In Summary
  • Companies say they are having a hard time linking older businesses to the platform
  • Advocates Raffman, Dhanji Elms & Virdee, who act as company secretaries for nearly 500 firms, complain that they have been unable to file annual returns for clients
  • Acting registrar-general of the Business Registration Service (BRS) Kenneth Gathuma told Business Daily that there was a system downtime for one and a half weeks
  • He says it has now been stabilised.

Weaknesses in the State-run online business registration portal have stalled official searches for companies, delaying multimillion-shilling transactions that rely on verification of details on ownership and indebtedness.
Company secretaries have raised questions over the efficiency of the registration platform, saying that they are also having difficulties linking older businesses to the portal.

In a letter seen by the Business Daily, advocates Raffman, Dhanji Elms & Virdee, who act as company secretaries for nearly 500 firms, complain that they have been unable to file annual returns for their clients for the last three months, especially those relating to previous years.

Further, the advocates say that foreign directors of firms are unable to access the system, making them unable to monitor their local interests.

The number of registered businesses rose by 300,000 to nearly one million between 2011 and 2016.

“CR12s (official search) are almost impossible to obtain and don’t contain certain information that was formerly obtained by manual search, for example registered charges/debentures, previous directors and shareholders among others,” says the law firm in the letter dated January 24.

'Taking too long'

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