Ghana

Starting a Business in

Ghana

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Ghana. 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 2014.

Compare Ghana to 188 other economies.

  • Standardized Company

  • Legal form: Private Limited Liability Company
  • Paid in minimum capital requirement: GHS 100
  • City: Accra
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Acquire a Tax Identification Number
Agency: Registrar-General Department or Ghana Revenue Authority

As of 2012, the applicant needs to acquire a TIN before proceeding to company registration.
2 days on average no charge
2 Check for availability of company name and submit company documents to obtain the certificate of incorporation
Agency: Customers service office

The entrepreneur arrives at the customer service office to reserve the company name and submit the company documents for registration.

Applicant may pick up a prescribed Form A from the in-house bank, and submit filled forms at the bank. The Registrar examines and issues business registration certificate as well as certified true copy of the form to be submitted as attachment.

Fees are the following:
Name reservation application GHC 3.5; Processing fees GHC 35; Complete set of Incorporation forms GHC 15; Registration fees GHC 175; GHC 5 per certification of regulations (assuming 3 certificates)

The incorporation documents consist of the following forms (forms can be downloaded online at http://www.rgd.gov.gh):

• Company regulations (four copies)
• Tax identification number form (one copy)

The forms require the following information:

• Name of company
• Nature of the business that subscribers intend to engage in
• Full names of subscribers and shareholders, their addresses, percentage shareholdings, occupation, and any directorships in any other company
• Full names of the first directors of the company. A company must have a minimum of 2 directors and at least one director must be a
resident of Ghana at all times, of sound mind, and of legal age (not younger than 21)
• Full name and address of company secretary and auditors (a letter of consent to act as auditor is attached)
• The number of shares that the company is to be registered with and the stated capital
• An attestation that the minimum nominal capital complies with the requirement that a company 100% Ghanaian-owned have minimum nominal capital of at least GHC 500

The company regulations may be drawn up by the party proposing to incorporate the company, or the standard format that comes with the incorporation forms may be adopted.

For tax purposes, a form is filled at the Registrar-General's Department. After the filling of the form, officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority assist in the generation of a tax identification number for both the company and all the employees of the company to be registered. The tax identification number (certificate) is usually obtained by the Registrar General's Department on behalf of the incorporated company. Four or five copies of the company regulations and Forms 3 and 4 are required (auditors, banks, solicitors, company secretaries may each require a copy).

A letter from an auditing firm must also be presented at the moment of document submission.
1 day see procedure details
* 3 A Commissioner of Oaths authenticates forms required for the certificate to commence business
Agency: Commissioner of Oaths

Form 4 must be completed for the issuance of the certificate to commence business, which requires authentication before a Commissioner of Oaths. The Commissioner for Oaths, located in the Registrar General Department, usually swears the oath within 1 day so that the company can obtain the certificate to commence business.
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) GHC 2-5
* 4 Obtain from the Registrar-General Department the certificate to commence business
Agency: Registrar-General Department

After incorporating the company, the founder must complete Forms 3 and 4 within 28 days, indicating, among other information, the names, addresses, businesses, and occupations of the company’s secretary and directors; name and address of the company’s qualified auditor; the address of its registered office; its register of members; the amount of stated capital; and the number of issued and unissued company shares. Forms 3 and 4 must be signed by all company directors and the secretary. As the company's commencement tax, 0.5% of the stated capital is collected by the Registrar-General’s Department on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The Registrar of Companies now automatically registers new companies with the IRS. For companies engaged in general commercial or industrial activities, the minimum registration fee is GHC 1 and the maximum registration is GHC 10, as calculated on projected turnover. Obtaining a tax clearance certificate—if the company is otherwise entitled to a certificate and has a satisfactory tax position—will cost GHC 2. VAT is charged at 15% including a national health insurance levy (NHIL) of 2.5%.

2 days (simultaneous with previous procedure) 0.5% of the stated capital as commencement tax + GHC 10 (registration fee with Ghana Revenue Authority)
5 Deposit paid-in capital in an account
Agency: Bank

The following documents must be presented to deposit paid-in capital in a bank account: copies of company regulations; the certificate of incorporation and the certificate to commence business; and signatures of the authorized company representatives.
1 day no charge
6 Apply for business licenses at the Metropolitan Authority
Agency: Metropolitan Authority

The cost to apply for a business license at the Metropolitan Authority depends on the type of business and the category in which it falls. Documents to be submitted depend on the type of enterprise (for example, restaurants must have permits from the fire department and the Town and Country Planning Authority—and, among other documents, an inspection certificate from the Ghana Tourist Board).
Companies fall into five categories:
A. GHC 500,000 in turnover: GHC 400
B. GHC 200,000–500,000 in turnover: GHC 245.
C. GHC 100,000 –200,000 in turnover: GHC 160.
D. GHC 3,000–100,000 in turnover: GHC 91.5.
E. GHC 0–300 in turnover: GHC 49.5
Fees are subject to charge by the Metropolitan Assembly, according to law.
7 days please see comments
* 7 Inspection of work premises by the Metropolitan Authority
Agency: Metropolitan Authority

An officer visits the business premises and reports to the Revenue Accountant of the Metropolitan Assembly, who then submits a report to the Revenue Mobilization Subcommittee of the Metropolitan Assembly. The subcommittee meets to deliberate on the report and then recommend to the Executive Committee of the Metropolitan Authority, whether any adjustment is required.
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge
8 Apply for social security
Agency: Social Security Office

To apply for social security, the company must attach the list of employees, their respective salaries and social security numbers, and the company’s certificate of incorporation and certificate to commence business.
1 day no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

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