How to Start a Business in Ghana

How do you start a business in Ghana? What are the requirements? And what are the procedures involved? Congratulations, you are ready to set the ball rolling and now you are looking to Ghana are your choice business location. This post will give you a complete guide to setting up your company in Ghana.

Starting a Business Ghana

The business environment in Ghana is ripe for you to hop in and start making things happen in building your dream empire. It is no surprise that Ghana has become Africa’s preferred investment destination.

According to Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana has a solid tradition of investments in agriculture and agro-processing. The financial services and telecommunications sectors are fast gaining ground, providing dynamic and innovative services to the most diverse customers in the world. Further opportunities exist in manufacturing, ICT, and Tourism.

The 2020 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) ranks Uganda (39.6%), Botswana (38.5%), and Ghana (36.5%) as the world’s three leading economies having the most women business owners.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) also claims that investors have trooped to Ghana because they know the country has a wonderful conducive social, political and economic environment in which they can invest in.

So how do you actually start a business in Ghana?

Get a Business Plan

The first step to start a business in Ghana is to get your business plan. Think of a business plan as a written document that describes in detail how your business, or startup, would define its objectives and how you intend to go about achieving your business goals.

In other words, a business plan lays out a written roadmap for your firm, from marketing, financial, and operational standpoints.

By your business plan, you’ll identify, describe and analyze business opportunities available to you. For existing businesses, your business plan should examine all technical, economic, and financial feasibilities.

Get your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)

The second step to start your business in Ghana is getting your TIN. According to Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), you can download a “TIN form” and either email your completed form to service.desk@gra.gov.gh or take it to your local Domestic Tax Revenue Division office.

You can also visit any GRA Domestic Tax Revenue Division office to complete a paper TIN form. GRA will tell you by SMS when your certificate is ready.

Getting a TIN is free. To pay tax, one must get a TIN. It is an offense to not have a TIN as a taxpayer.

You’ll need a TIN in order to register your business with the Registrar-General’s Department, to do business with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), to open a bank account for your business.

You’ll also need it to register your vehicle, to get a Ghanaian passport, to register land, or to get a driver’s license. Clearing goods from the port or airport also requires your TIN

How to get a TIN:

  • You will need a coloured copy of a National ID card: This could be a valid Drivers’ License, a valid Passport, Voters ID, National Identification Card
  • You can get your TIN from a Bank, any Ghana Revenue Authority branch, or the Registrar General’s Department
  • Register your business at the Registrar General’s Department: The next step in starting your company is to register your business at the Registrar General Department. You will need to provide the following required information;
    • Name of your company
    • The kind of business that you intend to engage in
    • Names and contact addresses of the company’s shareholders, and their respective percentage shareholdings. You will also be required to provide their respective occupation, and whether they are directors in any other company
    • You must provide the full names of the first directors of your company. In Ghana, a company must have a minimum of 2 directors, of which at least one must be resident in Ghana. This person must be of sound mind and of legal age — not younger than 21.
    • Also required are the company secretary and auditors’ full names and addresses.
    • The last detail required here is the number of company shares that are to be registered and the company’s stated capital

Open a Business Bank Account

The fourth step to start a company in Ghana is to open a company bank account. You will require the following in order to open an account;

  • Company regulations: These are documents that list the rules on health protection, accident prevention, order on company premises, and the conduct of employees. Hence, company regulations help to protect employees and provide fundamental information on occupational health and safety, existing hazards, and how to prevent them. You will need such a document as a requirement to starting your company in Ghana.
  • Certificate of incorporation: This is your legal document that shows that you’ve formed your limited liability company.
  • Certificate to commence business:
  • Signatures of the authorized company representatives.
  • Reference from Auditors: This is a consent letter from an auditor who is certified by the Institute of Chartered Auditor and must be registered as a sole proprietorship or partnership.
  • Proof of residence of Authorized Signatories: This can take the form of a recent residence utility bill.
  • Completed account opening forms
  • 2 passport-size photographs of Signatories
  • ID’s and TIN of Directors/Signatories
  • Company TIN

Apply for Business Operating Permit

You can apply for your Business Operating Permit from your Local Assembly office as the fifth step to start a business in Ghana. The following are the requirements;

  • Purchase a Business Operating Permit application form from the Cash Office of any of the Sub-Metros
  • Complete in full the application form and submit it to the Revenue Mobilization Officer (RMO) at your District Assembly’s office.
  • You would be required to have registered with the Registrar General’s Department and have been issued with a Business Registration Certificate.
  • Tax clearance Certificate from Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Registration Certificate from other recognized bodies as may be applicable.

How to Apply for a Business Operating Permit in Ghana

The following are the procedures involved in applying for your Business Operating Permit;

  • You will be issued with a provisional Business Operating Permit at a fee.
  • A joint team from the Finance Department, Environmental Health Division, and City Engineer’s outfit will inspect your company’s premises within 5 business days of submission of application.
  • The inspection team makes appropriate recommendations to the Assembly within 2 business days from the day of their inspection.
  • After approval by the Assembly, the license is issued to the applicant at a prescribed fee.

Register for Social Security

The laws of Ghana require that all workers and companies be registered with SSNIT. It is criminal for any employer in Ghana to fail to register with SSNIT, and you would be prosecuted if you don’t.

How to register for Social Security in Ghana

That said, the following will guide you on how to register for Social Security in Ghana:

  • Make an appointment at the SSNIT office, preferably within the district of your business location.
  • You will be required to take along the following required documents;
    • Your Company’s Regulations document
    • Tax Identification Number for the company
    • Certificate to Commence business
    • Profile of Directors or Local Managers
    • Copies of the Directors’ or Local Manager’s valid ID (e.g. Voter’s ID, passport, driver’s license)
    • Full employee list, with their SSNIT numbers, basic salaries, and contributions.
    • Directions to Taxpayer’s Premises using the Ghana Post (GPS).
  • Your documents will be assessed, and a SSNIT officer will fill a form with the required details. If everything is satisfactory, your application will be processed.
  • A confirmation letter with your company’s registration number and your certificate of SSNIT membership to signify registration will be sent to your company.

Start a business in Ghana – Conclusions

The Government of Ghana has made it very easy for you to start your business in Ghana. Take advantage of the conducive business environment and make your dream come true.

kwaku Amenorhu
Author: kwaku Amenorhu

Amenorhu kwaku is an author, internet marketer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of SuccessValley, a network community for students and aspiring entrepreneurs