The number of new commercial registries recorded at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) during the first eight months of this year totaled 15,324.

Registries related to liquidations and mergers numbered around 400 during the first nine months of the year, the Ministry said.

Procedures governing mergers and liquidations come within the framework of guidelines announced by the Ministry recently and which came into effect on June 15, 2021.

They aim to facilitate the correction of the legal status of companies interested in liquidating their commercial registries within a period of one year or to merge them within a period of six months. They also aim to encourage holders of multiple commercial registries to liquidate or merge their commercial establishments.

Khalid bin Khamis al Masrouri, Director of the Audit and Control Department of Commercial Establishments at the Ministry, said: "The liquidation or merger of commercial registries contributes to tackling the phenomenon of multiple commercial registries, correcting market conditions, improving the business environment and its competitiveness, supporting plans for the development of small and medium enterprises SMEs, and enabling entrepreneurs to cancel their old inactive registries by utilising a package of facilities and fee waivers to help them get rid of previous burdens.”

Al Masrouri added: “These facilities include an exemption from all government fines resulting from the liquidation of commercial companies, specifying an amount of RO 50 only against all liquidation procedures, while the liquidator must be one of the authorised signatories’ partners or whoever the company deems appropriate to execute this procedure.”

Applications for liquidation can be submitted electronically through the “Invest Easy” portal or Sanad Services Centres.

As for mergers, the interested applicant will be exempted from government fees and fines against their commercial registries. Applications can also be submitted electronically through the “Invest Easy” portal or Sanad Service Centres.

The facilities package also include the possibility of transferring the ownership of the commercial registry from one owner to another and the transfer of foreign workers to the same registry to the new owner or partner, while an amount of RO 200 to be paid against each commercial registry, regardless of the number of workers instead of paying an amount of RO 316 against the clearance of each worker previously.

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