It's Business As Usual, CIPA Assures Company Secretaries

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Companies and Intellectual Property (CIPA)’s latest move to introduce the Online Business Registration System (OBRS) will oust consultation agencies from carrying out the business of assisting entrepreneurs with the usually lengthy business registration process.

The OBRS will be launched and instantly put into use June 3, 2019.  According to the organisation, all submissions will be carried out online and will take less time as the system is said to be efficient compared to the manual registration process.

“Business consultation agencies will not be out of business because the Companies Act stipulate that all registered companies must have a company secretary. The duty of the company secretary is to assist the entrepreneur to run their business in accordance with the provisions of the Act so that the entrepreneur can solely focus on running their companies to success,” affirmed CIPA awareness and communications manager, Marietta Magashula.

She said the company secretaries have many tasks that range from organising annual general meetings, bookkeeping and maintaining websites.

Magashula added that it is against the Companies Act provisions to run a company with no secretary. However, Monitor Business has established that there are consultation agencies that only focus on assisting entrepreneurs with registering business names. The fate of the agencies at this time is unclear.

Ontiretse Mosepele of Plant Mamek Investments, a business consultation agency said in a telephone interview that they might lose business as a result of the online registration system.

“I am aware of the online business registration system and I know for a fact that it will deal us a heavy blow. But we have to think out of the box and diversify our businesses to adapt to the new changes. I have been mapping out a way forward and I have formulated few plans to ensure that we adapt to these changes,” he said.

According to Mosepele, consultation agencies have to be creative and strategic to stay afloat, as the new system will be a challenge to their businesses.

He also assumed that because people will prefer to take the online route to register their business names and companies; a process that is both time efficient and at the same time less costly.


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