FAQ: Registration of Books of Commerce Before the Chamber of Commerce
In accordance with article 19 of the Colombian Commercial Code, all merchants must be registered in the commercial registry and must register all acts, books and documents required by law. Specifically, with respect to commercial books, article 28 of the Colombian Commercial Code establishes that the Partners’ or Shareholders’ Registration Book and the Book of Minutes of the Meetings of Shareholders or Partners must be registered. In this regard, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions:
1.Which are the books that must be registered and what do they consist of?
The books that must be registered are two: (i) the Partners’ or Shareholders’ Registration Book and (ii) Book of Minutes of the Meetings of Shareholders or Partners. In these books, as the name implies, records must be kept of the shareholders or partners that own the company and the minutes of the meetings that these partners or shareholders hold to discuss and make decisions regarding company matters.
In accordance with article 56 of the Colombian Commercial Code, these books may be of removable sheets or formed by a continuous series of cards, as long as the sheets or cards are numbered and allow their filing in order. They may also be kept in electronic files where the inalterability, integrity, security and conservation of information must be guaranteed.
2. Where and by whom must this registration be done?
The application for registration must be submitted by the legal representative, or a third party who has a validly granted power-of-attorney to perform this registration, before the Chamber of Commerce in which the company is registered.
3. When and how can this registration be made?
The registration of these books can be requested at any time and must be filed at the offices of the Chamber of Commerce in which the company is registered. However, in case of electronic books, registration must be done annually and can be done virtually.
4. Where can these books be purchased?
As for the acquisition of the Partners’ or Shareholders’ Registration Book and the Book of Minutes of the Meetings of Shareholders or Partners, there are two options:
- They can be purchased in stationery stores where different options are offered, varying in the orientation of the sheets, the number of folios or pages available, among others.
- It is usual for the Chambers of Commerce to provide the service of selling printed and coded sheets, allowing merchants to acquire only the amount of sheets they consider necessary and facilitating the process of numbering and coding the sheets, since it will be taken care of by the organization. Thus, it would not be necessary to buy a complete book but simply the amount of sheets that are required, which must be kept in folders that allow their proper storage and custody.
5. How should books be submitted for registration?
Merchants must submit blank books, that is, without any information, except for the consecutive numbering of the sheets with the selected code, as explained in the following section, and the name of the book. Likewise, the covers of the books must be labeled with the name of the book and the name of the company.
With respect to electronic books, it is enough to submit the virtual application for registration, filling out the information requested by the corresponding Chamber of Commerce, which will be responsible for reviewing and deciding on the application.
6. What documents must be submitted during this process?
A written request executed by the legal representative must be submitted, specifying (i) the date of the application, (ii) the company name, (iii) the tax number of the company, (iv) the registration number, (v) the name or destination of the books (book of partners, shareholders, or minutes), (vi) the amount of useable sheets in each book, (vii) the consecutive numbering and (viii) the numbering range. In case the book has removable sheets, the code that will identify them must be indicated; this code must be between one (1) and six (6) characters and may be made up of letters and / or numbers. This code must be included in each of the sheets of the corresponding book. As an example, for the shareholders’ book, the code “SHA” may be chosen and for the book of minutes of meetings of shareholders or partners, the code “MIN”. In any case, any other code that complies with the aforementioned character limit and consists solely of letters and numbers may be chosen.
Nonetheless, it is usual for the Chambers of Commerce to have a pre-established form that will facilitate this task because it will only be necessary to fill in the blanks with the information required by the Chamber. This form must be executed by the legal representative. Additionally, in the event that the person who is going to file the application is not the legal representative, a limited power-of-attorney by which they are granted the authority to file said application must also be presented, along with a copy of their ID.
7. What should be done in case the book runs out of sheets or is lost?
In case the company already has a registered book but all the sheets have been used, a new book must be purchased and a new application for registration must be submitted. Thus, it is necessary to complete the registration application form again and submit, along with the new book, the previous completed book or a certificate issued by the statutory auditor or the public accountant of the company informing of the completion of the book or that it is about to be completed.
On the other hand, in case the book has been lost or destroyed, a new book must also be acquired and the registration application form must be completed again. Additionally, a copy of the complaint regarding the loss or destruction of the book, filed before the competent authorities, must be attached, which must include the company name, the book name and the Chamber of Commerce registration number of said book.
In case you have doubts about this or any other procedure before the Chamber of Commerce, do not hesitate to contact us.