Registering a company is the first step to setting up a successful business in Ghana. GhnewsbanQ.com has outlined a step-by-step guide on how to register a business, organizations you need to engage with and how much to pay whether you are a sole trader or a Limited Liability Company.
How to Register a Business in Ghana
There are different types of vehicles available to an entrepreneur to launch a business venture. The type of business organization used may depend on considerations such as limited liability, tax, capital requirements, and control.
There are five main options available to the entrepreneur in Ghana:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company
A company which is separate and distinct from its members. The liability of its shareholders is limited to the unpaid amount on their shares.
- Unlimited liability company
The liability of shareholders is not limited to the unpaid amount on their shares. Thus, where the company owes money for instance, the shareholders’ may be held personally liable for the debts.
- Company limited by shares
The company is usually incorporated with the object of carrying on business for the purpose of making money. The nature of the interest of members or shareholders are the shares they subscribe to.
- Company limited by guarantee
A company that is incorporated for a purpose other than carrying on a business and making profits. It is usually a charity organization.
- External company
Apart from sole proprietorships, the law requires every other form of business organization to be registered in order for the entity to be clothed with legal personality
How to register as sole proprietorships
A sole proprietorship is a business owned (and often run) by a single individual. The assets of the entrepreneur are not separate and distinct from the assets of the business. Consequently, an entrepreneur who trades as a sole proprietor and the business are the same because there is no distinction in law between the business being carried out and the individual behind the business. This means that the entrepreneur’s liability is not limited thus whenever the business owes money for instance, the personal assets of the entrepreneur can be sold to satisfy the debt.All sole proprietorships must comply with the following requirements:
How to Obtain a tax identification number (TIN) in Ghana
In order for a business venture to be carried on in Ghana, the business must be registered with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for the purposes of the payment of tax. Every person who is liable to pay tax or is required to withhold tax at source must have a tax identification number (TIN). This requirement for a TIN applies to both individuals and business organizations. However, since the entrepreneur is the same as the business in a sole proprietorship, where the entrepreneur has a TIN, there will be no need to register for a TIN for the business because the entrepreneur’s TIN can be used by the business. However, where the entrepreneur does not have a TIN, the entrepreneur must register for a TIN at the GRA.
Procedure for TIN Registration
- Download a copy of the Individuals/Sole Proprietors Registration Form
from the GRA website: http://www.gra.gov.gh/docs/forms/taxpayer_registration_form_individ
- Complete the form and submit it to any of the following agencies
o Registrar General’s Department
o Domestic Tax Revenue (Income Tax & VAT) Office
o Custom Division Office
- Collect your Taxpayer Registration Certificate upon completion of the registration formalities.
Business Registration Requirements
In addition to providing the details on the registration form, you need one of the following:
- Certificate or letter of business registration;
- Copy of picture page of valid driver’s license;
- Copy of picture page of valid passport;
- Copy of valid voters’ ID; or
- Copy of valid National ID.
There is no registration fee for the generation of a TIN. It normally takes between 2 to 7 days to receive the Taxpayer Registration Certificate.
Registering the business name
A sole proprietor who carries out business in his true personal name, surname or initials, does not have to register the business name.
However, where the entrepreneur seeks to use a name that is different from his own name, surname or initials, he must register the name of the business with the Registrar General’s Department. The registration must be done within two weeks of commencing business.
Procedure for Registration of Business Name
- Pay for and pick up a prescribed Form A from the Registrar General’s Department (RGD).
- Submit the completed form with the processing fee to the in-house bank at the RGD.
- Collect your business registration certificate and a certified true copy of the submitted form once the registration is complete.
- The business registration certificate must be renewed annually.
- Business name
- Nature of business
- Principal place of the business
- Any other places at which the business is carried out
- Name, nationality, residential address and business occupation of the sole proprietor
- The current fee for Form A is three Ghana cedis, fifty pesewas (GHS3.50).
- The current processing fee is thirty-five Ghana cedis (GHS35.00).
- The current renewal fee is fifteen Ghana cedis (GHS15.00)
Registration under the Registration of Business Names Act does not confer any distinct legal personality on any business name registered under it.5 It only gives the entrepreneur the right to use the name, not any intellectual property rights over that name.
A sole proprietorship comes to an end on the death of the sole proprietor or a decision by the sole proprietor to discontinue the business. If the sole proprietor’s business name was registered, then notice must be given to the Registrar General for the name to be removed from the register.
How much does it cost to register a business in Ghana?
Job & Scholarship Alert
Get daily Job and Scholarship updates on Whatsapp, Join Our WhatsApp Group via the link above.
NOTE: PLEASE IF YOU’RE ON ANY OF OUR WHATSAPP GROUPS, DON’T JOIN THIS ONE