How to register a company in Ghana: all the important details

How to register a company in Ghana: all the important details

One of the best ways to solve the problem of unemployment is to start a business. However, the business must be registered to meet the legal requirements. This article seeks to enlighten you on how to register a company in Ghana.

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How to register a company in Ghana
Low angle photo of curtain window building. Photo: pexels.com, @sylviemuller
Source: UGC

Registering a company in Ghana is not complex, especially if you adhere to all the registration requirements. All you need to do is pay a visit to all the relevant offices, and within no time, you can start transacting with your company. Notably, there are different types of companies, and they require different procedures during business registration in Ghana.

How to register a company in Ghana

  • Provide the business or company name for search to affirm the business's existence.
  • Buy or download the entry registration form.
  • Fill out the form with the required information.
  • Submit the completed form with all the supporting documents for validation purposes.
  • Make the required payments which may varry depending on the business you are registering.
  • Your registration may be approved, queried or rejected.
  • Certificates and other supporting documents are issued when approval is given.

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How to register a company in Ghana online

Can I register my business online in Ghana? Yes, you can. Nowadays, people do not have to move from one office to another seeking business registration. The Registrar General Department came up with an online platform which individuals can use to register their startups.

The online portal is also linked to the Ghana Revenue Authority e-tax portal. This portal has made the processing of information very fast. Below are steps you can follow for online company registration in ghana.

  • Visit www.rgdeservices.com, the company's official website.
  • Click "Name Search" to check the availability of your company name.
  • Download forms of the entity type you want to register.
  • Print the form, complete it, sign it, and scan any supporting documentation.
  • Create a portal user account.
  • Use the user name and password provided after the account was created to log in.
  • On the welcome page, click the link for entity registration.
  • On the left pane, click the entity registration option once more.
  • If a name has not yet been reserved, click the "Create New" button. If it has, click the "Create From Name Reservation" button.
  • Chose entity type from the drop-down list.
  • Click the "Proceed" button after entering the company name in the "Entity Name" field.
  • Enter information, upload scanned copies of your signed documents, and then follow the steps.
  • Select the "make payment online" to make your payment.
  • An SMS will be sent to notify you about your registration status.
  • After approval is granted, click on the eCertificate link to save or print a certificate and any supporting papers.

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How to register a company in Ghana as a foreigner

how much does it cost to register a company in Ghana?
A person holding white and blue business paper. Photo: pexels.com @nappy
Source: UGC

All domestic businesses with foreign ownership must register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) to receive an Investment Cert and other permissions. Follow the procedure below to register.

  • Obtain the following by incorporating a business at the Registrar General's Department: Certificate of incorporation and TIN number, company regulation and certificate to commence business.
  • Pay a minimum equity contribution.
  • Then registers with the GIPC to finish the process. The process is completed within five working days.
  • Register with the Ghana Revenue Authority for purposes of fulfilling statutory tax obligations.
  • Obtain an environmental permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

NB: All applicants must be submitted online through investor.services@gipc.gov.gh.

Business registration in Ghana

Business registration varies depending on the structure of the business. Here we look at the different requirements for the different types of legally recognised companies in the country;

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1. How to register a limited liability company in ghana

The process of a limited liability company registration in Ghana is fast, taking only three days to complete. Initially, you will have to buy the limited liability forms. The in-house bank sells them at GH 10 cedis.

Next, you must deliver a declaration form and a letter of consent to the registry. Finally, you have to pay GH 230 Cedi and 0.5% of the capital for stamp duty.

Following this, you will receive a certificate permitting you to start your company. However, note that the certificate must be renewed every year at GH 50 cedis.

2. How to register a sole proprietorship business in ghana

Even though sole proprietorships do not have to be registered under the Registrar General's Department, the sole proprietors need to register their business names.

The applicant picks Form A at GH 3.50 cedi from the in-house bank. When submitting the files, he must pay GH 60.00 cedi for processing the documents. After complete examination by the Ghana registrar general, they issue the certificate and a certified true copy.

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A sole proprietorship certificate is renewed yearly at GH 25.00 cedi.

3. How to register companies limited by guarantee

Registering a business in Ghana, a company limited by guarantee, takes five days to obtain a certificate and be permitted to transact with it. First, you need to buy Form 3 RGD forms for GH 9.50 cedi at the in-house bank.

Upon filling the forms, the Registrar General Forms should be submitted to the Registry with an additional payment of GH 270.00 cedi. In addition, you must attach the declaration and consent form. Renewal of this certificate must be done annually at GH 50 cedis.

4. How to register an external company

As an applicant, you are expected to purchase Form 20 and Form 21. They can be found at the Ghana Publishing Company Limited in Accra.

While submitting the forms to the Registry, you must attach a certified copy of the memorandum and the Association articles. The certificate of incorporation and the power of the attorney must also be submitted. You might further choose to submit the external company's constitution, which the Ghana Mission must endorse.

