According to the Annual Report (2019) issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the commission has registered 14,461 new companies, 27% higher in the fiscal year 2018-19 as compared to the last financial year.
Out of the new companies registered, approximately 73% of companies were registered as private limited companies, 24% as single-member companies and 3% were registered as public companies, not-for-profit associations, trade organizations, foreign companies or limited liability partnerships.
93% of companies were registered online and 54% registered within the same day. The total number of registered companies as of June 30, 2019, was 101, 328.
Moreover, foreign investment has been reported in 617 new companies. This year 37 foreign companies from Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, the UK, and the US have established places of business in Pakistan during the year under review.
The SECP has introduced several reforms to simplify the company incorporation process. These reforms include payment of fee through mobile and internet banking, issuance of a certificate of incorporation through e-mail and further simplification of the PIN generation process.
The SECP has also integrated its online system with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Employees Old-Age Benefits Institutions (EOBI) and Business Registration portals of Punjab and Sindh. After this integration, SECP’s eServices is offering a one-window facility for company registration with FBR (NTN registration), EOBI, Provincial Employees Social Security Institutions (PESSI/SESSI), Labor Department and Excise and Taxation Department of Punjab and Sindh.
Its measures for ease of doing business contributed to improving Pakistan’s ranking, climbing up 11 notches in World Bank’s Annual Doing Business Report 2019, improving from 147 to 136.
The report measures the performance in ease of doing business in 190 countries. According to the report, Pakistan made ‘Starting a Business’ easier by introducing an online one-stop registration system, replacing several forms for incorporation with a single application and establishing information exchange between the SECP and the FBR.
As per the report, Pakistan has reduced the number of procedures, days and costs of starting a business and witnessed its biggest jump in the area in over a decade.
During the financial year 2018-19, the SECP has issued 53 licenses to not-for-profit associations under section 42 of the Companies Act 2017, with objects of arts, sports, social services, charity, etc. Besides, licenses of 13 not-for-profit associations have been renewed, while licenses of 35 not-for-profit associations were revoked due to non-compliance.