Companies’ registration jumps 186 percent in April

May 06, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Registration of companies with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan increased around two times in April with almost all processes done online.Process simplification,...

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ISLAMABAD: Registration of companies with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) increased around two times in April with almost all processes done online.

Process simplification, facilitation to public and digitalization of incorporation processes has led to extraordinary growth, the SECP said in a statement.

Aamir Khan, chairman of SECP attributed the trend of growth to digitalisation and automation, introduction of simplified combined process for name reservation and incorporation, very low level of fees, and assistance provided for incorporation by the newly established business centre. The IT sector, for the first time, took lead with the registration of 194 new companies in a month. The IT sector was followed by the trading sector with registration of 180 new companies, construction with 117, import and export with 115, and consultancy services with 110.

The SECP registered total 2,185 new companies in April, raising the total number of registered companies to 141,805. In April, around 99 percent companies were registered online, 29 percent of applicants completed the incorporation process the same day while 220 foreign users were also registered from overseas.

The April incorporation included 67 percent private limited companies, 29 percent single member companies and the remaining 4 percent were public unlisted companies, not for profit associations, trade organizations, foreign companies and limited liability partnerships. Foreign investment has been reported in 47 new companies. These companies have foreign investors from USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, UAE, Greece, Turkey, Norway, Canada, Netherlands, Syria, UK, Hong Kong and Australia.

The highest numbers of companies of 736 were registered in Islamabad, followed by 667, 378 and 151 companies registered in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar, respectively. The company registration offices in Multan, Faisalabad, Gilgit-Baltistan, Quetta and Sukkur registered 131, 48, 48, 23 and 3 companies, respectively.

Last month, SECP introduced a single combined digital certificate evidencing registration with the commission and some provincial departments simultaneously. The initiative is expected to reduce the overall “starting a business” time in Pakistan and would have a positive impact on the country's ranking on the doing business index. There are less than 10 jurisdictions globally where federal and provincial registrations are integrated online on a real-time basis, and Pakistan has also now joined this league. The single combined certificate will be issued through SECP’s e-Services in real-time upon incorporation of a company through a ‘single window, and will simultaneously register the company with provincial departments, including Punjab Employees Social Security Institution, Sindh Employees Social Security Institution, Labour and Human Resource Departments and Excise and Taxation Departments of Punjab and Sindh. The digital combined certificate features QR code and a hyperlink for instant verification of registration status of the company.

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