The Ghana Free Zone Board was established by the Free Zone Act, 1995 (Act 504) as amended by the Free Zone (Amendment) Act, 2002 (Act 618) to enable the establishment of free zones in Ghana for the promotion of economic development; to provide for the regulation of activities in free zones and other related purposes.
The Free Zones Authority was established by Act 504, as amended by Act 618. The Government can declare any area as a free zone meaning a foreign territory. Any transaction made in a Free Zone is considered to have been done in a foreign land and is subject to the national laws of free zone operations.
Any company established under the free zone is required to export 70% of what it produces and locally sell the remaining 30% after it is marked by VAT and accounted for by the government. You can apply for free zones license if your company falls under the activities of developer, service, commercial, and manufacturing. Here is how to apply for a Ghana free Zones Permit;
1. Company Incorporation
To apply for a Ghana free zone permit, you should, first of all, incorporate a company in Ghana with the Registrar-General's Department and obtain Certificates of Incorporation and Commencement of Business.
2. Ghana Free Zone Authority Forms
You should then visit the Ghana Free zone Authority office or online portal in order to purchase an application form. When submitting the form, you are required to submit it along with other documents such as;
• A business plan or visibility study
• Copy of Certificate of Incorporation
• Copy of Certificate of Commencement
• Copy of Companies Code
• Evidence of possession or lease of real property or intent to acquire such property.
• Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with prospective clients.
• Environmental Protection Agency Permit (where necessary)
• Evidence of funding/ Capital transfer
• Any other relevant documents
3. Existing Business
If you are an already existing business then you need to submit these documents;
• A 3-year audit report
• SSNIT Clearance Certificate
• GRA Clearance certificate
4. Awaiting Response from GFZA
After successful application, the applicant will receive a response from GFZA on the status of application within 28 working days of receipt of a complete application. A license specifying authorized activity to be undertaken (i.e. developer, manufacturer, commercial or service industry) by the applicant shall be issued to the successful applicant. The investor is required to start operations within 6 months of receiving approval to operate as a free zone enterprise.
5. Commencement of operations
The investor is required to start operating within t6 months of receiving approval to operate as a free zone enterprise/developer. The investor is required to pay an initial or renewal fee but it depends on the activity as follows;
• A developer is required to pay an initial fee of US $5,000 and an annual renewal fee of US $4,000
• A manufacturing company is required to pay an initial fee of US $3,000 and an annual renewal fee of US $2,500
• A service company is required to pay an initial fee of US $4,000 and an annual renewal fee of US $3,000
• A commercial company is required to pay an initial fee of US $10,000 and an annual renewal fee of US $5,000
Do note that an applicant has 3 days to complete the application form so it is advisable to obtain all the necessary documents before starting the application process.