Ghana - Establishing an OfficeGhana - Establishing an Office
The main types of business entities in Ghana (similar to those found in the United States) are:
- Companies, including branches of foreign firms;
- Partnerships and joint ventures;
- Sole proprietorships;
- Limited Liability Company – liability of members limited to amount, if any, unpaid on shares respectively held by it;
- Company Limited by Guarantee – liability of members limited to amount they respectively undertake to contribute to the assets of the company in the event of its being liquidated;
- Unlimited Company – no limit on liability of members
Note: Ghana does not allow limited liability partnerships. A company may be registered as a public or private company. Every company with limited liability must include the word ‘Limited’ as the last word of its name. Companies incorporated in Ghana must have at least one shareholder and two directors, with one director resident in Ghana. Companies must file annual returns with the Registrar of Companies.
Setting Up a Business in Ghana
All foreign companies are required to register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC), the government agency responsible for foreign investment in the country.
The purpose of the GIPC is to act as a one-stop shop for economic, commercial and investment information for international companies and business people interested in starting a business or investing in Ghana. Except for the extractive industries, international companies are free to establish a business in Ghana without prior approval of GIPC. However, the Ghanaian business environment is unique, and guidance can be extremely helpful. Also, certain tax benefits are available under the law, which make registration with GIPC beneficial.
Specific more detailed information about setting up a business is available at the GIPC website.
Note that mining or oil & gas sector companies are required to obtain advance licensing/approval from the following relevant bodies:
The U.S. Commercial Service also strongly advises that a local attorney be consulted, prior to establishing a business in the country. The Commercial Service maintains an up-to-date list of attorneys in Ghana, several of whom have worked and/or studied in the United States. Generally, the cost for the service and registering of a business does not exceed $2,500.
Ghana Business Registration