Unregistered companies face N$50,000 fine

Martin Endjala

The Business Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa) has recently issued directives regarding administrative sanctions against non-compliant companies and closed corporations with a financial year end in February 2024, pertaining to Beneficial Ownership (BO) lodgment.

According to Bipa spokesperson Ockert Jansen, entities failing to comply with BO lodgment requirements face an initial administrative penalty of N$50,000, along with an additional daily penalty of N$1,000 for each day the contravention persists.

Approximately 120,000 businesses are currently listed as inactive, with around 45,000 having met the necessary requirements.

“All entities with February 2024 financial year end that have not lodged their beneficial ownership, have now been added to the inactive list and are hereby directed to file with the registrar the BO information within seven working days from the date of this directive,’’ read the directive.

The directives issued by Bipa follow observations that entities listed as inactive in the registrar’s records have failed to lodge within the prescribed time frame, which elapsed last week.

These directives are in accordance with Section 122 A (3) and Section 16 A (3) of the Companies and Closed Corporations Act.

Jansen added that entities will be deregistered after six months of continuous non-compliance from the date of being listed.

Bipa chief executive officer Vivienne Katjiuongua, announced the extension of the annual duty penalty waiver programme for an additional three months, until 30 June 2024.

“The waiver programme garnered significant interest from businesses across various sectors. However, recognizing the challenges faced by many businesses in participating in the waiver programme within the specified timeframe, Bipa has decided to extend the programme to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for all eligible entities,” said the CEO.

Katjiuongua urged business owners not to delay participation in the waiver programme, emphasizing the importance of seizing the opportunity for smoother processing and expedited service.

During the initial phase of the programme, she highlighted that the authority noted a significant number of clients who waited until the final days, resulting in prolonged waiting periods.

Katjiuonua reiterated that the extension underscores Bipa’s commitment to supporting the business community and fostering a conducive environment for economic growth and innovation.

Meanwhile, during a small and medium enterprise engagement with the Namibia Meat Corporation (Meatco) last week, the CEO of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Charity Mwiya, urged SMEs to adhere to and respect policy frameworks by ensuring they pay what belongs to Caesar.

Mwiya urged SMEs to comply with regulations to foster an environment conducive to growth, underlining the Chamber’s commitment to creating a supportive framework for all SMEs.

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