Ease of Doing Business in


This page summarizes Doing Business 2015 data for Malawi. The first section presents the Ease of Doing Business rank (out of 189 economies) and the distance to frontier (DTF)** measure, overall and by topic. The second section summarizes the key indicators for each topic benchmarked against regional averages.

Economy Overview

Region Sub-Saharan Africa
Income Category Low income
Population 16,362,567
GNI Per Capita (US$) 270
City covered Blantyre
Doing Business 2015 Rank Doing Business 2014 Rank*** Change in Rank
164 163 down -1

Doing Business 2015 DTF** (% points) Doing Business 2014 DTF** (% points) Change in DTF** (% points)
49.20 47.15 down 2.05
Positive=Doing Business reform making it easier to do business. Negative=Change 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 2015 Rank 157 DB 2014 Rank*** 161 Change in Rank up4
DB 2015 DTF** (% points) 68.53 DB 2014 DTF** (% points) 61.83 Change in DTF** (% points) up6.70

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)
8.0 7.8 4.8

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)
38.0 27.9 9.2

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)
94.1 56.2 3.4

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 95.6 8.8
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Apply for a Certificate of Incorporation at the Registrar General of the Ministry of Justice 5 days on average if done in person, 14 days by mail MWK 1,000 for name search + 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
2 Register for income tax at the Malawi Revenue Authority 1 day if application is hand delivered no charge
3 Obtain a company seal 3 days on average MWK 19,000
* 4 Apply for a license from the City Assembly 7 days, simultaneous with previous procedure MWK 400 Blantyre City Assembly
* 5 Pay the requisite fee and Obtain the license 1 day, simultaneous with procedure 5 MWK 20,000- MWK 120,000
* 6 Apply for a registration of the workplace 28 days, simultaneous with procedure 5 MWK 1,000, depends on the number of employees
* 7 Receive inspection of the company premises by the Occupational Safety, Health, and Welfare Department 7 days, simultaneous with procedure 5 no charge
8 Register for PAYE and fringe benefit tax at the Malawi Revenue Authority (by mail) 4 days no charge
  * Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

**The distance to frontier score shows how far on average an economy is at a point in time from the best performance achieved by any economy on each Doing Business indicator since 2005 or the third year in which data for the indicator were collected. The measure is normalized to range between 0 and 100, with 100 representing the frontier. Read more...

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

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