BILL WATCH 76/2020
[20th November 2020]
Correction of Media Misinformation about Re-registration of Companies
This bulletin is distributed in the public interest to correct misleading information published in the last few days in both electronic and print media about the statutory deadline for the re-registration of companies and private business corporations in terms of the new Companies and Other Business Entities Act of 2019.
The media reports correctly state that there is a statutory deadline for re-registration of companies and private business corporations. Where they go wrong is in stating that the deadline for re-registration is in February or March 2021, in a few months’ time.
THE CORRECT POSITION IS THAT A NEW DEADLINE of 13th FEBRUARY 2023 HAS BEEN LEGALLY APPLICABLE SINCE 28th OCTOBER 2020. THE STATUTORY RE-REGISTRATION FORM HAS ALSO BEEN ALTERED TO REFLECT THIS AND TO STATE THE RE-REGISTRATION FEE IN TERMS APPROPRIATE TO THE PRESENT DUAL-CURRENCY SITUATION.
Note: This misinformation has been used by Business/Management Consultancy firms in advertisements offering to register clients before a cut-off date early in 2021 – i.e. offers based on a wrong fact.
Those readers who wish to see chapter and verse cited for the above statement are referred to the next paragraph.
Changes - Chapter and Verse
1. The Companies and Other Business Entities Act (No. 4 of 2019) [link] came into force on 13th February 2020, having been gazetted three months before that. 2. Section 303(9) of the Act gave existing companies and private business corporations twelve months from 13th February 2020 to re-register their companies under the new Act. So the deadline was 13th February 2021. Re-registration could be achieved by completing the Form for Re-registration of Companies and PBCs set out in the Tenth Schedule to the Act.
2. That remained the position until 28th October 2020, when the Finance Act, 2020 (No. 8 of 2020) [link] was gazetted and came into force. Section 18 of that Act amended the Companies and Other Business Entities Act, effective immediately:
- by extending the section 303(9) deadline for re-registration by two years to 13th February 2023;
- by setting a new re-registration fee [“ten United States dollars (or its equivalent in Zimbabwe dollars on the date of submission of this form)”] in place of the original “$20”;
- by requiring consequential changes to the re-registration form. This merely means that until reprinted forms become available, businesses seeking re-registration will have to use the existing forms bearing in mind that deadline for re-registration is now 13th February 2023 and re-registration fee is now US $10 (or its equivalent in Zimbabwe dollars on the date of submission of the form.