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Register your business

With the Office of the Registrar of Companies

Incorporate a company at the Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC) and obtain the following:

  • Copy of Certificate of Incorporation 
  • Copy of Company’s regulation 
  • Beneficial Ownership Document from the Registrar of Companies 
  • Form 3 from the Registrar of Companies  
  • Change Profile document from the Registrar of Companies (if any changes have been made)  
  • Articles/Memorandum of Association (in the case of Liaison companies or subsidiaries) 
  • Power of Attorney (in the case of Liaison companies) 
  • Deed of transfer or shareholder’s agreement filed at the Office of the Registrar of Companies (in situations where some shares have been transferred) 

Meeting

   The Minimum Equity Contribution

Foreign investors are required to comply with the GIPC Act 2013 (Act 865) regarding minimum equity requirements either in cash or in capital goods relevant to the investment; or a combination of both. By way of equity participation, the breakdown is as follows:

  • US$200,000 for Joint Venture with the Ghanaian partner having not less than 10% shares
  • US$500,000 for wholly foreign-owned companies
  • US$1,000,000 for General trading companies with a minimum of 20 skilled Ghanaians employed by such an enterprise

* Companies exempt from the minimum equity requirement include Manufacturing, Export Trade, Portfolio Investments, companies owned by Ghanaians (living in Ghana or in the Diaspora) and spouses of Ghanaians in marriage for 5years and also resident in Ghana.

Equity in Cash
  1. Bank Account – open 2 corporate accounts (foreign and local) with a local bank of your choice.
  2. By Bank Transfer – Effect a bank-to-bank transfer of minimum foreign equity requirement, which will be converted into local currency (Ghana Cedis). This transaction should be confirmed to the Bank of Ghana by the investor’s local authorized dealer bank. Bank of Ghana in turn confirms this transaction to GIPC for the company’s registration purposes
  3. By physical cash- physical cash carried into Ghana by individuals for investments should be declared on Bank of Ghana FORM T5 on arrival and subsequently deposited in a bank account within the shortest possible time. This transaction should be confirmed by your dealer bank and the Bank of Ghana as in (ii). 
Equity in Kind (Capital Goods)

– in the case of equity in kind, in the form of imported machinery, equipment and goods, all documents covering such imports should be in the name of the registered company and evidenced by the following, which should be submitted to GIPC for registration purposes:

a. Bill of lading/ Airway Bill (originals)
b. Destination (Ghana) Inspection Certificate
c. Custom Bill of Entry (original document)
d. Import Declaration Form (IDF)
e. Certified/Final Invoices
f. Evidence of Capitalization – form 6 from the Registrar Generals’ Department

* All documents submitted must be original.

Completing GIPC's

Registration Form

Download GIPC’s Registration Form (Click here). Complete it and attach the following;

  • Status Report (Guidelines for writing the report click here)
  • Digital Address (Ghana Post GPS)
  • Any latest Audited Accounts or Financial Statements
  • Recent PAYE (Lists and Receipts) and SSNIT Payments (Lists and Receipts)
  • Valid Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Copy of Permits for all expatriates
  • Re-registration certificate from Office of the Registrar of Companies  (Where applicable)
  • Change profile document from Office of the Registrar of Companies  (Where applicable)
  • A valid National ID card of the officer submitting the application
  • Copy of Certificate of Incorporation 
  • Copy of Company’s regulation 
  • Beneficial Ownership Document from the Registrar of Companies 
  • Form 3 from the Registrar of Companies  
  • Change Profile document from the Registrar of Companies (if any changes have been made)  
  • Articles/Memorandum of Association (in the case of Liaison companies or subsidiaries) 
  • Power of Attorney (in the case of Liaison companies) 
  • Deed of transfer or shareholder’s agreement filed at the Office of the Registrar of Companies (in situations where some shares have been transferred) 
  • Companies already in operation need to provide- TAX Clearance Certificate, Pay As You Earn (PAYE List and Receipts), SSNIT (List and Receipts) and
  • Audited Accounts/Financial Statements
  • A valid National ID of the officer submitting the application

* The completed GIPC registration forms and all supporting documents must be scanned and submitted to the email address below;

investor.services@gipc.gov.gh

 

Issuing Of

           Registration Certificate

After the application is in good order and payments have been made (view fee structure), then Registration Certification is issued by the Centre as the final step in the Registration Process. This procedure takes five (5) statutory working days to complete.

