The Basics Of Registering A Business In Ghana

How To Register A Business In Ghana

If you are a business owner or entrepreneur in Ghana and your business is yet to be registered, then you are doing more harm than good to both yourself and your business.

The Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC) has been mandated by Ghanaian laws to register all businesses in the country and not having your business registered by it might result in serious consequences.

Registering your business not only helps you avoid breaking the law but also proves to your customers that your operations are legitimate. So whether you are a sole proprietor or you run a partnership, an external company, a company limited by shares, a company limited by guarantee, or even a private company limited by shares, you must have your business registered.

This is why in this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how you can register your business in Ghana. Let’s get started!!

What Are The Types Of Business Registration In Ghana?

There are different types of business registration in Ghana which range from sole proprietorship to partnership, companies limited by shares, companies limited by guarantee, companies with unlimited liability, and external companies. Now let’s explain:

1. Sole Proprietorship: Apart from sole proprietorship being the simplest form of business operation in Ghana, it is the most oldest and popular form of business usually owned and run by one person.

A sole proprietorship is one of the types of business registration that is less costly and less complicated than any other type of business registration. You can get started in this type of business without registration.

2. Partnership: Partnership involves the association of two or more persons partaking in a business to make profits.

3. Companies Limited By Shares: This is another form of business registration in Ghana for individuals (entrepreneur) who desire to have his or her assets distinct from the assets of the business. However, companies limited by shares are the best option regarding the aforementioned purpose.

4. Companies Limited By Guarantee: This is one of the most used types of business registration that has the liability of its members limited to a certain amount that they contribute to the assets of the company in case of liquidation. This type of business is not permitted to create any shares or register with any shares.

5. Companies With Unlimited Liabilities: Just like the name implies, it is another type of business registration in Ghana that has no limit on the liability of its members.

Also, it is undoubtedly registered with shares, and mostly not common because of its restraining factor of non-limitation of the liability of its members.

6. External Companies: External company is another major type of business registration where a company is formed outside Ghana and therefore seeks to launch and register its business in Ghana.

How Do I Check If A Company Is Registered In Ghana?

If you want to do business with a company or you want to know the authenticity of a company, one of the ways to achieve it is by checking if the company is registered. However, below is how to check if a company is registered in Ghana:

1. First of all you have to visit the Registrar General Department (RGD) website:

2. Once it opens, look for the online search portal, and click on proceed.

3. You will find two search options, namely Company Name Search and Company Registration Number. On the company name search, it allows you to search for a company by its name while the company registration number search allows you to use a company’s registration number for further search.

4. After putting the right details, then you click on the search button. At this point, the list of companies that match your search will be generated.

5. Finally, you carefully go through the results to find the company you are interested in. Then verify the company’s registration status and other important information.

How Do I Register A Small Business In Ghana?

The processes involved in registering a small business in Ghana are:

1. First, check if your desired business name is taken or already registered by another entity. Meanwhile, you can achieve this by conducting a name search at the Registrar General Department (RGD).

2. If your desired business name is not taken, then congratulations. The next thing to do is to reserve the business name by filling out the necessary forms, submitting them, and paying the required fee.

3. At this point, you have to obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) for your business at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). Nevertheless, this step is essential for business registration.

4. You can download the necessary registration forms from the website or you collect them from the Registrar Generals Department. After that, you fill in the required details, which include the business type, registered office address, directors, and shareholders.

5. After completing your registration form, you pay your registration fee to the designated bank and get the payment receipt.

6. Now you submit your application. However, what you are submitting includes the completed forms, payment receipts, and other required documents to the Registrar General’s Department (RGD). Meanwhile, some documents you need include proof of address, passport-size photographs, and copies of identification documents.

7. You will receive a certificate of incorporation from the RGD once your application is processed and approved. This solely means that your business has been recognized as a legal entity.

8. Also know that the type of business you are operating will also determine whether you will need additional permits and licenses to operate legally in Ghana. These licenses and permits include:

1. Environmental Permits: You will need this permit if your business has an environmental impact. However, this permit can be obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The purpose is to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.

2. Business Operating Permit: A business operating permit is a license that enables you to operate your business within the municipality. And before you proceed to get this license, you must first register with the assembly. And then you obtain the license from the relevant Metropolitan, Money, or Direct Assembly (MMDA). This therefore helps in ensuring compliance with local regulations.

3. Sector-Specific License: Certain sectors like telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and food processing sectors require sector-specific licenses from the appropriate regulatory bodies to operate legally.

How Can A Foreigner Register A Business In Ghana?

As a foreigner, you can register your business under sole proprietorship, partnerships, and companies. However, as a foreigner who wants to operate a full-owned business in Ghana, the law states that you will bring an amount of $500,000 into the country. You will pay $200,000 if you want to operate a business in Ghana jointly with a Ghanaian national.

On the other hand, if you want to set up a trading business in Ghana like purchasing and selling imported goods and services, you will bring into the country an amount of $1 million as required by the law.

For you to register a business in Ghana as a foreigner after paying the required money according to the type of operation, you will now proceed to acquire a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the Ghana Revenue Authority or the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) with a copy of their identification cards. Meanwhile, this process takes 2 to 5 days before you proceed to register your business name.

After this procedure, the availability of your business name will be confirmed, and then the certificate of incorporation can be obtained.

The next thing to do after the registration/incorporation of your business is to register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) as a foreigner. Also don’t forget that you will have to open two bank accounts in Ghana which are a foreign bank account and a local bank account with any bank of your choice in Ghana.

Most importantly, the type of business you want to do in Ghana as a foreigner will solely determine the requirements to be met.

How Many Days Does It Take To Register A Business In Ghana?

The number of days it takes to register a business in Ghana depends on the type of business registration, the requirements to be met, and whether or not you encounter any issues. This means that it can take a day, 2 days or more. But on average, it takes 7 days on a minimum to register a business in Ghana and a maximum of 30 days.

How Much Does It Cost To Register A Small Business In Ghana?

It costs between GHC60 to GHC1,050 to register a business in Ghana. This is a breakdown of it:

1. Sole proprietorship: GHC60
2. Partnership: GHC150
3. Limited liability company: GHC200
4. Public limited company: GHC1,050
5. Non-governmental organization: GHC270

Ambassador Victor Chidera
Ambassador Victor ChideraAmbassador Victor Chidera is a business consultant, writer and a blogger. He provides lots of professional and expert advice to small businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations. He has many years of experience in business, teaching field, and research work. And his aim is to provide business articles that matters to you both nationally and internationally.
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