payment with Mobile Money Wallet through the platform.  

Sole proprietor and subsidiary business names pay GH¢60 each, whilst a partnership pays GH¢90 for renewals.   

For filing of annual returns, a company limited by shares pays GH¢90 and a company limited by guarantee also pays GH¢90.  

The company must, in addition, submit audited financial statement signed by the company directors and the secretary.  

An external company files annual returns by submitting the annual returns form together with the financial statement of the Mother Company and pays $690.   

Business entities that fail to renew or file annual returns are made to pay penalties.  

A sole proprietorship does not attract penalty, likewise a subsidiary business name.   

But partnerships, companies limited by shares, and companies limited by guarantee will pay a flat penalty rate of GH¢600.   

Foreign companies pay a penalty of $750.

By Paul Eduarko Richardson

Source: GNA  

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