A brief guide to doing business in Ghana

As a politically stable middle-income country in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana is rife with business opportunities in diverse sectors including technology, trade and agriculture. The 2017 Ease of Doing Business Report ranked Ghana the best place for doing business in West Africa.

Our General Services & Regulatory Department makes this process seamless and informative

STATUTORY REGULATOR

The Office of the Registrar of Companies is the Institution mandated by Law to register and keep records pertaining to all business entities within the jurisdiction of Ghana.

Registrar generals department Ghana

BUSINESS ENTITIES IN GHANA

Business entities may be set up under any of the following statutes:

Registration of Business Names Act, 1962 (ACT 151):
Companies incorporated under this statute are referred to as Sole Proprietorships. In such Companies, the liability of the business owner and the business are one and the same.
Incorporated Private Partnerships Act, 1962 (ACT 152):
Partnerships are legal entities set up for business comprising two or more persons that share management, profits and liabilities.

Companies Act, 2019 (ACT 992):
The following business entities may be set up under the Companies Act:

  • Company limited by Guarantee: 
    Is a company used for non-profit making organizations that require legal personality.
  • Company Limited by Shares: 
    Is a Company that limits the liability of its members to the number of shares to which they subscribe.
  • Unlimited Company :
    Is a Company which does not have a limit on the liability of its members.
  • External Company:
    Is a body corporate registered outside Ghana with an established place of business in Ghana. It‘s capacity is only representative of its Holding Company, and it  cannot accordingly directly engage in any business

GHANA INVESTMENT PROMOTION CENTRE

Companies incorporated with foreign shareholding are mandated under Ghanaian law to register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). Registration with the GIPC has a number of advantages namely;

Grant of immigrant quotas for foreign nationals depending on the amount of foreign equity contribution introduced into the country.

  • The amount of foreign equity contribution to be made by a foreign shareholder is determined by the nature of business the Company proposes to engage in.
  • Repatriation of profits realized from the company’s business activities subject to the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723).
  • Tax reliefs for companies engaged in certain sectors of the economy or located within the various regional capitals.

GHANA IMMIGRATION SERVICE

All foreign individuals doing business in Ghana must obtain a work permit from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in compliance with the laws of Ghana. Permits may be obtained by way of the automatic immigrant quota granted by the GIPC or by direct application to the GIS supported by relevant documentation. Permits issued are valid for a period of one year and can be renewed with the issuing authority for a specified fee.

TAXES

The Ghana Revenue Authority is the statutory institution that oversees the admistration of taxes in Ghana. Ghana has Double Taxation Treaties with a number of countries including, the United Kingdom, South Africa, France and Germany. Generally, the following taxes are applied to corporate entities and individuals in the course of doing business in Ghana:

Corporate Tax: Companies pay 8%-35% of profits realized depending on the nature of business. They are also charged a Growth & Sustainability Levy ranging from 1% – 5% payable on gross profit.

Pay As You Earn: These are levied on salaries of employees in graduated rates according to their earnings.

Indirect Tax: Are taxes collected by intermediaries on behalf of the Government and include Withholding Tax (from 5% upwards depending on the nature of the transaction/service); Value Added Tax (4% flat rate for retailers of goods (with exceptions) and 15% on goods and services); and National Health Insurance Levy (2.5%), GETFUND (2.5%) and COVID Levy (1%).

Speak To Us

Let us help you with your legal needs TODAY! Send us a message or call our hotline