Govt Postpones Deadline for Mandatory Business Registration

  • Residents and traders go about their business in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
    Residents and traders go about their business in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
    The Standard
  • Businesses across the country can now breath a sigh of relief after the government postponed the requirement that companies provide information about their directors.

    An earlier statement by the Business Registration Services (BRS) had asked all companies to provide the information by January 31, 2021.

    In the latest notice, however, the state extended the deadline by a further six months to July 31, 2021.

    "Having taken note of the progress made in filing these registers and in the spirit of encouraging compliance with the Companies Act, BRS has in consultation with stakeholders granted a final grace period of six months ending 31st July 2021.

    a
    An aerial view of Nairobi Central Business District
    File

    "Failure to comply with this requirement after 31st July 2021 makes it an offence to the company and every officer of the company who is in default and such officer will be liable to a fine upon conviction," read the notice 

    The government agency also warned business owners from individuals using its name to fraudulently solicit for money.

    "We advise the public to be cautious of persons soliciting money to facilitate them in complying with this requirement. Submission of the beneficial ownership information is a simple process and free of charge.

    "BRS would like reiterate for emphasis that the disclosure of the beneficial ownership information is a positive exercise that will promote good governance and increase trust in Kenyan companies and ensure greater transparency of company ownership. This will also support the government in the fight against corruption, money laundering and financing of terrorism," added the agency.

    The new requirement is in line with Section 93A of the Companies Act 2015 which requires companies to submit a copy of the Beneficial Ownership Register within 30 days of its preparation, and notify the Registrar within 14 days of any change in Beneficial Ownership information.

    It further dictates that if a company fails to comply with this requirement, the company, and each officer of the company who is in default, commit an offence and on conviction each liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh 500,000. 

    If following conviction the company continues to fail to comply, the company and each of its officers in default commits a further offence on each day of which the failure continues and on conviction are liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh 50,000 for each such offence.

    Kenyans walking on busy Nairobi streets
    Kenyans walking on busy Nairobi streets
    Facebook