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New Company Act makes domain registration and company emails mandatory

By Jacob Kudzai Mutisi

On 15th of November 2019 the Government of Zimbabwe gazetted and in February 2020 passed into law the long-awaited Companies and other Business Entities Act [Chapter 24:31] (the new “Companies Act”) cancelling the Companies Act [Chapter 24:03] (“Old Act”) and introduces a number of important new concepts and far-reaching changes to company law in Zimbabwe.

According to the Tenth Schedule (Section 303 (a)), when completing the registration process, apart from the usual company name, company address, postal address, it is now mandatory for directors to have a working email as part of the registration process.

TENTH SCHEDULE (Section 303 (a))
Form for Re-registration of Companies and PBCs
Application for reregistration of a company or PBC

  1. Particulars of existing company and directors
    Type of company (if not a PBC):
    (Public, private, cooperative, Limited by guarantee or foreign)
    Company name or PBC name:
    Company or PBC No.:
    Address of existing registered office:
    Postal address and email address to which communications from the Registrar
    may be sent:
    Companies and Other Business Entities
    357
    Cap. 24:31 No. 4/2019
    Directors (or Members in the case of PBC)
    Name and Date of Birth*
    *Please give surname in BLOCK letters followed by first name(s).
    ID Number/Passport Number
    Residential address and Email
    Shares (or percentage Interests in the case of PBC)

Thanks to the new regulations, Twenty years ago, the first item on that list would have been a brick-and-mortar business address, but today, a company needs to have a domain, email addresses and a website in order to appear legitimate.

The fact is emails are mandatory for company registration and companies should now register a domain e.g. www.companyname.co.zw and have a professional email info@companyname.co.zw and then have the director’s emails e.g. ceo@companyname.co.zw, chairperson@companyname.co.zw, etc

This goes hand in hand with the cabinet approval of the Electronic Transaction and Electronic Commerce Bill there is now a government drive for Zimbabwean companies to have an online presence. There is need for an amendment on the Companies and other Business Entities Act [Chapter 24:31] making domain registration mandatory before a company is registered. As a country we should abolish the use of gmail, yahoo, Hotmail and any other free service emails for doing business.

A company domain name www.companyname.co.zw is the face of your business. It includes your company’s name, it is how people communicate with you director@companyname.co.zw and how people find you on the web, and it is the only place that can work for you every day.

Research of the World Bank says, “Zimbabwe has a relatively well-developed digital payment system, where 96% of all transactions in the country’s formal sector are conducted through digital means and only 4% are cash-based, and the government uses digital money almost exclusively.”

A company Domain, emails, a website and selling online will possibly eradicate the use of cash when businesses are transacting.

Email is the fastest and least expensive means of communication and is now the last nail in the coffin for our postal system which is dying a natural death due to the advancement of technology. Creating a domain name for your company is one of the early steps that most business owners should take.

It is how people find a company on the web, and it is a central part of company’s brand identity. The fact that some business owners decide not to set up a domain email address is a missed opportunity. To have all the branding power of a business domain name, and then use a gmail.com or an yahoo.com email address is the easiest mistake to avoid.

The Companies And Other Business Entities Act [Chapter 24:31] was introduced to provide for the constitution, incorporation, registration, management and internal administration of companies and winding up of companies and private business corporations; to enable the voluntary registration of other business entities; to ensure the removal of defunct companies and private business corporations by re-registering all existing companies and private business corporations; to repeal the CompaniesAct [Chapter 24:03] and the Private Business Corporation’s Act [Chapter 24:11]; and to make it for easy for the company registration process.

With this new Act companies should take advantage of this great opportunity that make it easy for them to have a web presence by immediately registering their domain, create emails and creating a website while the company registration is taking place. Zimbabwe will be the first country in the world to have a 100% domain and email registration in the world fulfilling the dream of a 100% digital economy.

To know where and how to register domains please call/whatsapp +263716932110 or jkmutisi@hansole.org

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