HomeOpinionTech&Crime: New Companies Act makes domain registration a must

Tech&Crime: New Companies Act makes domain registration a must

By Jacob Mutisi

On November 15, 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 out the Companies Act [Chapter 24:03] (“Old Act”) and introducing 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.

Thanks to the new regulations, 20 years ago, the first item on the registration 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 in the format: www.companyname.co.zw and have a professional email address in the form: info@companyname.co.zw and then have the director’s emails eg, 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 a need for an amendment of 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.

World Bank research has shown that, “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 eventually eradicate the use of cash for business transactions. Email is the fastest and least expensive means of communication and is now the last nail in the coffin of 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 a 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 a 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

Companies Act [Chapter 24:03] and the Private Business Corporations Act [Chapter 24:11]; and to make the company registration process easy.

With this new Act companies should take advantage of this great opportunity that makes it easy for them to have a web presence by immediately registering their domain, creating emails and 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

  • Mutisi is the CEO of Hansole Investments (Pvt) Ltd and the current chairperson of Zimbabwe Information & Communication Technology, a division of Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers.

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