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Online Registration Encounters Tech Hiccups

PAULINE DIKUELO
Magashula PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Just a month since its launch, the Online Business Registration System (OBRS) is currently encountering some teething problems.

According to Companies and Intellectual Properties Authority (CIPA) spokesperson, Marietta Magashula, since the launch of the OBRS, a few payments have been failing to go through due to the level of security on their payment platform or with one-time pins not being sent.

“It is a challenge we are continuing to experience, and we are in constant engagement with our payment gateway supplier to resolve the issue,” said Magashula.

“We have also noted that we have a long way to go in educating the public about the different types of entities that can be registered, as most customers tend to opt for the popular ‘Pty Ltd’, when maybe if they had more knowledge, they would have been better suited to a Business Name, Close Company or a Company Limited by Guarantee.” Magashula said they have already embarked on intensive stakeholder awareness and outreach activities geared at educating the public about the online service. She said they are training Internet cafés and Kitsong centre managers, so that they are well armed with the how-to assist their own clients to register companies and business names on the OBRS. 

This creates a good opportunity for small businesses to grow within the local communities. She further noted the importance of CIPA

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to building and sustaining critical relationships with all entities that use company information as part of their operations, like Botswana Unified Revenue Service, Licencing Authorities, Banks, Tender Committees and Procuring Entities. “We are also on course in engaging different entities to utilise the online system for verification of information on companies and business names for various services as this will indeed reduce the cost of doing business by eliminating photocopying, printing and certifying documents which all come at a cost,” she said.

The OBRS was launched last month as a platform that will ease the doing of business.  It is part of the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry’s doing business reforms intended to improve access to business registration services for both local and foreign investors with company registration now being done online on the CIPA website.

Since the launch of the OBRS, CIPA has re-registered 18,000 companies and business names with new registrations of the same at 5,000. 

People from make online re-registration across the country and registrations being submitted by people from as far as the United Kingdom.

Re-registration of companies costs P300, and that of business names costs P150 online.  All existing companies will have their outstanding annual returns waived upon re-registration.



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