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Registering Property in

Ethiopia

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Ethiopia. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

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 Ethiopia to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Verify the owner of the property and obtain the Carta and plan at the sub-city office

    Agency: Sub-City Office

    Since 2005 the Land Registry has been decentralized into 10 sub-cities. Due diligence is conducted at the sub-city where the warehouse is located. This search will provide information on the owner of the building, date of construction of the building, the basic area of the property, whether the property is affected by encumbrances. At the same time, the carta and plan of the warehouse will be provided; the buyer needs to submit the sale agreement to obtain them. At the time of due diligence, the lawyer of the buying company will also check that the other company is properly registered.

    4 days 200 ETB
    2

    Evaluation of the sale price by the sub-city

    Agency: Sub-City Office

    The parties will bring the sale and purchase agreement to the sub-city. The sub-city official will check that the price included in the sale agreement corresponds to the Master list of price. If the price in the sale agreement is greater than the Master list price, the greater price will be accepted. If not, then the Master price will be applicable.

    Each sub-city has a fee schedule depending on the location of the building. In the event that the price in the sale agreement is not the same as the one indicated by the sub-city, Stamp duty will be paid based on the amount indicated by the sub-city and not on the amount written in the sale agreement.

    1 day no cost
    3

    The seller must obtain tax clearance from Tax Authorities

    Agency: Tax Authority

    The seller must obtain tax clearance on the property (for property transfer tax) from Tax Authorities for transfer tax. This institution has also been decentralized.

    14 days no cost
    4

    Payment of Stamp duty at the Land Administration Office

    Agency: Land Administration Office

    Stamp duty is set by Proclamation 110/1998. Upon payment, the buyer will be given a receipt that he must bring back to the office of Documents Authentication and Registration.

    In the case where the property is not registered in the property master list of the municipal land administration, a land survey is required.

    1 day 2% of the property value for the Stamp duty and 4% of the property value for the ownership title transfer tax
    5

    Payment of capital gains tax at Inland Revenue Service

    Agency: Inland Revenue Service

    The seller pays the capital gain tax at the Customs and Inland Revenue Authority. The tax amount is calculated based on a set scale.

    1 day not counted
    6

    Execution of the sale contract at the office of Documents Authentication and Registration

    Agency: Office of Documents Authentication and Registration

    The parties go to the office of Documents Authentication and Registration where they sign the sale and purchase agreement in front of the officials.

    They must provide the following documents

    • The seller gives the Title deed of the building

    • A copy of the ID of both managers

    • The power of attorney of each manager to ensure that they do have the power to sell/buy this warehouse at the specific amount.

    • A copy of the Business License for each PLC.

    1 day 10 ETB for the service charge + 51 ETB for the power of attorney
    7

    Apply for registration of property and obtain title deed in the buyer’s name

    Agency: Land Administration Office

    The buyer company brings the authenticated sale contract to the Land Administration Office for the final transfer.

    The buyer submits the authenticated agreement, the former title deed & ID card/Passport copy with the application for the title deed registration to the office of documents authentication and registration to avoid forgery.

    The buyer also needs to place an ad in the newspaper declaring the purchase and asking anyone who objects to come forward. The notice period for the ad is 15 days. Once this is lapsed, the buyer applies for transfer of deed.

    30 days ETB 100

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 6.0
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 0.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Addis Ababa City Administration
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? No 0.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? No 0.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? No 0.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 0.0
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015:
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? No 0.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 6.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar; Notary; Lawyer.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar; Notary; Lawyer.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? No 0.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? Sub-City First Instance Court of Addis Ababa, City Government
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Less than a year 3.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0