How to Register a Business in Ghana

Written by amanda larson
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How to Register a Business in Ghana
Doing business in Ghana can be a very profitable venture. (black business bag 2 image by dana nicolescu from Fotolia.com)

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.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Company regulations (4 copies)
  • Form 3: Statement of Shareholding structure (5 copies)
  • Form 4: Stated Capital (2 copies)
  • Tax Identification Number form (1 copy)
  • EA1 and EA2 Forms for environmental impact studies

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Instructions

  1. 1

    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:

    Company name

    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.

    Company regulations.

    How to Register a Business in Ghana
    The first step to registering a business in Ghana is going to the Office of the Registrar General in Accra. (ghana flag icon. (with clipping path) image by Andrey Zyk from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    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.

    How to Register a Business in Ghana
    Verification of information on registration forms must be made by oath. (hand open image by JCVStock from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    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.

    How to Register a Business in Ghana
    Paid-in capital must be deposited into a bank account. (bank image by Pefkos from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    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.

    How to Register a Business in Ghana
    A business license must be obtained through a local Metropolitan Authority. (business image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    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.

    How to Register a Business in Ghana
    An inspection is conducted to make sure the business income is as stated. (financial growth image by Christopher Meder from Fotolia.com)
  6. 6

    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.

    How to Register a Business in Ghana
    Businesses must register with Social Security. (office stuff image by petar Ishmeriev from Fotolia.com)
  7. 7

    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.

    How to Register a Business in Ghana
    The Environmental Protection Agency will determine a company's environmental impact and act accordingly. (pollution in a rural environment image by Scrivener from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • 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.

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