Ghana, which means ‘Warrior King’ is located in the sub-region of West Africa. It has a population of 28.7 million people. The economy of Ghana mainly relies on agriculture, petroleum, natural gas, and mining of precious minerals. Ghana is the 2nd largest producer of cocoa in the world. As for its previous minerals, it has large deposits of gold and diamonds. Let’s discuss how to register a company in Ghana as a foreigner.
Before you proceed with company registration in Ghana, you must know various types of companies that are available.
Types of companies in Ghana
Sole proprietorship –
This type of company is owned and managed by a single person. This is normally suitable if you would like to start a small enterprise first and move on to bigger things later.
This type of company is where 2 or more individuals join and start a business. This is highly suitable for law firms, architect firms etc.
Company limited by shares –
The shares of the company are not offered to the public. The management of the company is done by a Board of Directors. This is the most common type of business structure this is how to register a company in Ghana.
Company limited by guarantee –
There is no share capital and no directors for this type of company. It is mainly formed for a non-profit organization.
External company –
An external company is a company formed outside of Ghana and seeks to register a place of business in Ghana. This is more commonly known as an offshore company.
How to register a limited liability company in Ghana
The ease of doing business reported by the World Bank has rated Ghana at 108 out of 190 countries in 2017. Below are the procedures of how to register a limited liability company in Ghana –
Get a Tax Identification Number (TIN) –
As of 2013, the applicant company must obtain a TIN before registering a company. They need to complete a Ghanaian Revenue Authority Taxpayer Registration. Once the TIN has obtained, the authority will send a text message for the applicant to collect the TIN. There is no charge for this procedure and it will take about 2 days.
Company Naming –
The applicant must check the availability of the name and submit the application form to obtain the certificate of incorporation. The name search can be done at the customer service office of the Register General and submit the company documents for the registration.
The proposed name of the company may be reserved pending the company registration. The fees involved for this process is Ghanaian Cedi (GHC)25 for the name search, GHC50 for the name reservation, GHC15 for the complete set of forms, GHC230 for the registration fees and GHC5 for the certificate of regulations of which you must have 3.
The forms that you submit must have the following information –
- Nature of business of the company
- Full names and details of the shareholders, directors, the percentage of shareholding and occupation
- Full name of the company secretary and auditors
- Attestation that the minimum nominal capital has been met which is GHC500.
Registration certificate –
The forms for a certificate to start a business must be authenticated by a Commissioner of Oaths. This can be done in 1 day and cost GHC10.
Obtain the certificate to start a business from the Registrar General Department. After company registration is completed, certain forms must be submitted with the following details –
- Names, addresses, business and occupation of the company secretary and director
- Names and addresses of company auditors
- Address of the registered office and registered members
- Amount of the stated capital and number of issued and unissued company shares.
These forms must also be signed by all the directors and secretary of the company. % of the stated capital must be paid to the registrar on behalf of the Inland Revenue Services as commencement tax including GHC100 for the forms. The ROC now automatically registers any new company for Value Added Tax.
Paid-up Capital –
Deposit paid-up capital with a bank. The paid-up capital of the company must be paid and submitted together with the following documents –
- copies of company regulations
- certificate of incorporation
- certificate to start a business
- authorized signatures of the company’s representative.
- The bank will prefer to have customers introduced to them. As such the applicant company can get an introduction letter from their lawyers.
This whole process takes 1 day for Ghana foreign company registration purposes.
Business license –
The applicant company must then apply for a business license. This process takes about 7 days and is applied to the Metropolitan Authority. The cost of this license depends on the nature of business and category. The license must be submitted with the relevant documents. For example, a restaurant would need a fire permit from the Fire Department, etc.
Work Permit –
Work premise inspection will be done by the Metropolitan Authority. An officer from this department will visit and report to the Revenue Authority of the Metropolitan Assembly who will then submit a report to the Revenue Mobilization Sub-committee which will then recommend to an Executive Committee. This will take 1 day.
Social security certificate –
The company will then need to apply for social security. This will take 1 day at the Social Security office. This must be submitted with a list of employees, their respective salaries and social security numbers, certificate of incorporation and certificate to start a business.
Can a foreign investor start a company in Ghana?
Yes, any foreigner can start a company in Ghana as long as that investor has valid paperwork and right financial backup.
How many shareholders needed?
For Limited Liability company in Ghana, you need to have minimum two shareholders.
How much does a company registration costs?
Check out our other info post to know details about company registration fees in Ghana.
How long does it take to register a business in Ghana?
It takes 12 to 15 days to complete all general registration formalities
What license and certificates do I need for company registration?
Other than incorporation certificate, one has to collect, TIN certificate, bank approval latter, business license, work permit, social security certificate. If a company demands, several other approval papers such as fire permit, food hygiene certifications etc will also be needed.
I hope you are clear about how to register a company in Ghana as a foreign shareholder.