On­line company reg­is­tra­tion launched

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

The Min­istry of Trade and In­dus­try, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing, through its One Stop Business Fa­cil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre (OBFC), this week launched an on­line com­pa­nies reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem.

The project, which is be­ing sup­ported by the New Zealand gov­ern­ment, has made Le­sotho the first African coun­try to en­joy such a part­ner­ship with the is­land na­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Trade and In­dus­try, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing min­is­ter, S’khu­lumi Nt­soaole, the sys­tem would make reg­is­ter­ing com­pa­nies eas­ier, quicker and more ef­fi­cient.

The min­is­ter, who was speak­ing at Tues­day’s launch of the ini­tia­tive in Maseru, said the sys­tem would take Le­sotho a step closer to achiev­ing the ob­jec­tives of Vi­sion 2020. In 2000, Le­sotho took a pol­icy decision to for­mu­late a vi­sion to pro- vide a long-term per­spec­tive within which na­tional short to medi­umterm plans could be for­mu­lated by the year 2020.

“By virtue of ac­cess­ing reg­istry on­line, it means even some­one in London, Beijing and Wash­ing­ton DC, will be af­forded the lux­ury to reg­is­ter with us whilst in the com­fort of their own coun­try.

“Th­ese peo­ple also wish to gather as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble about our business en­vi­ron­ment be­fore mak­ing a decision to invest, and should they fail, they sim­ply trans­fer their business else­where. how­ever, this is a trans­for­ma­tional pe­riod which re­flects the min­istry’s com­mit­ment to im­ple­ment new ways of do­ing business.

“This ini­tia­tive also seeks to ad­dress un­em­ploy­ment is­sues and other eco­nomic set­backs as we build to­wards Vi­sion2020.”

Mr Nt­soaole added he was ex­tremely ex­cited with the launch of the project, adding the min­istry would be open­ing OBFC of­fices in all the coun­try’s dis­tricts, start­ing with Leribe, with the aim of of­fer­ing more in­for­ma­tion to “walk ins”.

New Zealand’s Deputy high Com- mis­sioner to South Africa/le­sotho, Danie Beuk­man, said his coun­try had con­trib­uted M5 mil­lion to the project to cover the next five years.

Mr Beuk­man also said a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) he had ear­lier signed with Mr Nt­soaole on be­half of their re­spec­tive coun­tries, guar­an­teed fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for train­ing and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment for the on­line company reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem.

On her part, Deputy Regis­trar of Com­pa­nies, Florence Mo­toa Mokhesi, as­sured users of the on­line sys­tem of its se­cu­rity.

“The on­line reg­is­tra­tion will be avail­able to users 24 hours a day, pro­vid­ing a full suite of on­line ser­vices with­out any in­ter­fer­ence from net­work fail­ure be­cause we are us­ing our own server, and have a sus­tain­able back-up from the Min­istry of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy,” she said.

“Although the search en­gine al­lows for any­one to look for a company name and its ac­tiv­i­ties, the sys­tem will how­ever, pro­tect the user’s clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion and only al­low those au­tho­rised to do so, to ac­cess cer­tain in­for­ma­tion.”

Ms Mokhesi fur­ther said since the New Zealand tech­ni­cal team was de­ployed to work with the min­istry from Fe­bru­ary this year, 23 100 com­pa­nies had since been en­tered into the new data­base.

The on­line reg­istry sys­tem, she added, was in line with the new Com­pa­nies Act, which re­quires the in­cor­po­ra­tion of shares and shar­ing of cap­i­tal al­lo­ca­tion.

“The sys­tem fur­ther seeks to as­sist other gov­ern­ment min­istries gen­er­ate re­minders for their com­pi­la­tion of an­nual re­ports, as well as meet the re­quire­ments of the Com­pa­nies Act, which stip­u­lates that firms should in­cor­po­rate their shares.

“A page will be al­lo­cated for the Le­sotho Rev­enue Au­thor­ity to con­trol tax pay­ments to en­sure tax reg­u­la­tions are abided by simultaneously with the reg­is­tra­tion.

“The LRA will be able to ex­tract the company’s in­for­ma­tion through an iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber and en­force due tax be­fore it is regis­tered.”

In 1999, New Zealand be­came the first coun­try in the world to reg­is­ter com­pa­nies on­line and to date, has 550 000 com­pa­nies in its data­base.

Trade, In­dus­try, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing Min­is­ter Sk’hu­lumi Nt­soale.

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