Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Samoa. 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 Samoa to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Register the company with the Commercial Registry; obtain a certificate of incorporation

    Agency: Commercial Registry

    Under the new Companies Act, which came into force July 2008, the applicant submits Form 1 (application for incorporation) and Form 2 (consent of director and directors). For an application to register a company under Section 6 of the Act, the fee is WST 250. Starting from February 18, 2013, entrepreneurs can file the forms and make the payment online. The majority of companies still make payments and deposit the documents in person.

    1 day WST 250 flat registration fee

    Apply for a Business License and Register for VAGST and PAYE with the Ministry of Revenue, Inland Revenue Services

    Agency: Ministry of Revenue, Inland Revenue Services

    In order to obtain a Business License, the following documents must be submitted:

    1. Application Letter stating:
    - Type of business activity
    - Amount of Funding (Capital)
    - Source of Funding
    - Location of the business
    - Address to the Chief Executive Officer (Ministry for Revenue)
    - Request for Business License
    2. Passport copies of all shareholders
    3. Roster with name(s) of shareholder(s) with respective number of shares, name(s) of director(s), and name(s) of secretary(s) for the company.
    4. Certificate of Incorporation (Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labor)
    5. Completed and signed IR24 Form (filled in by Business License Officer)
    6. Site map (location) of the business
    7. Fee (SAT500.00 per activity)

    Businesses must also register for VAGST (value-added-goods-and-services tax), in the event that annual gross sales are greater than or equal to WST 130,000. The Application for VAGST Registration Form (Section 9 & 10 VAGST Act 2015) is submitted to the Ministry for Revenue.

    Businesses must register for Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax deductions from employees’ salary, which are paid monthly. The Application for PAYE Registration Form is submitted to the Ministry for Revenue.

    4 days WST 500 per license (1 per activity)

    Register with the National Provident Fund (superannuation)

    Agency: National Provident fund

    The company must contribute 10% of employees' gross salaries to the National Provident Fund. The company can recover 5% of the contribution from the employee's wage provided he deducts it in a timely manner. The company cannot recover contributions that are more than six months old.

    2 days on average no charge

    Register with the Accident Compensation Board

    Agency: Accident Compensation Board

    The company and employees each must contribute 1% of employees’ gross salaries to the fund.

    2 days on average no charge