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External company applicants must pay US$1200. The annual fee for renewing the certificate is US$600. The registrar carries thorough investigation to determine the features of the business and the incorporation terms.

5. How to register incorporation of a partnership

The first step is to purchase Form A from the in-house bank Ghana, which sells at 3.50 cedi. Then, the form should be submitted to the Registry with the stamped partnership agreement.

Usually, a certificate of incorporation of a partnership type of company is given after three business days. After that, an applicant pays GH 160.00 cedi.

TIN registration

how to register a company in Ghana online
An architecture building. Photo: pexels.com, @pixabay
Source: UGC

This Tax Identification Number in Ghana is a must for company directors, secretaries and shareholders who must pay taxes. When submitting TIN forms, the applicant must attach their photo ID.

More so, you should not pay any charges for TIN numbers as they are given out for free after signing the Ghana Revenue Authority forms. Corporate organisations can also create TIN numbers- when the corporate entity holds the shares of the company that is being registered.

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Other information required when acquiring a Taxpayer Identification Number includes the name, occupation, maiden name of the mother, the residential and postal address and contact details. Upon acquiring the TIN number, applicants should pick forms based on the structures of their businesses as outlined above.

Types of company registration in ghana

Companies in Ghana differ in several ways. Some are national, while others are multinational entities. Therefore, when setting up a business in Ghana, it is important to check your business needs and match them with the legal entities legally recognised in the country.

1. Company limited by guarantee

In this type of business, the owner cannot establish their organisation to make profits as the law requires. Therefore, under this structure, only a non-profit business can be established. The best thing about a company limited by guarantee is that they do not pay corporate tax. Usually, non-profit firms are actively involved in community development projects. However, the business owner must file income taxes, especially if they have salaried employees.

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2. Company limited by shares

This structure is characterised by the presence of two people who act as the directors of the company. Furthermore, at least one individual is recognised as a shareholder in the same company. Companies limited by shares aim to profit from their dealings with their members' liability is limited by the share value.

A company limited by shares must be registered at the Registrar General's Department. It is worth noting that a company limited by guarantee and limited by shares are both known as "Limited Liability Companies". This is because the individual assets of the members are protected from liability.

3. Company unlimited by shares

How to register a limited liability company in Ghana
A street business. Photo: pexels.com, @adiperets
Source: UGC

Businesses under this structure are usually registered under the Registrar General's Department. They are made up of two directors and other members who own shares in the company. However, the value of their shares is not limited by liability. Law firms are the prime candidates suited to this category of companies.

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4. External company

Most foreign companies in Ghana fall under the external company category. An external company is one which is incorporated in another country but wants to settle in Ghana.

As the Ghanaian tax law recommends, these types of businesses must pay corporate and income tax. However, they follow the regulations of the country of their origin.

5. Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship type of company is owned by individuals. The sole proprietors are entitled to the profits made in the business as well as being liable for their company's liabilities. Unlike other structures, businesses that fall under this category do not have to be registered by the Registrar General's Department. However, when the company seeks a name, it must visit the RGD's office to obtain one.

6. Incorporated partnership

Incorporated partnerships are businesses that a group of people develops. The number of business owners can range from two to twenty people, as required by the Company and Partnership Law in Ghana. An incorporated partnership must be registered with the Registrar General's Department office.

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Since the partners act as one entity, there is no protection for their assets. Before starting a business in Ghana, it is important to determine where it will fit in the aforementioned categories. This enables you to narrow down on the relevant offices you must visit to get you started.

What are the requirements to register a company in Ghana?

Below are the requirements t register your company in Ghana.

  • Full names
  • Occupation
  • Photo ID details
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Residential and postal address
  • Contact number

How to check if a company is registered in Ghana

Below are the steps you can follow to check if your company is registered.

How to check if a company is registered in Ghana
Online portal. Photo: rgd.gov.gh (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • To check if your company is registered, visit the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) website.
  • On the RGD portal home page click on the “Service” tab.
  • A service page will be displayed.
  • Click on “Name search” under the business section and search for your business.

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How much does it cost to register a company in ghana?

Certain fees must be paid, and the duration of processing the certification varies from one business structure to another.

What is the cost of registering a business in Ghana?

Below is a breakdown of the fees for the registration of a company in Ghana.

Type of businessRegistration fee
Sole proprietor registrationGHS 60.00
Subsidiary business name registration GHS 60.00
Incorporation of partnershipGHS 160.00
Company limited by shares (private and public) GHS 230.00
Unlimited liability company (private and public)GHS 230.00
Company limited by guarantee (private or public)GHS 270.00
External company$1200

Registered companies in Ghana can conduct their businesses without the fear of being sued for non-compliance. These legal cases can be disadvantageous as they cause a firm to incur losses. Therefore, people yearning to start new companies must follow the recommended procedures of how to register a company in Ghana to avoid violating company law in Ghana.

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