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 Uganda. 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 Uganda to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Submit the Name Reservation Form to the assessment window of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and obtain the bank payment slip

    Agency: Office of the Registrar, Uganda Registration Service Bureau

    To reserve a company name, the entrepreneur submits the name reservation form to the assessment window of the Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB). The clerk returns the application, along with the requisite fee assessment payable at the bank. The name reservations forms can be downloaded for free at the following: http://ursb.go.ug/services/business-registration/forms-for-business-registration/

    1 day USH 20,000 + USH 2,200 bank fee

    Pay the name reservation fees at the bank

    Agency: Bank

    All nontax payments to government agencies must be made at a bank. Upon payment of the specified assessment fee, the entrepreneur receives a bank receipt that is used to complete the name reservation process. The payable fees include: USH 20,000 for name reservation; and USH 2,200 for the bank service fee. As of 2015, there is a bank located on the same floor at the URSB.

    1 day included in previous procedure

    Reserve the company name

    Agency: Office of the Registrar, Uganda Registration Service Bureau

    The entrepreneur presents the payment receipt at the name search window of URSB. Upon payment of the required fee, the suggested name is subjected to a search in the business registry database. If the name passes the similarity, defensive, offensive, and desirability tests, it is reserved for a period of 30 days. There are name reservations books where the entrepreneur can search and see if the name was approved or rejected and for what reasons. This procedure takes between 1-3 days.

    between 1-3 days no charge

    Obtain the slip-in for the payment of the registration fee and the stamp duty from URSB

    Agency: Bank or URSB

    Entrepreneurs can now obtain the bank payment advice forms online without having to go the Uganda Registration Services Bureau. This is because the fee assessment process can now be done online www.ura.go.ug/payment.do . Entrepreneurs can also go to the company registry, or to the bank to obtain the bank payment advice forms.

    1 day no charge

    Pay the registration fees at a designated bank

    Agency: Bank

    Registration receipts are obtained from the designated bank where the fees are paid (within 30-40 minutes). Previously, the founder had to pay the fee at the bank and wait for 3 days to pick up the receipts from the Ministry of Justice.

    1 day no charge

    File the registration documents at the Office of the Registrar and Obtain the Certificate of Incorporation

    Agency: Office of the Registrar

    Registration is an administrative process conducted by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau, which is autonomous from the Ministry of Justice and handles company registration-related issues. To register, the entrepreneur must submit the following documents as indicated to the Registration window of URSB:

    - A completed application Form.
    - Form A1: Statement of Nominal Capital.
    - Form S18: Declaration of Compliance with the Requirements of the Companies Act on Application for Registration of a Company.
    - Form A3: Before incorporation, shares are not yet paid for and thus not allotted. After incorporation, as soon as a company allots its shares, the returns should be registered within 60 days.
    - Form 20: Particulars of the directors and secretary of the company is required to be filed within 14 days of company registration.
    - Form 9A: Notice of the situation of the Registered Address of the company. This form must be filed with the Registrar of Companies within fourteen days of incorporation.
    - Company Resolutions: The Business Registry can register resolutions of the Company general meetings and board meeting.

    Fee schedule for company registration:
    - Registration fees: UGX 20,000
    - Stamp duty: 0.5 % of the share capital
    - Stamp Duty on Memorandum & Articles of Association: UGX 35,000
    - Filing Fees: UGX 25,000
    - Filing Form A3: UGX 20,000
    - Filing Form 7: UGX 20,000
    - Filing Form A9: UGX 20,000

    Once the documents are submitted and the fees are paid, the applicant will get a receipt to return to retrieve documents. The time for this procedure is between 3-5 days.

    between 3-5 days see comments

    Obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) and Register for taxes at the Uganda Revenue Authority

    Agency: Uganda Revenue Authority

    According to section 14 of the Public Finance and Management Act 2015, all businesses seeking a trading license or any form of authorization necessary for purposes of conducting any business in Uganda are required to have a TIN. The company submits a personal inquiry form for each director, and a corporate preliminary inquiry form in application for the Tax Identification Number (TIN). The TIN application can be completed online on the website of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA): www.ura.go.ug. The company also registers for VAT if the company has a threshold of over 50,000,000 shillings according to the Value Added Tax Act sect. 7.

    On uploading the application form online, the system will print the applicant to print out the online form which has to be signed and submitted it to the nearest URA office together with Company Form 7 and a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the Company. TIN approval takes a period of 2-7 days. The Corporate Tax file number is internally assigned.

    between 2-7 days no charge

    Receive inspection of the business premises by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)

    Agency: Uganda Revenue Authority

    The business premises undergo inspection by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). Once the applicant calls for an appointment, they will usually come to your premise the next day if you are available.

    1 day no charge

    Obtain trading license

    Agency: Kampala Capital City Authority

    The entrepreneur applies for a trade license at the Municipal Authority/Council Authority where the company premises are located. The trading license is a general business license required for all companies, including service companies.

    As of January 2015, you can download and print the standard forms online through the COIN system:https://ecitie.kcca.go.ug/portal/registration/coin-application-non-individual/. Once online, you complete the standard form A, which can be accessed online, and submitted to the Municipality or City Council, along with the relevant company documents, including the memorandum and articles of association, the name of the directors, the certificate of incorporation, and the lease agreement. You will then be issued a payment slip to take to the Bank.

    4 days no charge

    Receive inspection of the business premises by the licensing officer and Obtain the assessment form

    Agency: Kampala Capital City Authority

    The division of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in the jurisdiction where the business premises are located does inspection ensuring you have applied for the trading license, then issues the Trading licenses on behalf of KCCA. Upon inspection of the company premises, these divisions issue the assessment forms for the fees payable, which vary with the location of the office. These fees are regulated by the Trade Licensing (Amendment of Schedule) Instrument, 2011.

    1 day no charge

    Pay the license fee at the bank

    Agency: Bank

    The founder must pay the relevant license fee at the bank, as follows:

    Grade 1
    - Carrying out wholesale business: UGX 498,750
    - Carrying out retail business: UGX 210,000

    Grade 2
    - Carrying out wholesale business: UGX 236,250
    - Carrying out retail business: UGX 78,750

    Once the fees are paid, the Municipal Authority issues the Trading License. This authority also reserves the right to revoke and cancel the trading license if deemed necessary by municipal inspections (health and building).

    1 day included in the following procedure

    Register with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF)

    Agency: National Social Security Fund

    The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is governed by the revised laws of Uganda, the National Social Security Fund Act Cap 222. The NSSF is a compulsory saving scheme for private-sector employees between the age of 16-55 years, non-governmental organizations, and government parastatal bodies that are not covered by the government pension scheme. Under the Act, all employers with more than 5 employees are obliged to pay an NSSF contribution of 10% of the employees gross monthly salary. This procedure takes 1-7 days. Registration forms for NSSF can be downloaded from the NSSF website.

    4 days no charge

    Make a company seal

    Agency: Sealmaker

    A company seal is mandatory. Section 117 (b) of the companies Act 2012 provides that every Company shall have its name engraved in legible letters on its seal which shall take the form of embossed metal die.

    1 day USH 225,000