Online company registration set for June
The soon to be implemented Online Business Registration System (OBRS) is expected to improve the country’s competitiveness in terms of rankings.
This is according to Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA), the organisation tasked with overseeing the platform.
In a consultative meeting with stakeholders this week, Registration Officer at CIPA, Boitumelo Ketshwerebothata told attendants that the platform, set to go live in June this year, will also improve the ease of doing business in Botswana.
The idea to introduce the online business registration platform is believed to have derived from New Zealand, a country renowned for being the best when it comes to the ease of doing business.
“The new platform is being introduced because the semi-automated system that CIPA has been using was expensive to maintain,” explained Ketshwerebothata.
“So, the objective of OBRS is not only going to benefit CIPA or the ministry or government of Botswana but it’s also going to benefit the public as costs will be reduced and increase transparency and integrity,” noted the CIPA officer.
Unlike the current system, where people have to travel to Gaborone, Francistown or Maun to register their businesses, business people will now be able to register their enterprises online at their own convenience.
The online platform will also allow the public to search directors of registered companies without having to queue or face being sent from pillar to post to access such information.
The objective is to fast-track the process of registering a company, cutting the period from five days to hours.
OBRS will require existing companies and businesses to register in the new system and provide the latest information on shareholding, directorship, membership and addresses.
However, it is reported that the re-registration process does not mean the creation of a new entity and does not affect the business nor the rights, obligations and or contracts that have been carried by the entity.
In an effort to entice businesses to make use of the platform, Ketshwerebothata revealed all companies that re-register on the new system will be exempt from filing outstanding annual returns.
“We pray that nothing stops us from going live on the 3rd of June this year,” noted the CIPA official, adding New Zealand has donated their system to Botswana.