Ease of Doing Business in


This page summarizes Doing Business 2014 data for Malawi. The first table lists the overall "Ease of Doing Business" rank (out of 189 economies) and the rankings by each topic. It also lists the economy's distance to frontier (DTF)** measure. The rest of the tables summarize the key indicators for each topic and benchmark against regional and high-income economy (OECD) averages.

Economy Overview

Region Sub-Saharan Africa
Income Category Low income
Population 15,906,483
GNI Per Capita (US$) 320
City covered Blantyre
Doing Business 2014 Rank Doing Business 2013 Rank*** Change in Rank
171 161 down -10

Doing Business 2014 DTF** (% points) Doing Business 2013 DTF** (% points) Change in DTF** (% points)
46.16 45.88 down 0.28
Positive=Doing Business reform making it easier to do business. Negative=Doing Business reform making it more difficult to do business.

Starting a Business


The challenges of launching a business are shown below. Included are: the number of steps entrepreneurs can expect to go through to launch, the time it takes on average, and the cost and minimum capital required as a percentage of gross national income (GNI) per capita.

DB 2014 Rank 149 DB 2013 Rank*** 142 Change in Rank down-7
DB 2014 DTF** (% points) 60.87 DB 2013 DTF** (% points) 58.41 Change in DTF** (% points) up2.46

Information on new business density and number of newly created firms with limited liability can be found at Entrepreneurship Database.

Indicator Malawi Sub-Saharan Africa OECD

The total number of procedures required to register a firm. A procedure is defined as any interaction of the company founders with external parties (for example, government agencies, lawyers, auditors or notaries).

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Procedures (number)
10 8 5

The total number of days required to register a firm. The measure captures the median duration that incorporation lawyers indicate is necessary to complete a procedure with minimum follow-up with government agencies and no extra payments.

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Time (days)
40.0 29.7 11.1

Cost is recorded as a percentage of the economy’s income per capita. It includes all official fees and fees for legal or professional services if such services are required by law.

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Cost (% of income per capita)
120.1 67.4 3.6

The amount that the entrepreneur needs to deposit in a bank or with a notary before registration and up to 3 months following incorporation and is recorded as a percentage of the economy’s income per capita.

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Paid-in Min. Capital (% of income per capita)
0.0 125.7 10.4
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Search for and Reserve a unique company name 1 day MWK 1,000 for name search and MWK 5,000 for name reservation
2 Apply for a Certificate of Incorporation at the Registrar General of the Ministry of Justice 3-7 days if done in person, 14 days by mail MWK 25,000 + MWK 500 for first MWK 1,000 of capital, and MWK 20 for every MWK 2,000 or part of capital thereafter
3 Register for income tax at the Malawi Revenue Authority 1 day if application is hand delivered no charge
4 Obtain a company seal 3-4 days MWK 19,000
* 5 Apply for a license from the City Assembly 29 days including time of publication, simultaneous with procedure 4 MWK 400 Blantyre City Assembly
* 6 Receive inspection of company premises for the issue of the license 14 days, simultaneous with procedure 5 no charge
* 7 Pay the requisite fee and Obtain the license 1 day, simultaneous with procedure 5 MWK 20,000
* 8 Apply for a registration of the workplace 28 days, simultaneous with procedure 5 MWK 1,000, depends on the number of employees
* 9 Receive inspection of the company premises by the Occupational Safety, Health, and Welfare Department 7 days, simultaneous with procedure 5 no charge
10 Register for PAYE and fringe benefit tax at the Malawi Revenue Authority (by mail) 1 day no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

** The distance to frontier (DTF) measure shows the distance of each economy to the "frontier," which represents the highest performance observed on each of the topics including Getting Electricity across all economies included in Doing Business. An economy’s distance to frontier is indicated on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest performance and 100 the frontier. Read more...

***Last year's rankings are adjusted: they are based on 10 topics and reflect data corrections.

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