The first step to starting a business in Ghana is registering your business entity. If you run around operating your business, you might later realize that someone has officially registered that business name. Then your efforts of building your brand name and brand reputation will be usurped by the other person. Well, having said that, how do you register a business in Ghana.
Step 1: Decide on Your Business Legal Structure
Your first step is to decide the kind of legal business structure you want to use for your business. Each has its own purpose, benefit, and features. Here are various business legal entity types to register:
- Sole Proprietorship: It can be used by local small businesses & start-ups, usually one-man businesses.
- Company Limited By Shares: It can be used to register companies with shareholders, directors etc.
- Company Limited By Guarantees: It can be used for NGOs, non-profits, and church registration
- Company with Unlimited Liability: It can be used for partnerships
- External Company: It can be used by foreign companies to have extensions in the country.
Step 2: Conduct a Business Name Search
You can visit the RGD website to conduct a name search to tell if your proposed business name exists or if it has not been registered yet. Even if you used the website to check the name availability, you have to cross-check at the registrar’s office to confirm the name before taking the next step.
Step 3: Register Your Tax Identification Number (TIN)
You will need to visit the Ghana Revenue Authority Office with your Ghana Card and have a TIN number generated for your business. You will be required to fill out a simple form and then have your TIN number provided. This should usually take at least 24hrs.
Step 4: Download and Complete the Business Registration Documents
You can visit the Registrar General Department's website and download the form of the kind of business entity you want to register. The details will be different based on the type of legal entity you choose. However, the basics for limited by shares include owner(s), their address, office location, details of directors, names of , your auditors, and distribution of shares of the business.
Step 5: Request for Auditors Letter & Affidavit of Oath
This step is not needed for the sole proprietorship type. But, if you were to be registering a limited company, you need to select an auditor, request a letter from them, and add it to your document. Finally, you have to do the affidavit of oath for all the filled forms you have in your file.
Step 6: Submit Forms & Pay Fees
This process includes submitting the forms at the Registrar General Department's office, having their officials check through the entire document, and making sure everything has been filled correctly. You will then be asked to pay the final registration and processing fees at the bank at the office.
Step 7: Collect the Business Registration Document
Within two to three weeks, your business will be registered and you can visit the office again and pick up your business documents.