The Registrar General, Jemima Oware, says the process of registering a business in Ghana has significantly improved.
Responding to a Joy Business report on the ease of business registration, Jemima Oware explained that new technologies allow for businesses to be registered between two to three days and not months as has been reported by some entrepreneurs.
“After you’ve gone through our processes we would give you a document to show when you should pick your document. This is three working days for business names and five working days for limited liability but as a business department we have set our target of 2 working days business and 3 working days for limited liability, You can register in 2 days, no need for Goro boys,” Mrs Oware said.
Meanwhile, the Registrar General wonders why some business owners opt to use middle-men also known as ‘Goro boys’ to register their business when indeed they could save time and money doing so themselves.
She told Joy Business security is being intensified at the Registrar General’s Department to flush out these ‘Goro Boys.’
“Do not allow someone to register businesses for you. A business name that costs 50 cedis, you will now pay GH¢500 to a Goro guy to do that same registration for you, what’s the sense in that? We have directed our security to expel them from the yard. You engage with them at your own risk,” Jemima Oware added.
Indeed her statements on business registration fall on the back of a Joy Business project dubbed the Business Enabling Environment Project (BEEP) which seeks accountability and progress in our various government agencies.
Government over the years has embarked on several initiatives to improve the business environment in the country. But it appears for most small businesses in the country they have not felt the impact of these reforms, especially when it comes to business registration.
The paperless system, online business registry are some of the few reforms that the government introduced with the vision of turning things around for every business, especially small enterprises.
However, for some entrepreneurs, they are really worried about the slow pace at which businesses regulations are enforced especially when it comes to business registration.
“It took me almost three months to get my business registered. It was very frustrating,” fashion designer, Patrick Adjei Nketiah, whose emerging brand – UTAMA Africa – focuses on African prints recounted to JoyBusiness.
Business registration is one of the indexes by which the ease of doing business in Ghana is measured. But for entrepreneurs like Ernest Mensa, paying bribes to get through the bottlenecks of registration has now become the norm.
According to him, he has to pay “GH¢500 to a middleman to get a business name registered because it was delaying and I had to make progress.”
According to the Registrar General, you will need GH¢10 to purchase a set of Limited Liability Forms. After lodging the completed forms at the Registry, you then pay a prescribed fee of GH¢230 after which the Registrar issues a certificate in 3 working days – a timeline inconsistent with what entrepreneurs like Patrick and Ernest narrated to JoyBusiness.
Despite chalking 114 at the World Bank Doing Report, enterprises say there is still more to be done to ensuring a viable business environment. The more reason why the Multimedia Group in partnership with the Department of International Development has unveiled the Business Enabling Environment Project (BEEP) which will in the coming days be seeking answers and solutions to the varied problems entrepreneurs like Patrick and Ernest continue to face in their business routines.
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.