CERTIFICATE RENEWAL

Completing GIPC's

Certificate Renewal Form

Download GIPC’s Certificate Renewal Form (Click here). Complete it and attach the following;

  • Status Report (Guidelines for writing the report click here)
  • Digital Address (Ghana Post GPS)
  • Any latest Audited Accounts or Financial Statements
  • Recent PAYE (Lists and Receipts) and SSNIT Payments (Lists and Receipts)
  • Valid Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Copy of Permits for all expatriates
  • Re-registration certificate from Office of the Registrar of Companies  (Where applicable)
  • Change profile document from Office of the Registrar of Companies  (Where applicable)
  • A valid National ID card of the officer submitting the application

* The completed GIPC registration forms and all supporting documents must be scanned and submitted to the email address below;

investor.services@gipc.gov.gh

 

Issuing Of

                Renewal Certificate

After the application is in good order and payments have been made (view fee structure), then Renewal Certification is issued by the Centre as the final step in the Renewal Process. This procedure takes five (5) statutory working days to complete.

QUOTA REQUEST

Quota Request

Under Section 35 of the GIPC Act 865 

 immigrant quotas are based on paid-up capital as follows: 

US$50,000 ≥ and < US$250,000  (one automatic quota) 

US$250,000 ≥ and <US$500,000 (two automatic quotas)

US$500,000 ≥ and <US$700,000 (three automatic quotas)

US$700,000+                                    (four automatic quotas)

Automatic Quota

 (1.1)The following documents are required:
  • Cover Letter addressed to the CEO (letter to indicate name of expatriate and position in the company).
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae of expatriate.
  • Copy of bio data page of passport.
  • Copy of employment contract between expatriate and company (if applicable).
  • ID of officer submitting the application

Replacement of Quota

Documents Required 

All the above as in (1.1) Plus one (1) of the Following:

  •  Confirmation of departure letter from Ghana Immigration Service.
 

Short Term Work Permit

Ranging from less than 1 year to a maximum of 5 years
  • Cover Letter addressed to the CEO (letter to indicate name of expatriate and position in the company).
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae of expatriate.
  • Copy of bio data page of passport.
  • Copy of employment contract between expatriate and company.
  • Reason/justification for the need for the short-term work permit for the expatriate(s)
  • Proof of attempt to source the needed skill locally/Proof of shortage of the particular skill in Ghana
  • ID of officer submitting the application

* NB: SHORT TERM PERMITS ARE IRREPLACEABLE (EXCLUDING 4 OR 5YEARS AS ARRANGED BETWEEN GIPC AND GIS)

*FOR PAYMENTS VIEW FEE STRUCTURE

COST OF DOING BUSINESS

Labour & Employment

The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) regulates employment and labour issues in Ghana. This Act consolidates all laws relating to labour, employers, trade unions and industrial relations.

The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations provides policy direction and the National Labour Commission (NLC) administers the laws related to labour and employment.

The NLC employs negotiation, mediation and voluntary or compulsory arbitration in the exercise of its mandate and may obtain an order from the High Court to enforce its decisions.

There are three categories of workers recognised under Act 651. These are permanent, casual and temporary workers.

When a person is employed for a period exceeding six months, either at a stretch or a cumulative number of days within a given calendar year, he/she is deemed to be permanently employed, and an employer is therefore required to provide a contract for such an employee.

A person engaged on a seasonal or intermittent basis for a period of less than six months is categorised as a seasonal worker. A temporary worker is a person who is employed continuously for a minimum of one month but is neither a permanent nor seasonal worker.

Wages for temporary or casual workers is usually calculated on a daily basis and does not require a formal contract.

 

Cost of Labour

Ghana has one of the most competitive costs of labour in West Africa. Effective 1st January 2020, the country’s daily minimum wage was increased by 11% on the previous year’s figure to GHS11.82 cedis (U.S. $2.16).

According to salaryexplorer.com a person working in Ghana typically earns around GHS 5,070 per month with salaries ranging from GHS 1,280 to GHS 22,600. These figures will however vary depending on the sector of employment and level of experience required.

Expatriate Employment

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act (Act 865) provides for the employment of key expatriate personnel by companies registered with the Centre depending on the level of investment.

Level of InvestmentNumber of Automatic Immigrant Quota
US$50,000 ≥ and < US$250,000                  One
US$250,000 ≥ and <US$500,000                 Two
US$500,000 ≥ and <US$700,000                 Three
US$700,000+                 Four

* One Automatic Immigrant Quota = work and residence permit for one expatriate employee and residence permits for his/her spouse and dependent children.

