This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Basotho encouraged to formalize their businesses

By ‘Mamohaila Rampo


With the intention of minimizing immigrants’ businesses in the country, Lesotho Chamber of Commerce Industry (LCCI) held a workshop for local trading community to educate them about the implemented Business Licensing and Registration Act 2019 that will bring a massive change in the business world.

The session was an eye opener to the business owners, revealing information relating to critical services necessary for business operation, new fee structure, reserved items and transition period for those operating in reserved business activities. The Act was implemented in August this year and business owners are given a period of 12 months to come to terms with the law and acquire all the necessities, which include registering, licensing and getting permits to operate lawfully. Failure to do so will result in harsh penalties.

LCCI President Ntaote Seboka said the country‘s economic status is where it is today because of the negligence of both Basotho and government officials.  He said there is more that the country can benefit from rather than rent money because citizens become fronts for illegal business operators, mostly Chinese, who own businesses in Lesotho and refuse to pay tax. Seboka also revealed that educated individuals placed under responsible departments in the ministries keep pushing the country into poverty because they accept bribes.

He added that foreigners keep money in their homes to avoid tracking on their proceeds for fair taxation, saying they also bring their own people from their native countries to employ, which does not benefit the country.

Trade Lawyer Advocate Matšeliso Lehohla said this Business Licensing and Registration Act 2019 and its regulations of 2020 repeal the old Trading Enterprises Act of 1993 and the trading enterprises regulations of 1999 and its amendments. The new law introduces a modern and user or investor-friendly legal framework and streamline licensing processes.

Lehohla educated business owners about the licensing and the business permits which are entailed in the law, she explained the new way as simple, short, cost-effective and responsive to the needs of the business operators. To modify this implementation LCCI presented an online line of services where licensing and registration application process can be done electronically, a move which will see applications considered as soon as they are lodged on their website.

She added that this law forces every entrepreneur to own a business Identity Card (ID), which will be valid for three years. The business registration identity card will be used by all public authorities in their dealing with business enterprises. This will ensure that businesses are easily identified by all public authorities. The renewal of this business ID will cost M500.00 failing which, the LCCI will take strict measures against Basotho who operate businesses without a business ID.