How to Register a Company in Ghana

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Ghana has one of the most untapped business markets in the world. This wealthy and stable West Africa country is ripe for development, and foreign investors and entrepreneurs are beginning to realize Ghana's potential. Despite an eager market, the bureaucratic process of registering a business in Ghana is daunting. In 2004, the World Bank Group began compiling information on business processes in countries worldwide. In 2009, Ghana ranked 135 out of 183 countries for ease of starting a business in this study. The process will cost about 190.5 Ghana cedis (GHC) plus 0.5% of your stated company capital.

Things You'll Need

  • Company Regulations Form (four copies)
  • Form 3: Statement of Shareholding Structure (five copies)
  • Form 4: Stated Capital (two copies)
  • Tax Identification Number form
  • Social Security application form
  • EA1 form
  • EA2 form
Registering a company in Ghana can be daunting but also very profitable.
Registering a company in Ghana can be daunting but also very profitable.

Step 1

Visit the Registrar General in Accra to check the availability of a company name and obtain the documents needed to register. Request a tax identification number certificate. You will need to know the name of the company; the type of business; information on all shareholders, subscribers and directors; the name and address of the secretary and auditor; and information on company shares and stated capital. Beginning capital must be at least GHC 500. This process should take one day.

To register a business in Ghana, begin at the Registrar General's office.
To register a business in Ghana, begin at the Registrar General's office.

Step 2

Complete Statement of Shareholding Structure and Stated Capital forms. These must be completed within 28 days and are necessary for obtaining a Certificate to Commence Business. You will be asked to authenticate the completed forms through a Commissioner of Oaths, located in the same office as the Registrar General. The Commissioner of Oaths will, time allowing, swear your oath within one day.

Visit the Commissioner of Oaths to validate the forms.
Visit the Commissioner of Oaths to validate the forms.

Step 3

Register the company with the Internal Revenue Service. This is an easy step because the Registrar General will do the footwork. They will collect from the company a commencement tax of 0.5% of the company's stated capital on behalf of the IRS. In addition, they will collect a registration fee of GHC 1 to GHC 10, depending on projected revenues, and will charge GHC 2 for a tax clearance certificate. The Registrar's office also may collect a value added tax and National Health Insurance levy, based on projected revenues.

All companies in Ghana must be registered with the IRS.
All companies in Ghana must be registered with the IRS.

Step 4

Obtain a business license from local offices of the Metropolitan Authority. The cost to apply for a business license varies, depending on projected revenues and type of business. The Metropolitan Authority will have information on fees and other documentation needed for specific business types. Total time for this process is about seven days.

The local Metropolitan Authority will issue a business license.
The local Metropolitan Authority will issue a business license.

Step 5

Schedule the inspection of your business site with the Metropolitan Authority. A committee will review the inspection report and notify your company if changes are needed.

A site inspection will determine whether a company is compliant with local regulations.
A site inspection will determine whether a company is compliant with local regulations.

Step 6

File an application for social security. Forms can be obtained from the Labor Department's Ministry of Mobilization and Social Welfare. Information on all employees, including salaries and social security numbers, as well as the company's Certificate of Incorporation and Certificate to Commence Business must be filed.

File for social security through the Labor Department.
File for social security through the Labor Department.

Step 7

Obtain an Environment Certificate. Submit EA1 and EA2 forms to the Environmental Protection Agency. It will complete a study within 25 days to determine the environmental risk and potential impact of your company. Additional modifications and procedures may be required after the study.

The EPA will determine the potential environmental impact of your company.
The EPA will determine the potential environmental impact of your company.

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Tips & Warnings

  • Entrepreneurs accustomed to Western processes frequently find themselves frustrated by the lack of efficiency in developing countries. Remember, time frames given are estimates. Many offices operate on "Ghana time," meaning punctuality is not a priority. Be patient, and remember that kindness can go a long way when dealing with clerks and officials.

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