How to register a business in Ghana

The Ghanaian economy is one of the top 15 largest in Africa. Ghana brags of a per capita income of over $4000 and is argued to be the second most developed country in West Africa after Cape Verde. The Ghanaian economy is the second largest in west Africa and indeed the ECOWAS block. Accra, the Ghanaian capital, is also home to the headquarters of the African Free Trade Area office. 

Ghana has attracted huge investments over the years, with the country’s largest investor being its neighbouring Nigeria. There are presently more than a million Nigerians residing and doing business in Ghana. With the increase in the country’s economy, more Nigerians will likely make their way to the country in search of more opportunities. 

The business registration process in the Ghanaian nation is a highly regulated one, with a strong framework to guide its development. Persons intending to register their business in Ghana can do so either as a sole proprietorship, or a partnership. 

In this article, we direct you on how to register a business as a sole proprietorship or a partnership. 

When registering a business in Ghana, the business could be a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a company.

How to register a Ghanaian business name (Sole-proprietorship)

A sole proprietorship is a business run by a sole person. The person makes all decisions as it relates to the business policies and engagements. 

1. Getting a tax certificate

The sole proprietorship is registered by first obtaining a tax certificate and a tax identification number for your business. To get a tax identification number and a tax certificate, registration with the Revenue Authority of Ghana is significant. The Ghanaian Revenue Authority must verify the sole proprietorship for payment of taxes to the authorities. 

If the owner of the business possesses a tax identification number, there need not be a need to register with the Revenue Authority, the owner’s tax identification can be used for the business as well. The Ghanaian revenue authority’s sole proprietorship form is available online on its website.

The form must be downloaded, filled and submitted to the nearest office of the Registrar General of the Revenue Authority of Ghana. The form can also be submitted to the Ghanaian Domestic Tax Revenue Office and the Ghanaian Customs Division offices.

The registration must be attached with a copy of the applicant’s Identification card (either the Driver’s licence, voter’s ID, national ID or passport). Once this step is done, your tax certificate would be available for pickup within seven working days from the day of registration. 

After collecting your tax registration certificate, the next step is to register the business name of the sole proprietorship. 

2. Registering a business name with the Registrar General

The name of the sole proprietorship must be registered with the Registrar General not more than two months after the commencement of your business. 

Nonetheless, you need not register the name of your business if your business name is made of your real name or first name and surname or initial and surname, for instance, if your business name is Samuel Andrew or S. Andrew or Andrew. An addition to the name would prompt a registration, for instance, Andrews or Andrew Enterprises or Andrew furniture.

To register a business name, the name of the business, the nature of the business, and the location (with branches, if any). To register the business, the business owner must get the Registrar general’s form A (application for the registration of businesses), fill out the form and drop it off with the Registrar General’s in-house bank at the Registrar General’s office. Your certificate for the registration of the business name would be available in five working days. 

How to register a Partnership in Ghana

Partnerships occur when two or more (not exceeding 20 persons) come together to register a business for profit making. 

1. The Partnership Agreement

When registering a partnership, the Ghanaian Private Partnership Act (the Act) is the appropriate law to look to. The Act requires the partners to draft a Partnership Agreement before the formation of a partnership in Ghana.

2. Getting a tax certificate.

The next step in registering a partnership is acquiring a tax certificate, please see the steps above to acquire a tax certificate in Ghana.

3. The Partnership registration

To register a partnership, you must acquire form A from the Registrar General’s department, fill the form with all the necessary information about the partners, and the partner’s signature. 

Submit form A with a copy of the Partnership Agreement, the partnership name, the nature of the business, and the address of the business. After completing, your partnership certificate would be ready in five working days.

How to register a company in Ghana

Registering a company in Ghana is a bit more complex when compared to the two previously mentioned businesses of sole proprietorship and partnership.

1. Name Reservation

The registration of a company in Ghana begins with the reservation of the company’s name. To do this, five names, at least, must be given to the Registrar of Companies. The proposed names would be examined with other existing company names in Ghana, if no other company uses such name, the name shall be reserved by the Registrar.

2. Incorporating a company in Ghana

The registration forms are acquired from the Registrar of companies, the form must be filed and submitted to the Registrar General with a fee and a deposit of 0.5% of the share capital of the proposed company. After submitting the required documents, the company’s certificate of incorporation would be ready for pickup after 10 working days from the date of submission.

Conclusion

The registration of a business takes tasking measures to undertake. Anyone can register a business in Ghana, nonetheless, if you aren’t suited for the challenges that follow the registration of a business in Ghana, you can seek the assistance of an expert, preferably a Ghanaian qualified solicitor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If my partnership exceeds 20 partners, what happens?

The Ghanaian Registrar of Companies would register your partnership as a Limited Liability Company.

How many shareholders can form a Limited Company in Ghana?

Companies in Ghana are classified into Private Limited Liability (Ltd) Companies and Public Limited Liability Companies (Plc), the Ltd requires a maximum of 50 shareholders and the Plc has no limitation to the number of its shareholders. 

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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