Registering a business in Ghana is a challenging prospect, especially for Westerners who are not accustomed to delays, communication difficulties, a potential for deception, lack of infrastructure and casual attitudes regarding punctuality and urgency.
According to the World Bank Group, Ghana is becoming an increasingly efficient environment for registering a business. Processes are becoming more streamlined and the time needed to register has been cut to approximately 42 days. Despite challenges, those willing to weather the difficulty of registering have found doing business in Ghana to be very profitable. Its growing economy and increasing urbanisation make it ripe for development and many savvy entrepreneurs are reaping the rewards.
Visit the Office of the Registrar General to check availability of company name and obtain necessary forms. This office is located in the government complex in Accra.
Once an application is begun, forms must be filed within 28 days. The following information is needed:
Type of business
Names and addresses of all subscribers and shareholders, shareholding details and information on affiliations with other companies.
Names of company directors. A company must have at least two directors, one of whom must be a full-time Ghanaian resident, of sound mind, and at least 21 years of age.
Name and contact information for company secretary and authorised auditors.
Stated company capital.
Form information must be ratified by oath through a Commissioner of Oaths.
The business owner or representative must swear to the validity of the information provided. Commissioners of Oaths can be found within the Office of the Registrar General. This process takes approximately one day and costs GHC 2.
Deposit paid-in capital into a bank account.
File company regulations, Certificate of Incorporation and Certificate to Commence Business, the latter provided by the Registrar General. Signatures of the authorised company representatives must be presented to the bank.
Apply for a business license at the local Metropolitan Authority.
Locate a Metropolitan Authority in the city nearest to the business. The cost of a license varies depending on the type of business being registered. Also a factor: projected revenues affect the cost. This process may take approximately seven days.
The Metropolitan Authority inspects the business.
A representative of the Metropolitan Authority will inspect the business site to ensure it is in financial compliance with the business license application.
Apply for Social Security.
There is no charge for this, but all employees must be registered, as well as the company Certificate to Commence Business and Certificate of Incorporation.
Complete an environmental impact study by applying and registering with the Environmental Protection Agency.
The agency will determine what, if any, environmental impact will be made by a business. It will recommend adjustments or impose fees based on its findings.
Patience is a virtue and kindness goes a long way. Be prepared for delays and maintain a calm and open attitude when dealing with agency officials and representatives.
Those unfamiliar with local language, customs and practices should be wary of individuals offering assistance in exchange for money.