If you are reading this, then chances are that you have a great business idea and you are doing some research on how to register a business in Ghana. As part of the objectives to become a legitimate business in Ghana, you need to know how to register a business in Ghana. Depending on the nature of your business, you can either register your business all by yourself (the hard way), through a licensed private company like Bizaccess (the most efficient way) or with the aid of a lawyer. In Ghana, you can register your business as a sole proprietor, limited liability, partnership or limited by shares company. We will expand on these types of business registrations in Ghana and how to register your business in Ghana within this article.
This is the general procedure for registering a business with the Registrar General Department in Ghana and it normally takes about a month to complete. Depending on the type of business you are registering, you will need an auditor, secretary, directors and a lawyer to help you complete your forms. You could also choose to work with Business Regulatory Compliance Services or Back-Office Support Services like Biz Access to get your registration done within 10 days.
Facts to know if you are interested in business registration in Ghana.
These are basic requirements if you are planning to register a business in Ghana. Now, to how to register a business in Ghana. From April 1, 2021, the Ghana Card Personal Identification Number (Ghana card PIN) was decided by the government of Ghana to become the new TIN, for the objective of maintaining the Taxpayer Identification Numbering System, of people who are liable to register and pay tax to the state.
This is an identification number used for tax payment, it is used as a unique way to identify taxpayers and potential taxpayers, and for organizations, a TIN is required for their liable business activities for tax payment. TIN numbers are mandatory for any working Ghanaian. You can view and download the TIN online forms, fill them out and submit them to the GRA office for processing.
Organizations can register for their TIN only after they have been registered at the Ghana revenue department (GRD).
The organizational TIN registration applies to these companies
Your company’s name can say a lot about what you strive to achieve and it can be used as a great strategy for marketing. You can do a business name search at the Registrar General’s department, or you could do it online. If the name is available, you need to do a name reservation which is usually valid for only 30 days unless you seek special permission for your company.
Know that the Registrar General Department may reject names that are similar to existing ones, to avoid any attached legal implications that may come with it. In short, your name should be unique. Make sure you verify your business name before you go ahead to get your domain name or host your website or print your business name on any flyer. Always do a business name search first. Here are answers to some basic questions about business name registration.
In Ghana, like in most countries, registering the name of your business is a legal obligation. If you choose not to register it guarantees that you have no right to use them; this means that another trader with a similar name to your own can start using the said name (officially); you will have no power to stop them. Having a business certificate in Ghana is very important for your business and you will need to register your business name to get it.
You can decide to walk into the Registrar General’s department office in Accra and go through the process of registering your business. Below is a detailed step by step process of registering your business name in Ghana.
Note that: You can also register your sole-proprietorship through these steps
As a business, you are required to renew your registration once every year. This is not to be confused with re-registration. In 2012, the RGD embarked on a digitization exercise that required all businesses to reregister to be digitized. If your business was registered before 2012 then you will have to have it re-registered.
So all you need to do is pick up, complete and submit the application for re-registration of business name at the registrar general’s department regarding the type of business you want. At the registrar add to the form you filled out, your old business registration particulars, which may include your business profile, registration certificates and any other relevant document you need to add and submit to the registrar. Re-registration of companies only apply to companies registered before 2012.
Note that: You should have your filed annual returns up to date. To file your annual returns you will need your Financial Statement for the year Underview(Auditors Report) and Particulars of every member of your company or business.
External Companies are not excused from filing. If an individual or a business fails to re-register then by the constitution of the country the individual or company shall be deemed to have terminated and the registrar may remove the business name
Renewal fees for business registrations in Ghana differ according to the type of business you own or run. Renewal of business registrations is mainly for sole proprietorship and partnerships and filing of annual returns for limited liability.
For companies limited by shares and guarantees, you will need to have a financial statement from your auditors.
Registering your business is a time-consuming process full of technical jargon, auditors, and sometimes lawyers depending on the nature of the business you are registering. These are the requirements for every type of business that can be registered in Ghana.
To know how to register your business in Ghana you need to know the various business entities that can be registered under the laws of Ghana. This can help you know the legal structure to choose from. The basic types you may be looking to get registered in include:
Sole proprietorship: this type of business is an unincorporated business usually owned and run by a single individual, registering a sole-proprietorship is more convenient and less costly as compared to other forms of business. The registration procedure for a sole proprietor business is less complicated and less costly than other business registration forms. If you need to register your business under this form, you should have already commended the business beforehand. If you choose to use a trading name and if the individual’s surname is not used, you are required to register.
