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Starting a Business in

Botswana

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 between 10 and 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 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Botswana to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Reserve a unique company name

    Agency: Companies and Intellectual Property Authority    

    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 (www.mti.gov.bw). 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 on average BWP 20
    2

    Sign the declaration of compliance of statutory requirements for incorporation before a commissioner for oaths or company representative

    Agency: Companies and Intellectual Property Authority    

    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. According to the Company Amendment 2012, Form 3 can be signed by a legal practitioner, a director of the proposed company, or a class of person as the Minister may prescribe or also commissioned by law enforcement officers.
    1 day no charge
    3

    Register the company at the Registrar of Companies, Ministry of Trade and Industry

    Agency: Companies and Intellectual Property Authority    

    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.
    between 6 and 8 days BWP 300 for the application to register a company and BWP 60 for the certificate of incorporation
    4

    Receive inspection of company premises

    Agency: Industrial Affairs Department, Ministry of Trade and Industry

    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.
    7 days no charge
    * 5

    Obtain an industrial license from the Industrial Affairs Department, Ministry of Trade and Industry; or obtain a trade license from the Gaborone City Council

    Agency: Gabron City Council, Ministry of Trade and Industry

    Business founders can either 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
    * 6

    Open a bank account

    Agency: Bank

    All new businesses must open a company account with a bank in order to register for a Tax Identification Number.
    1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge
    7

    Obtain Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Botswana United Revenue Services

    Agency: Botswana United Revenue Services (BURS)

    The company applies for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) number using the BURS form. The company then completes a taxpayer registration form to enroll in the employee withholding Pay–As-You-Earn tax (PAYE).
    7 days no charge by self, BWP 1,500 by agent
    8

    Register for VAT at the Department of Customs & Excise

    Agency: Botswana United Revenue Services (BURS)

    Section 16 of the Value Added Tax Act CAP 50:03 provides for VAT registration. In terms of this section every person who carries on a taxable activity and is not registered, becomes liable to be registered if-
    (a) at the end of any period of 12 months the person made, during that period, taxable supplies the total value of which exceeded the amount specified in paragraph 1 of the Fifth Schedule; or
    (b) at the beginning of any period of 12 months there are reasonable grounds to expect that the total value of taxable supplies to be made by the person during that period will exceed the amount specified in paragraph 1 of the Fifth Schedule.

    Paragraph 1 of the Fifth Schedule places the registration threshold at BWP 1,000,000.00 as amended by the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act No 1 of 2015.
    7 days no charge by self, BWP 1,500 by agent
    9

    Register employees for workplace injury insurance

    Agency: Insurance company

    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.
    2 days no charge

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.