9 August 2012

Zambia: 725 Firms Face Ban

MORE than 725 companies face deregistration by the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) for failing to submit their annual returns.

PACRA public relations officer Vaida Bunda said more than 725 companies were scheduled to be deregistered after having failed to meet their statutory obligation.

She said it was a statutory requirement for companies to submit their annual returns to the registration agency adding that deregistration was the penalty for failure to comply with the law.

Before effecting the deregistration this month, names of companies earmarked for the exercise would be published in the local print media after which the de-registration process would commence.

"The annual return which is a statutory requirement is important because they state the position of the company as at the date of the return," Ms Bunda said.

Section 184 and Section 189 A of the Companies Act Cap 388 of the Laws of Zambia provide that if the company fails to submit annual returns, the company and each officer in default commits an offence.

The company may be struck off the PACRA register and its officers prosecuted.

The agency would, therefore, like to encourage all businesses to file their returns and avoid the inconvenience of paying penalties and being de-registered for non-compliance.

Meanwhile, PACRA has opened its Mongu regional office in Western Province to the public which is part of its decentralisation programme, aimed at reducing travel costs for businesses across the country.

PACRA registrar Anthony Bwembya has described the opening of the Mongu offices as a milestone in the agency's contribution to the Government's efforts to reduce the cost of doing business.

"Mongu is a growing town with lots of business opportunities that can only be boosted if agencies such as ours took our services closer to the people. This will reduce costs of travel and the number of days spent just to register a company.

"Mongu becomes the second office we have opened this year after Chinsali which opened doors to the public in June.

It is intended further that we will be opening another office in Solwezi before the end of this year," Mr Bwembya said.

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