Discusses the legal requirements/options for joint venture/licensing in this market.
Last Published: 3/29/2019

According to the Associations Law (Title 5 Liberian Code of Laws Revised), “Any business venture carried on by two or more corporations as partners shall be governed by the Partnership Law.” Partnership is defined as “An association of two or more persons to carry on as co-owners a business for profit.”  Legislation stipulates that within 90 days of signing such an agreement, an acknowledged copy of the partnership agreement or a memorandum of partnership (MOP) stating the name of the partnership and the character of business be filed with the office of the registrar of deeds of the county in which the principal office or the partnership or its registered agent is to be located.  A partnership with a non-Liberian partner is treated as a foreign-owned entity and is billed as such.  Registration is channeled through different government agencies depending on the sector or industry.  For example, registering a construction company requires coordination between the Ministry of Public Works and the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors (ALCC) as well as the Liberia Business Registry (LBR).  Licensing and supervisory authorities may be required at different administrative levels (district, county, or national).  Common licenses, permits, and tax registrations that a business needs include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Zoning and land use permits, especially for new manufacturing businesses and certain home-based business operations;
  • Health department permits, especially if a business involves the preparation and/or sale of food;
  • Sales tax license for the selling of almost all products and services;
  • Fire department permits, especially for businesses that will attract large numbers of customers (e.g., nightclubs and bars).
 Some of the relevant agencies that issue licenses or permits include, but are not limited to:

Non-Liberian citizens wishing to establish a resident domestic construction company are required to do so in partnership with a registered Liberian-owned construction, engineering, or architectural firm with at least ten years of proven experience in the construction industry. Some service firms, including legal and accounting firms, have partnered with larger foreign firms to increase recognition and credibility with potential clients.  The real estate and timber sectors boast a fair number of joint ventures.  Opportunities exist for joint ventures or partnerships in mining and construction sectors.  There are technical, financial, managerial, and cultural constraints to joint venture operations in Liberia.  For example, skilled local engineers and architects are often in limited supply.

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Liberia Business Management Legislation