Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Botswana. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2013.

Compare Botswana to 188 other economies.

  • Standardized Company

  • Legal Form: Private Corporation
  • Paid in Minimum Capital Requirement: None
  • City: Gaborone
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Reserve a unique company name

The entrepreneur can search the online database to check whether the desired company name is available for registration. This database is available on the website of the Ministry of Trade and Industry ( The entrepreneur then submits the Name Reservation Form (Form 1) to the Registrar of Companies and receives a notification within 3 days. Once approved by the Registrar, the company name is reserved for a period of 30 days.

3 days BWP 20
2 Sign the declaration of compliance of statutory requirements for incorporation before a commissioner for oaths

The entrepreneur or company representative must submit the following documents:
- Limited Liability Company Registration Form (Form 2). This form must be accompanied by the consent to act as shareholders, directors, auditors, company secretary and registered officers, along with copies of their national IDs or passports.
- Declaration of Compliance of Statutory Requirements (Form 3). This form must be accompanied by the particulars of the company secretary and his/her valid practicing license. Only registered professionals (lawyers or accountants) can serve as company secretaries. According to the Company Act of 2004, Section 21, Sub-section (3) and (4), Form 3 must be signed by a legal practitioner, member of Institute of Accountant or member of Southern Africa Institute of Chartered Secretaries.
1 day BWP 75
3 Register the company at the Registrar of Companies, Ministry of Trade and Industry

To register the company, the entrepreneur must submit a completed application form, along with the name reservation certificate and the declaration of compliance of statutory requirements for company registration.
2-3 weeks BWP 300 for the application to register a company and BWP 60 for the certificate of incorporation
4 Advertise the intention of applying for a license in the official gazette

The new company must advertise, in two consecutive issues of the Official Gazette, its intent to apply for a license.
3 weeks BWP 80
* 5 Receive inspection of company premises

The company premises will be inspected by the Health Department, Environment Department and Town Planning Department of Gaborone City Council to ensure compliance with minimum standards. No charges are involved as this procedure is done by the municipal authorities as part of the application for a trade or an industrial license.
2 days (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge
* 6 Obtain an industrial license from the Industrial Affairs Department, Ministry of Trade and Industry; or obtain a trade license from the Gaborone City Council

3 weeks (simultaneous with previous procedure) BWP 50 for industrial license if applied by self; BWP 1,500 by agent; BWP 100 for trade license if applied by self, BWP 2,000 by an agent
7 Obtain Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Botswana United Revenue Services

The company applies for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) number, usually obtained within 5 days. The company then completes a taxpayer registration form to enroll in the employee withholding Pay–As-You-Earn tax (PAYE), which takes 2 days.
7 days no charge by self, BWP 1,500 by agent
8 Register for VAT at the Department of Customs & Excise

7 days no charge by self, BWP 1,500 by agent
9 Register employees for workplace injury insurance

Under the Workers Compensation Act, companies must provide their employees with workplace injury insurance. Companies may choose to pay a security deposit to the Commissioner for any associated claims; however, most of them often purchase their own insurance.
1 day no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

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