Monday, 12 February 2018

Ghana starts ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for business registration

Image result for Registrar General’s Department ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for business registration 

Adnan Adams Mohammed

All things being, Ghanaians and expatriates willing to register their businesses in Ghana will from  Monday, February 12, 2018, start to use a ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for business registration.

According to reliable information, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) will all have their units at the Registrar General’s Department, to quicken the business registration process from the said date.

This comes as  good news to the business community, investors and the economy of Ghana. For some decades now several business operators, embassies and diplomatic missions, economists and policy think-tanks have complained and proffered solutions for the hardship investors and businesses have to go through before they could start up a business in the country.

If things happen as planned, those seeking to start businesses in Ghana will not have to visit the separate offices of various institutions to register their staff for social security, obtain business operating permits, or register with the tax authority.

The new one-stop-shop and cue management system is located on the ground floor at the Registrar General’s Department in Accra.

The one-stop-shops are expected to be replicated in all of its offices across the country, to make registration of businesses faster and more effective and bring about better co-ordination among the various institutions, including local assemblies.

The Registrar General, Mrs. Jemima Oware in an interview with Accra based media said, “There is a need for setting up the one-stop-shops at the Registrar-General’s offices because we have seen the frustration prospective business registrants go through when they have to register their businesses in the country.”

“With a one-stop-shop at the Registrar-General’s office, it will be easier and more convenient for the business community, especially new entrants, to obtain their documents – including those of GRA, AMA, and SSNIT – right here in our offices,” she stated.

“This time, as I have indicated, when one a purchases business registration form, it will include the registration forms of SSNIT, GRA’s TIN registration, and the District, Municipal or Metropolitan Assembly. This means by the time you are being issued with your business certificate, your registration with these other state institution – which is a requirement – would have been met as well.”

She also disclosed that the department is also going to, at the same time, rollout a queue management system on the same day the one stop-shop system begins.

The Queue Management system, she said, will not only organise the front office as is done in some financial institutions but will also cut out ‘goro boys.’

The department will also use it to measure the work output of its staff, especially at the front office.

“The Queue Management is to help the department organise the front office properly to create order and sequence, which will help the Registrar-General measure the turnaround time that clients spend at the front office when they walk in to do business.

“As is being done in some financial institutions, we also are going digital to help clear the bottlenecks and ease doing business with the department – which is also the first point of call for any investor who would like to invest in Ghana and establish a business.”

A successful rollout of the systems, she said, will make the country be seen as one of the best places to do business.

“I can also assure that in the next World Bank Ease of Doing Business report, Ghana will do better. Most importantly, this key management system is one that will help the department to appraise staff – which will be for us to learn who among them is working or not.”

The law that established the department is currently being reviewed in a bid to upgrade it into an authority.