Guide to establishing a Company in Ghana
A good number of people are trying to establish businesses and organizations in Ghana, which is a reflection of the fact that Ghana is one of the fastest-developing economies in Africa. Consequently, it is imperative to comprehend the legal system for establishing a business in Ghana. The laws establishing the formation of companies and various business entities fall into different categories.
The most common Acts are the Companies Act 2019 (Act 992), the Partnership Act, 1962 (Act 152), the Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179), the GIPC Act, 865, 2013, and the Business Name Act, 1962 (Act 151). The first stage of registering a business in Ghana is registration with the office of the Registrar General Department. However, it is crucial to know the types of businesses available for starting a business in Ghana, as per the law creating the same legal entities. Here are five categories of businesses that can be formed according to Ghanaian laws, they include:
Companies Limited by shares
Companies limited by guarantees
Companies with unlimited liability
Company Name Registration
For the registration of a business in Ghana, you will need to first carry out a name search, which is a mandatory step for every entrepreneur. The importance of a name search is to make sure that your name choice is not already in use by another registered entity, and at the same time to secure your preferred name, so that no one else can use it for commercial purposes.
After you are given the go-ahead to use the name for commercial purposes, you have 30 days to register a business or company with the approved name, or you may not be able to use it for the same purpose. One regulation applicable to the choice of the business name is that the name should not violate the law or be derogatory to the existing trademarks, globally or nationally.
Submit your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
The Ghanaian law-creating companies are responsible for the registration of such companies, which in turn dictates that the shareholders and directors should present their tax details to the registrar of companies. This is not peculiar to a specific type of business or company; it applies uniformly to all categories of companies to be established.
The taxpayers’ forms have to be filled out and presented to the authorities with copies of IDs. If the applicant is a non-local citizen, a copy of the foreign national's passport will suffice, which should therefore be sent to the Ghanaian Tax Authority. The information submitted would be used for the verification of your TIN, which will be enclosed in a form. The form entails the following:
Names of directors and shareholders
The occupation of the directors forming the company
Passport photos of directors
Copies of ID cards, such as driver’s licenses or voter’s cards, or passports, where applicable
Residential and postal addresses
Complete the Company Incorporation Sheets
All company registration processes, regardless of type or class have to be accompanied by filling the company registration forms, which will require you have the following details ready:
The name of the intended company as indicated in the name search
The postal address of the company
The intended physical location of the company in terms of office
The intention/ objective of the company
Official Emails and any mobile contacts of the company
Share issue and authorized
Details of appointed auditors
Information regarding the shareholding structure
The nationality of all the directors together with the details of their dates of births, occupation, contact details and residential information
It is a requirement by law forming companies in Ghana that all directors and secretaries of the companies endorse their signatures in the incorporation form by the time of registration. At least one of the directors has to be a citizen of Ghana by the time of company registration.
Fees Requirement for Company Incorporation in Ghana
Having satisfactorily met the entire requirement, the Ghanaian law-creating companies must also pay a statutory fee. There are several categories of statutory fees payable to the office of the general registrar. The incorporation and filing fee is payable to the general registrar in cash at a rate of GHC 330 unless amended by the laws of Ghana.
Stamp duty: While submitting forms, there is a part where you are asked to state the share capital outlay; this is for the determination of the percentage stamp duty. All companies are required by law to establish 0.5% of their stated capital (unless amended by the law creating it). For newly formed companies by citizens of Ghana, they are required by law to raise a minimum capital of GHC 500, while for foreign-owned companies, the figure varies.
For a fully foreign-owned company, $500,000
Joint-stock ventures between foreigners and locals (citizens of Ghana) $200,000
Trading enterprises, locally or foreign-owned, need at least $1000,000
The process does not end without official proof of qualification and the successful completion of the entire process of company registration and formation. You have to be issued certificates and documents to ascertain the same. The following documents can be obtained after or within fourteen (14) days of successful registration. The importance of the documents s to show that the company was and is registered in Ghana and the company obtains a legal status where it can sue and be sued in its status as created by law. The following are the documents issued after company registration and formation as proof of existence;
Certificate of incorporation
Rules Regulations of the Company
It is likewise basic to take note that once the documents are given it means that the organization is lawfully working in Ghana and appreciates every one of the advantages of a falsely made individual by law build up. In this manner it is at freedom to execute with other lawful business activities with fiscal bodies, for example, banks and protection firms.