Sri Lanka business registrations can now be done from home

Opening a new chapter in Sri Lanka’s private sector development, incorporation of a new company in Sri Lanka is now possible from the comfort of one’s own home. Meanwhile, the Department of Registrar of Companies too has reported an increase in revenues.

“Name reservation of companies could be obtained online. Company registrations and incorporations could be done online and there is no need for physical attendance at the Department of Registrar of Companies” said the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training Rishad Bathiudeen on 8 October in Parliament. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the House on 8 October on regulations made by him to establish Regulations under the Public Contract Act moved by him in Parliament. The regulations were made with the concurrence of HE President under Section 36 of the Public Contracts Act No. 3 of 1987, and the regulations published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 508/7 of 2 June 1988 last amended by the Gazette Extraordinary No. 1773/36 of 30 August 2012 further amended and published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2055/18 of 24 January 2018. Accordingly, fees payable (VAT excluded) on four types of contracts have been amended. In that, the new fee of Rs 2000 for application for registration as an agent, sub-agent, representative or nominee for or on behalf of a tenderer, the new fee of Rs 10000 for application for registration of a public contract, the new fee of Rs 2000 for application for renewal of a registration and the new fee of Rs 10000 for application for re-registration of a public contract.

Minister Bathiudeen added: “It can be easily done at home if one has a computer with internet facilities. Societies registrations can be done online since January 2019. Registration of auditors too can be done online. Card payments are accepted. Overseas companies and off shore companies can be registered online. The Department of Registrar of Companies plays a key role of an economy of the country. Except for the salaries of officials other expenses related the department are met through the company fund. In 2017 the Department of Registrar of Companies earned a revenue of about Rs 600 million and 2018 it is Rs 664 million.”

In the World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business index, Sri Lanka has been ranked 100 among 190 countries. The “Starting a Business Indicator” of Ease of Doing Business rankings for Sri Lanka (at 87.87 out of 100) showed the country ranked at second in South Asia just after Maldives (at 89.17). South Asian regional average for Starting a Business Indicator is 85.44. The 2018 revenues of the Department of Registrar of Companies increased by 11% (from 2017) to Rs 664 Mn.