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Companies given up to June 30 to submit data on legal owners to Registrar-General

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The Registrar-General’s Department has tasked all existing companies to submit all data on their legal and beneficial owners before July 1, 2021.

“From January, every business that comes to register is supposed to download the forms, fill it and attach it to the registration documents. So we have started collecting them,” she noted during a media sensitization workshop held in Accra on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

She continued, “For the legacy data, ie, businesses that already existed before we deployed the beneficial ownership register from October 1, 2020, we are giving them up to June 30 to update us with their beneficial ownership information because, after June 30, sanctions will kick in.”

The Registrar-General firstly announced the plan to create a Beneficial Ownership (BO) register in 2018.

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The deployment of the BO register begun in September 2020 with the extractive industry and other high-risk sectors like banks and other financial institutions.

With the register fully deployed now, the Registrar General, Jemima Oware, is asking all companies to submit their Beneficial Owner details by the end of June this year to prevent sanctions.

What is BO all about?

The Companies Act 2019 (Act 992) provides for the collection of data on beneficial owners on all companies.

The Beneficial Ownership regime requires the declaration of the true owners of every company operating in Ghana.

The information, which would be held in a Central Register by the Registrar of Companies, would be available to the business community, the general public and to competent authorities to promote business transparency.

Details of the beneficial owner of a company also help minimize domestic and cross-border bribery and corruption, fraud and illegal financial transactions.

The Beneficial Owner of an entity is therefore a person who will enjoy the economic rights stemming from the entity, regardless of whether the entity’s ownership is registered in his or her name.

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