Business registration has never been easier, now with access to good internet you can register your business in the comfort of your own space. Ghana’s registrar general department has introduced the online business registration process in 2017. But let’s be honest this online process is not so helpful; for one too many reasons the process does not seem to work and ends up with you having to go to the office.
If you want to register your business with ease; avoid joining the overly long queues, to just be turned away when you finally get to the front of the queue because it is the attendants break time or for whatever reason they give you. You should try Bizacess, an independent digital platform committed to assisting companies and businesses to meet regulatory compliance in ghana. We help you register your business from wherever you are in the world.
If you do insist on registering your business through ghana’s registrar general department then you can follow the steps below:
Partnership: It is simply an association between two or more individuals or companies, who have joined forces to make a profit. This can be done when a business wants to share liability for a company investment without the stringent requirements associated with incorporating a company. In Ghana to register a partnership, you will need a copy of a signed partnership agreement and a statement, certain particulars like the name of your partnership, the nature of your business, the data of commencement of your business, and all other places the business exists which will be submitted to the registrar general’s department. Under Ghana's law partnerships must be incorporated under the incorporated private partnerships Act, 1962 (Act 152).
When the liability of a partnership is unlimited, it means that the personal properties of the partners can be sold to cover up for debts incurred.
Read for more: information about a partnership
Some basic requirements for partnership relationship of two or more owners, who should
Companies limited by guarantee in Ghana: This type of company has liabilities of its members limited to the amounts that they respectively are guaranteed to contribute to the assets of the company in case of liquidation. This type of company is not allowed to pay dividends, distribute or return any assets to members but to continuously apply the income and property of the company towards the progression of its objectives; so requirements of this type of company are to not permitted to make profits, ( for example charities, NGO’s, churches and social enterprises) this means that no initial funds are needed and the funds they collect should be those funds are obtained from other sources, e.g., endowments and donations. The company is also not authorised to be involved in trading.
In Ghana, a business is expected to obtain a business operation permit. This allows you to do as the name suggests and operate your business in your metropolitan jurisdiction. For a business operation in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipal Assemblies
Company limited by shares in Ghana (private/public limited company): This type of company, unlike a company limited by shares, is an incorporated one with shares capital so it can not offer its shares to the public. Such a company can either be public or private. An association between two to fifty people and its shares must expressly show the fact of its limited liability to the members who are owners of the company; directors, secretaries, and auditors who are the company’s officers. The last word of a company limited by shares should be limited or the use of its abbreviation “ltd”. Read here for more information
Unlimited liability company: This company is quite similar to the limited liability company except for the liabilities of its owners/members are unlimited. In this type of company, the liabilities of the shareholders for debt requirements in the company is unlimited. It is usually registered by professional bodies such as auditing, law firms, architectural firms. In an unlimited liability company, it is the legal duty of the business owners to repay in full the debt and other financial obligations of their company. Read more
Business registrations differ per type as stated. This section will look at business registration in Ghana for companies limited or unlimited by guarantee.
If you are interested in becoming a business owner in Ghana it will cost you a cool $1,200 or its equivalent in your currency. Read more about foreign business or company registration in Ghana: Here
EXTERNAL COMPANY: This type of company is usually registered by the local manager on behalf of the company. An external company exists outside the jurisdiction of Ghana. Businesses that engage in such transactions are owned by a company interested in branching out to have their businesses outside their local. The local manager (Ghana) of an external company is required to be a citizen of the country. Read more
BIZACCESS is an amazing platform where one can conveniently and remotely access the services they need; on this platform, you can find the assistance you need to help your company meet their regulator compliance.
We hope this article has been of great help, so now with some knowledge on how to register your business in Ghana you can launch your business franchise; with some help from Bizaccess, you have no excuse to hold off on your goals of starting any type of business or fulfil your dream of becoming an authentic business in Ghana. Download our business registration app or contact us to have your business registered the right way without any queues and setbacks. Biz Access has a team of lawyers and auditors who can perform the tedious task of business registration in Ghana on your behalf.
BIZACCESS is a Corporate Secretarial Services & Consultancy Firm specialised in the provision of Business Regulatory Compliance Support in Ghana. In an attempt to serve our growing customer base and international clients, we launched this platform to conveniently and remotely serve our customers in regards to registering a business in Ghana.