Companies that require more expatriates beyond the automatic quota may apply to the Centre on a case by case basis with justification and the Centre may grant time bound work permits.

 

DOING BUSINESS AND APPLICABLE LAWS IN GHANA

Laws and Regulations

 

Laws applicable to the operation of business in Ghana conform to international standards and best practice. These laws are based on a framework of legislation relating to business activity, copyrights, patents, trademarks, disputes and labour relations.

Ghana subscribes to several International Conventions on Industrial and Intellectual property such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). There are also numerous Public sector Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as private legal, business consulting and accounting firms, which provide expert guidance on doing business in Ghana.

Sanctity of contracts ensures respect for commercial rights and obligations. Damages are compensatory, not punitive, and an Independent Court system ensures equitable protection of rights.

Mediation, arbitration and other alternative forms of dispute resolution are readily available and routinely used.

 
Key Investment Related Legislation in Ghana

 

Selected Sectors And Key Legislations That Apply

Banking

Banks and Specialized Deposit Taking Institutions Act, 2016, (Act 930) 

Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723)

Regulator: Bank of Ghana

Petroleum
  • Petroleum Commission Act, 2011 (Act 821)
  • Petroleum (Exploration And Production) Law 2016, (Act 919)
  • The Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2013, LI 2204

Regulator (Upstream): Petroleum Commission

  • National Petroleum Authority Act, 2005 (Act 691) as Amended by National Petroleum Authority (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 913)

Regulator (Downstream): National Petroleum Authority

Mining
  • The Minerals Commission Act, 1993 (Act 450)

  • Minerals And Mining Act 2006 (Act 703)

  • Minerals and Mining (Licensing) Regulations 2012 (LI 2176)

Regulator: Minerals Commission

Energy
  • Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 549) as amended by the Energy Commission (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 933)

  • Renewable Energy Act, 2011(ACT 832)

Regulator: Energy Commission

Taxation
  • Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896)

  • Ghana Revenue Authority Act 2009, (Act 791)

Tax Authority: Ghana Revenue Authority

Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
  • Copyright Act, 2005 (Act 690)

  • Trade Marks Act, 2004 (Act 664)

Regulator: Office of the Registrar of Companies

International Investment Agreements

The Government of Ghana has entered into Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs), as well as Double Taxation Agreements with a number of countries to further enhance the protection and security of the investment regime. The details are indicated in the following tables.

Ratified Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) Between The Republic Of Ghana And Other Countries

Other Country to the Agreement

Date of Signature

Date of Entry into Force

1.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland

22-March-1989

25-October-1991

2.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands

31-March-1989

1-July-1991

3.

The People’s Republic of China

12-October -1989

12-November- 1991

4.

 The Kingdom of Denmark

13-January- 1992

6-January- 1995

5.

 The Swiss Confederation

8-October-1991

16-January-1993

6.

 The Federal Republic of Germany

24-February-19

23-November-1998

7.

The Federation of Malaysia

8-November-1996

18-April-1997

8.

The Republic of Serbia

25-April-2000

07-July-2000

9.

The Republic of Burkina Faso

18-May-2001

18-August-2003

 

Other Country to the AgreementDate of Entry into Force
1.Belgium17th October, 2008
2.Denmark10th November, 2015
3.France1st April, 1997
4.Germany14th December, 2007
5.Italy5th July, 2006
6.Netherlands12th November, 2008
7.South Africa23rd April, 2008
8.Switzerland30th December, 2009
9.United Kingdom10th August, 1994
10.Mauritius27th January, 2020
11.Singapore

1st January, 2020

 

Ratified Agreements for the Avoidance of Double Taxation (DTAs)Between The Republic of Ghana and Other Countries

Business Regulatory Reform

The vision and policy direction of Government is one of hope, jobs, wealth creation, and a robust economy that supports a thriving private sector. This vision is crystalized in a comprehensive set of initiatives, critical interventions and business regulatory reform towards making Ghana the most business-friendly country in Africa.

The Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry is currently implementing a national Business Regulatory Reform Programme as one of the key interventions to create an investment-friendly, transparent and predictable policy environment in Ghana.

The Business Regulatory Reforms Portal, which results from the reform programme, responds to the need for government to anchor doing business reforms on a permanent and sustainable basis in line with its vision.

The portal, which includes an Electronic Registry of Acts, Legislative Instruments, Regulatory Notices, Administrative Directives, Procedures, Forms and Fees has been developed to provide free and transparent access to business regulations.

Click here to access the Business Regulatory Reforms Portal for the latest updates on legislation applicable to your business in Ghana.