New law forces companies to submit annual returns

Zanu Pf


GOVERNMENT has gazetted a new law which forces private, public and shelf companies to submit annual returns within 21 days after the date of the anniversary of their incorporation.

Statutory Instrument 46 of 2020 is a follow-up to the Companies and Other Business Entities Act which was signed into law in November 2019 that seeks to improve governance structures within firms.

Private companies are expected to submit their annual returns accompanied by a prescribed fee required for the continued registration of the company. “The private company must no later than 21 days after the date of the anniversary of its incorporation, submit an annual return in the form set out in the Fourth Schedule of the Act together with the prescribed fee,” the Government Gazette read.

Public companies are required to do the same, also within 21 days.

Shell companies risk being removed from the register if the requested annual return is not submitted.

Both private and public companies will also be required to submit to the Registrar of Companies’ office any changes in shareholders through the firm’s company secretary.

For private companies a period of 30 days was given. Government has introduced the new legislation to improve its ease of doing business rankings.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently signed into law the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (Zida) Bill, effectively repealing the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Act, the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Act and the Joint Ventures Act.

The law is meant to establish a one-stop investment entity for investors.