By KWANELE DHLADHLA | 2020-09-16
Aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses alike expanding their portfolio seemingly prefer utilising online platforms as rightly advised by World Health Organization (WHO) than physically visiting the registrar of companies.
This was evident in statistics issued by the ministry of commerce, industry and trade which is the parent ministry for registry of companies where it was disclosed that during the first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 in March, there has been 823 companies which reserved in the online company name search and reservation.
Using the new online system, the ministry reported that it had registered 68 companies.
It has also been reported that despite the advent of COVID-19 which has claimed the lives of millions around the globe and led to closure of businesses that resulted in massive job losses, budding entrepreneurs were not deterred from pursuing their business goals since the registry of companies continued to formalise business through the legal registration of a total of 395 companies.
It was stated that there were 367 (private), two (public), 26 (non-profit making associations) and three foreign companies.
The ministry recently explained that as a continuous improvement of the online company registration services, the registry department developed an online provisional company registration system.
It was, however, noted that there had been a decline in registration of companies as compared to the previous years.
This was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic that also affected the economy.
It was also mentioned that the department had also developed an electronic company payment system for government payment services.
This innovative move was in line with the department’s vision to be an internationally recognised destination in business support through the registration of companies by providing services that were technologically innovative and conducive for investment.
The mission of the registrar of companies was to ensure legal formation and operations of companies in Eswatini.
In terms of challenges that hinder efficiency of the department, it was mentioned that the lack of adequate personnel and non-compliance continued to affect performance in general.
The registry department disclosed that it intends to develop an electronic company filing system and avail a virtual one-stop shop for starting a business in the country.
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