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How to Register A Business In Ghana (Step by Step)

The first kind of success in operating and running a business is registering it as a legal entity. Security is everything. With legalization comes security.

Registering your business in Ghana is very helpful. There are many options, i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership, a company (a company limited by liability, unlimited liability, limited by guarantee and company limited by shares), co-operatives and external companies.

Operating any of the ventures majorly relies on your interest in a business venture and other factors like; resources, limiting liability, tax and control, and other underlying factors.

Much as there are many entrepreneurial venture options, the registration process for all those business ventures is more-or-less the same. Setting up and registering a business in Ghana requires you to have an entity. Therefore, you have to first register legally with the registrar’s general department before you start operating officially.

How To Register A Sole-Proprietorship

 

A sole proprietorship is a company that an individual single-handedly owns, and usually, the entrepreneur is the owner of the assets.

To register a sole proprietorship business in Ghana, your number one step is;

(a) Getting a TIN (Tax Identification Number)

To operate any business in Ghana, your business must first register with the Revenue Authority of Ghana to get verified with tax payments. Companies and individuals liable to pay a tax in Ghana must have a TIN. If the business owner has a tin with a sole proprietorship, there is no need to get one. The same can be used.

1. To apply for a TIN, you have to download a copy of sole proprietors’ registration from the website of Ghana Revenue Authority at; http://www.gra.gov.gh/docs/forms/taxpayer_registartion_form_individual.pdf.

2. Fill in details and submit the form to the agencies in authority; When you are downloading the form and filling in the required information, you can go ahead and submit the form to either;

  • Registrar General’s Department

  • Domestic Tax Revenue (Income Tax & VAT) Office

  • Custom Division Office

However, the form must be accompanied by these documents;

  • Copy of valid national ID

  • Copy of valid voters’ ID

  • Certificate or letter of business registration

  • Copy of picture page of valid drivers’ license

  • Copy of picture page of a valid passport

(b) Tax payer registration certificate

When you are done with all the registration procedures and have submitted them, you can go ahead and pick your registration certificate. Upon registration and collecting a TIN certificate, you will access your certificate within 2-7 working days.

(c) Reserving a business name

Regarding naming, you are required to register and reserve the name with the Registrar’s general department within two months before your business starts. However, if the company is registered in your name, a business name is less important, or you might not need one.

To register and reserve a business name, you need to have;

  • The business name

  • Type of the company

  • Business location details, physical address and postal address details

  • Details of the business

The process for registering a sole business proprietorship is;

  • Getting a prescribed form A must be paid for and picked from the registrar general’s department.

  • After filling in the form, hand it to the in-house bank at the RGD.

  • Upon completion of registration, then you can pick your registration certificate and a verified copy of the registration form.

  • Important to note is that the company registration certificate must be renewed yearly.

Registering A Partnership Business In Ghana

A partnership is an association of two or more people running a joint business venture to profit. The partnership members can go up to 20 people, and any number beyond that would not be counted as a partnership.

(a) The process of registering a partnership business

To operate a partnership in Ghana, the law requires partnerships to be incorporated under the private partnerships Act which requires people interested in doing a partnership venture to draft a partnership agreement to rule over and manage their relationship; these things are what is expected or required in the contract;

  • Starting date of the partnership venture.

  • Name of the venture.

  • Monetary contribution of each individual.

  • How profits and losses will be realized.

  • Possession of partnership assets.

  • Negotiations and salaries.

  • Decision-making, responsibilities and roles.

  • The partnership assets and the existing business will be addressed if the partners decide to dissolve the partnership.

  • Payment in the event of retirement or death of a partner.

  • Restraint of trade following the departure of a partner.

  • How disputes among partners may be settled. However, if there is no agreement to bear the partnership, then Act 152 of the laws of Ghana takes over.

(b) Registering for a TIN

In a partnership, the venture is then liable for paying a tax and each partner is required to have a TIN as a must before the registration of a partnership. To have a TIN, you must ;

1. Apply for it; you have to download a copy of the sole proprietors’ registration form from the Ghana revenue authority website http://www.gra.gov.gh/docs/forms/taxpayer_registartion_form_individual.pdf.

2. Fill in details and submit the form to the agencies in authority; When you are downloading the form and filling in the required information, you can go ahead and submit the form to either of the offices;

  • Registrar General’s Department

  • Domestic Tax Revenue Office

  • Custom Division Office

However, the form must be accompanied by these other side documents;

  • Copy of valid national ID

  • Copy of valid voters’ ID

  • Certificate or letter of business registration

  • Copy of picture page of valid drivers’ license

  • Copy of picture page of a valid passport

3. Taxpayer registration certificate

When you are done with all the registration procedures and have submitted them, you can go ahead and pick your registration certificate. Upon registration and collecting a TIN certificate, you will access your certificate within 2-7 working days.

(b) To register a partnership;

  • Buy, pick and fill in form A from the Registrar general department.

  • Hand in form A with signatures of all partners appended together with a copy of the partnership agreement along with the; name of the partnership or the venture, type and nature of the business, physical and postal address of the company, and details of each partner.

  • Process and pay the required fees

  • Upon completing the registration process, you can pick your registration certificate from the General Registrar’s Department.

  • Then a TIN for partnership is generated during registration.

Registering A Company In Ghana

To register a company in Ghana, the Act recognizes;

In a limited liability company, the company assets are separate from the personal assets of the owner of the company.

Shares limit a company; members or shareholders subscribe to the shares and pay an agreed amount for each share they subscribe to.

A company limited by guarantee; is unique from the majority of the other businesses because it doesn’t operate to make money and profits.

Minimum requirements to allow legal registration;
  • Name of the company, having the last word as “limited.”

  • Directors must be at least two and must have consented to become directors.

  • Shareholders, not more than 50

  • Auditor

  • Secretary

  • Regulations

  • Objects

(a) Name reservation

To reserve a name for your company, you need to submit a list of at least five words to the registrar of companies, and they will be subjected to review and approval to check if there are no existing companies with the same names. If there are existing businesses with the same names, the entrepreneur will be asked to look for others; however, if there are no other businesses with similar names, approval will be done, followed by a procession to the registrar of companies to be incorporated with the selected name.

(b) Obtain a TIN

The process is the same as sole proprietorship or partnership, but it usually takes 7-21 days for a company.

(c) The process of registering a company includes;
  • Buying registration forms from the registrar general’s department.

  • Fill in, complete and hand in; Regulations, form 3 and form 4, as well as a tax registration form.

  • Pay money for registration

  • Deposit 0.5% of the stated company capital

  • Pick your certificate of incorporation and certified copies of regulations, form 3 and form 4 and tax registration form.

Registration requirements for a company in Ghana include;

  • Complete details of the first directors

  • Details and particulars of the company secretary

  • The name and address of the auditor

  • Physical and postal address of the company

  • Capital of the company

  • Details of shareholders

 
 

Registering a company is a bit different from writing a sole proprietorship or a partnership; therefore, the registration process goes for various authorities before operations; these include registering with;

  • Registering with Ghana revenue authority

  • Registering with Social Security & National Insurance Trust (SSNIT)

  • Registering with Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)

 
Credit: monkeypesa

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