Ghana has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa so it is not strange to find out that several people are seeking ways to register a new business or company in Ghana. Before starting a business it is important to register it legally. In fact, this is the first step to starting a business that you expect to stand the test of time.
In Ghana, to register a business or company you have to apply to the office of the Registrar General Department. Before taking this step, it is important to find out all the different types of registration available and also the documents needed for the registration process. The registration laws of Ghana have made provision for 5 different classes of registration. They are stated below:
- Sole proprietorship.
- External company.
- Companies with unlimited liability
- Companies limited by guarantee.
- Companies limited by shares.
Before now, registering a business or company in Ghana was quite cumbersome but recent developments have made it a very easy and stress-free process. To begin the registration process you can click here to download your forms at GHS 10.00.
Take the following steps to register your business or company in Ghana:
Step 1: Carry out a name search with the RGD
It is important to carry out a name search as the first step and the laws have made it mandatory to do so. This is because you can choose a name that someone else has already registered which is not acceptable. Once you fill the forms and the name is approved you have a period of thirty days to complete your registration else you forfeit the name. In choosing a name you should ensure that the name is related to the business that you want to carry out. The officer of the registrar is likely to reject a name that is similar to one already existing. Finally, the name must not be offensive or violating any trademarks.
Step 2: Taxpayer Identification Number registration (TIN)
This is majorly in the case of registering a company, regardless of which class of company it is. All the company directors, shareholders, and secretaries must register their TIN as it is needed for the registration of the company. You can download the TIN forms here. The forms are to be completed and then submitted with a copy of the individual’s photo ID (either international passport or driver’s license or voter’s ID) to the office of the Ghana Revenue Authority. The registration is free of charge and it takes between 24 to 48 hours for the number to be created. Once you have registered the TIN number you can use it for all your businesses. You are not allowed to create new TINs for different businesses. These are the pieces of information you need to fill the TIN form:
- Full name
- Photo ID (driver’s license, the information page of your passport, voter’s card)
- Mother’s maiden name
- Residential and postal addresses
Step 3: fill and submit the company incorporation forms
You are required to fill the company incorporation forms with the following pieces of information:
- Company name
- Proposed company address
- Postal address of the company
- Principal place of the business
- Business activities or objects
- Contact numbers and emails
- Details of the auditor
- Issued and authorized shares
- Stated capital
- The prescribed shareholding structure of the company
- Full details of the directors, secretaries, and shareholders. The required details include their dates of birth, nationalities, residential and contact addresses, and occupations.
Please note that it is required by the law that each company must have a minimum of two directors and a secretary at the time of registration. Furthermore, at least one of the directors or secretaries must be resident in Ghana at the time of registration. After this, all the directors, secretaries, and shareholders must append their signatures on the forms before final submission.
Step 4: Pay statutory fees
After submitting the forms you are required by the law to pay statutory and processing fees. There are two kinds of fees stated by the office of the Registrar General and they are Stamp Duty and Incorporation and filing fees. They are explained below:
- Stamp duty. According to the law, you are required to pay 0.5% of the capital stated in the submitted forms. For all locally owned businesses, the required amount of startup capital is GHC 500. For foreign-owned companies, the required capital varies. They are stated below:
- 100% foreign owned – $500,000
- Jointly owned foreign and Ghanaian business – $200,000
- A trading enterprise (whether locally or foreign-owned) – $1,000,000
- Incorporation and filing fees. The required fees for incorporation and filing is GHC 330. This fee is payable to the office of the Registrar General in cash.
Step 5: Collect Registration Certificates
Once the forms are duly filled and submitted and the required fees are paid, the certificates are expected to be ready within two weeks. These are the documents that you will be collecting afterward:
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Certificate of commencement
- Company regulations
- Form 3 & 4
The above-stated documents are proof that the business or company is registered in Ghana. They are expected to show the registered name, the exact business activities and object of trade, the address of the business, and business TIN details. They will also show the directors’ and secretaries’ details, as well as the details of the shareholders. These documents can be used by the business owner to conduct business or any form of transaction with other businesses and with the bank.
In conclusion, you must have noticed that registration of business or company is a very easy process. You must, however, ensure that forms are completed with accurate information as any discrepancies may result in rejection. We believe this article has been helpful in your quest for knowledge about how to register a business or company in Ghana.
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