Companies, business laws under review for more productivity

DAR ES SALAAM: THE government has started collecting stakeholders’ opinions in review of two key laws, the Companies Act and the Business Names (Registration) Act, to align them with current trends.

The Companies Act aim to regulate trading companies and other associations, to impose tax on nominal capital, to regulate dividends and surpluses, and to provide for related matters.

Whereas, the Business Names (Registration) Act is a law essentially for the registration of business names defined by the Act to include any name or style under which any business is carried out on, whether in partnership or otherwise.

Upon the improvements, the two laws are expected to be yet another driver for bringing in more investors as they would beef up current efforts under the sixth phase government focusing on creating conducive environment for investment and trade.

The Law Reform Commission of Tanzania (LRCT) now coordinates the exercise of collecting views, where on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam it pulled together legal stakeholders for a two-day meeting to hear on what gaps the laws have for improvements.

Permanent Secretary of the Industry and Trade Ministry, Dr Hashil Abdallah, said the process will point out shortfalls in the two legislations and make improvements in accordance to current economic development.

Dr Abdallah stated that the expected changes are set to reflect on President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s intent of motivating businesses and investments.

“The envisaged new laws would attract more investors to come to invest in our country because Tanzania will have a conducive environment for investment,” Dr Abdallah stated in his speech read on his behalf by Director General of the Fair Competition Commission (FCC), Mr William Erio.

He added: “The new laws would enable Tanzanian traders to effectively participate in the regional and international markets. They would also make Tanzania to fly high in investment and trade.”

Earlier, LRCT’s Executive Secretary George Mandepo elaborated that the review will basically focus on Chapter 212 of the Companies Act and Chapter 213 of the Business Names Registration Act.

Mr Mandepo was optimistic that after the changes, the laws would act as a catalyst to making Tanzanian businesses competitive and economically empowering citizens as the 2025 Development Vision entails.

“We will value contributions from each stakeholder in this exercise of gathering views,”

“Several efforts are being made to improve investment and trade environment, and for us the legal part is supposed to contribute to such efforts,” he argued.

Commenting, BRELA’s head of Companies and Business Names Registration section, Mr Isdor Nkindi explained that experts within the agency had gone through the laws and spotted some weaknesses.

“Today is the second step where we meet stakeholders and hear from them before moving to the next step of researching, doing analysis and validating for proposing amendments,” Mr Nkindi stated.

Citing some of the factors that necessitated the review, he said the laws are now outdated, hence needed to be updated to make them accommodate the current technological changes in the operations of businesses and companies.

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