At CQ Legal, we have an experienced business formation team who are on hand to help you formally set up a business in Ghana. The following guide outlines the process of starting your business in Ghana.
There are a few steps you will need to take to set-up and successfully launch a business.
To legally register a business entity, you’ll need to apply to the Registrar General’s Department (RGD). There are various forms of business entities that can be registered under the laws of Ghana and it is, therefore, vital that you understand and choose the right legal structure that best serves your business and objectives.
Under the laws, only the following forms of business entities are allowed to be registered:
- Limited liability company (local company) – This is a company limited by shares or guarantee incorporated under the Ghana Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992). A subsidiary can either be wholly or partly owned by a Ghanaian or a non-Ghanaian
- Unlimited company – This has the same composition as a limited liability company except that the liabilities of its owners are unlimited. It is usually registered by a professional body such as Law firms, Auditing and Architectural firms.
- External company (branch) – This is a corporate body formed outside the Republic of Ghana that has an established place of business in Ghana.
Process of Starting a Business
It is highly recommended that you first develop a strong Business Plan which includes all your aims and goals.
Both local and foreign investors must go through the following necessary procedures to register a company in Ghana, except for businesses owned solely by Ghanaians with no foreign ownership, they do not need to register with the GIPC below.
Acquire a Tax Identification Number (TIN)
Before proceeding to the company registration, the applicant needs to acquire a Tax Identification Number. The TIN form can be obtained with the applicant’s ID card from The Registrar General’s Department or the Ghana Revenue Authority and can be obtained for free. It is usually a quick process that only takes about 2 days.
Foreigners are permitted 100-per-cent ownership of an enterprise, however, for a foreign shareholder to invest in Ghana they are required to register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and invest a certain minimum equity capital to establish the enterprise.
Wholly foreign-owned enterprises are required to complete Investor Registration Forms (Form GIPC/R1) in duplicate and have a minimum paid-up capital to invest of:
- US $200,000 for a Joint Venture and pay fees of GH₵10,500.
- US $500,000 for 100% Foreign-Owned and pay fees of GH₵16,800.
- US $1,000,000 for General Trading Enterprises and pay fees of GH₵ 31,500.
Business Registration – Registrar-General’s Department (RGD)
All companies must check for availability of a company name and submit documents to obtain a Business Operation Permit (BOP) and incorporation certificates at the Registrar-General’s Department at a fee of GH₵ 25.00. You can also apply for reservation of the name at a fee of GH₵ 50 if the name is available.
All enterprises are expected to fill out the relevant Application Forms, which serve as the Company’s Regulations. All companies must also have an auditor, who must be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants but should not be an officer of the company or be an employee or partner.
Once the forms have been submitted and relevant fees paid, a Certificate of Incorporation and a Certificate to Commence Business are issued.
Registration with other Regulatory Bodies
Apart from incorporating or registering entities with the RGD, entities in which there is foreign participation are required to register with other regulatory bodies as well, depending on the industry that the entity will be operating in.
All companies in which there is complete, or partial foreign ownership are required to register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).
Investors are required to complete the Investor Registration Forms and after 5 days the GIPC will formally register the investment.
A company is officially registered after the company’s regulations have been submitted to the registrar of companies and a certificate of incorporation issued.
Application for registration of a company can be made directly, though it is recommended that you choose an experienced law firm who can explain the process and help you set up the business in the most efficient way.
About CQ Legal
CQ Legal & Consulting is a law firm based in Accra, Ghana that serves the needs of a broad range of corporate and private clients.
Our team of lawyers are specialists in setting up businesses in Ghana in a broad range of sectors and industries.
We pride ourselves on our excellent service and extensive understanding of the legal systems, cultures, economic and regulatory environment in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa. Total client satisfaction is always our goal and we see ourselves as an extension of our clients, working together to achieve your objectives.
*Please note the process and laws are subject to change in the future. You should contact us for up to date advice.