Most people in Ghana and for that matter Africa want to start a business either to make a living or for other purposes but how to register the business or company becomes a challenge.
In today’s guide, we will teach you how to register a business in Ghana, how to start your own small company and develop it to a profitable business.
Businesses are good ventures.
It helps maintain higher socio-economic standards in the country as they contribute immensely to a country’s financial growth.
However, opening a business in any country is guided by some laws, and Ghana is no different.
The consequences are very severe if one’s business is not registered correctly.
This article will provide the ultimate guide that will help you get your business registered in Ghana.
Use the table of contents below to jump to which part of this business registration guide:
In Ghana, all businesses are registered at the Registrar General’s Department (RGD). The department is the sole agency that has the required mandate to register any business in Ghana legally.
The Registrar General’s Department is a department under the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General.
They aim to efficiently serve Ghanaians by becoming a highly strategic partner to businesses and stakeholders.
The Registrar General’s Department is into the registration of businesses, industrial property rights, marriages, administration of estates, and public trusts.
They also provide friendly services and accurate data for national planning and economic development.
Types of Company Registration in Ghana
There are two types of companies in Ghana – Ghanaian-owned companies and foreign companies.
There are five different company registration in Ghana. These are;
1. Registering A Sole Proprietorship Business In Ghana
Do you want to know how to register a sole proprietorship business in Ghana?
That is a good idea.
This is a type of business owned and operated by one person.
He or she serves at the only head of the venture. Thus, you are in direct control of all elements and are legally accountable for the finances of such business, and this may include debts, loans, loss, and others.
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2. External Company
As the name implies, they are companies that belong to expatriates. These include foreign investors and other non-Ghanaian individuals who have seen the need to explore the Ghanaian market.
The Registrar General’s Department defines an external company to be one that is a branch of an existing company.
A Local Manager usually registers this company on behalf of the company registered outside the jurisdiction of Ghana.
This will require the local manager to be a resident of Ghana.
So if you want to know how to register a business in Ghana as a foreigner then you have to take particular attention to this section.
Additionally, all supporting documents of the External Company have to be in the English Language, which is Ghana’s official language.
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3. Companies limited by guarantee
This is a type of company that does not have any shareholders. However, its owners are guarantors who come to a consensus to pay an amount to cater for the company’s accrued debts. Companies operated this way include non-profit organizations, sports clubs, workers’ cooperatives, and membership organizations.
4. Companies limited by shares
This is a company that the liability of the shareholders to creditors is hugely dependent.
In some cases, it is hugely constrained by the original invested capital.
One thing is that the shareholder’s personal assets are protected. However, all monetary investments will be lost should there be the need for the company to fold up.
In Ghana, the Registrar General’s Department labels this type of business or company as one with several people between two and fifty people coming together on either profit or non-profit basis.
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5. Registering Companies with unlimited liabilities In Ghana
In this type of business venture, the owners and partners of the business are solely responsible for all business debts.
In the event of any debt, these can be paid through the seizure and sale of owners’ or partners’ assets, which is different than the limited liability business structure.
Also, all liable if the company declares bankruptcy. Unlimited Liability Company and a limited liability company just that with the unlimited liability company, its owners’ liabilities are unlimited.
How To Successfully Register A Business Online In Ghana
As stated earlier, anyone who wants to register his or her business will have to go to require agency – the Registrar General’s Department of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General at the regional level.
Currently, the department runs online services that allow the individual interested in registering his or her company to start the application online.
The individual should visit the website of the agency (https://rgd.gov.gh/).
Then the individual will have to choose the ‘ONLINE REGISTRATION’ tab. After clicking on the tab, the individual has the option to create an account.
The individual can also search for his or her company name to ascertain its availability.
These can be done within simple, easy steps as the interface of the website is very user-friendly.
Services provided include company name search, company name registration, entry registration, and online payments.
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Requirements To Register A Business In Ghana
Before the individual can successfully register the company, he or she is required to provide the following:
1. Company name
2. Company physical address
3. Company postal address
4. Company or business activities
5. Company contacts
6. Details of anyone involved in the company structure
7. The stated capital of the company
The items listed above are some of the things you will need to register a business in Ghana.
How To Get A Business Certificate In Ghana
The individual can only get the business certificate only when the forms are filled and submitted without any mistakes.
Additionally, the required fees are supposed to be paid before you can receive your certificate.
Failure to do any of the above will result in your application being rejected.
Your business certificates include documents like Certificate of Incorporation, Certificate of Commencement, and Company Regulation.
All things being equal, these documents will be ready in about two weeks after successfully submitting your application.
Cost of Registering A Business In Ghana
Before an application can be said to successful, the individual must pay all required fees. These fees are in two parts – statutory and processing charges.
The statutory fee is called the STAMP DUTY fee, whiles the processing fee is the incorporation and filing of forms fee.
Before you can successfully register your business in Ghana, you are required by law to pay 0.5% of your stated company capital.
This is what is labeled as STAMP DUTY.
Ghanaian owned companies are required to have a startup capital of not less than GHC 500 whiles that of foreign companies is in the region of $500,000.
Business partly owned by Ghanaians and foreigners are required to have a startup capital of about $200,000.
All trading ventures, irrespective of whether they are Ghanaian or foreign-owned, are required to have $1,000,000 as startup capital.
The last fee to be paid is the incorporation and filing of forms fee, which is GHC 330.
So if to register a local company, you need not less than GHC 500 to register whiles the amount involved for companies with foreign owners is more.
Who Qualifies To Register A Business In Ghana
Anyone can register a business in Ghana provided that the individual is a taxpayer who is duly registered by the Ghana revenue authority.
In the case of Sole proprietorship, the owner of the company must have a Tax Identification Number (TIN).
In conclusion, an individual can register his or her company in Ghana by following simple steps outlined in this guide.
This includes the individual carrying out a name search with the Registrar General’s Department and having a Taxpayer Identification Number registration (TIN).
The individual must then proceed to fill and submit the required company incorporation forms and corresponding statutory fees.
After this, all that is left is for the individual to wait for the processing of the certificates.
That is how to start a business in Ghana and manage it to become a small-scale or big company.
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