ORC to delist 2,584 dormant companies… for failing to file annual returns, financial statements

A total of 2,584“dormant” companies are to be delisted from the country’s register of companies for failing to file their Annual Returns and Financial Statements as directed by Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC).

They include private/public companies limited and unlimited by shares; private/public companies limited by guarantee,  including schools, churches, associations, unions, fan clubs,  professional bodies and external companies.

The exercise, which continues till the end of the year, is the second phase of the ORC’s clean-up which started earlier this year with the deletion of 2,788 out of the targeted 100,000 companies.

The Registrar of Companies, Mrs Jemima Oware, who made this known yesterday in an interview, said the exercise was being done in  accordance with Section 289 of the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992).

“The Section connotes that a Company can be stricken off the Companies Register for failing to file its Annual Returns on time or failing to notify the Registrar of Companies of a change in the Company’s Registered Office and Principal Place of Business,” she said.

According to Mrs Oware , the companies were given ample time to file their returns in compliance with a directive the Office gave coupled with the publication of their names on the website, yet they failed to comply.

The delisting, she said, meant that “those dormant companies cannot be electronically searched on or carry out any changes on their company information in the Register awaiting a full winding up after 12 years.

“Such companies can only be restored by an Order of the High Court to the ORC within 12 years after the publication of the strike off in the Companies Bulletin.”

Mrs Oware urged all defaulting and dormant Companies, whether in operation or not, to file their Annual Returns by 30th December, 2022, to avoid being removed from the Companies’ Register by the end of the year.

 Additionally, she said companies and businesses registered between 1960 to 2011 and were yet to carry out updates of their records with the ORC, dubbed ‘re-registration’,  should do so by the end of the year.

“Companies are entreated to change their Auditors who have served for six years in compliance with the provisions of the Companies Act to avoid sanctions. Any Company official with knowledge of the Company’s non-existence or having no more interest in the Company’s Business Name should write to the Registrar of Companies indicating such. Kindly quote this number and date on all correspondence,” she said.

On penalty for late filing of Annual Returns , Mrs Oware said it was GH¢450.00 and fees for filing Annual Returns and Beneficial Ownership information remained GH¢50.00 and GH¢60.00 respectively.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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