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Trade & Investment


Setting up business in Ghana


Business LawsAn entrepreneur, irrespective of nationality, can set up a business enterprise in Ghana in accordance with the provisions of any of the following legal instruments:

  • The Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179)
  • The Partnership Act, 1962 (Act 152)
  • The Business Name Act, 1962 (Act 151

Joint VenturesA foreign investor may team up with a Ghanaian entrepreneur or company for a joint venture, usually in the form of a partnership or a limited company. However, under the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 1994 (Act 478), a minimum equity capital of US$10,000 is required from any foreign investor who intends to enter into a joint venture partnership with a Ghanaian in any area of economic activity, except import trading. In import trading the minimum equity capital requirement is US$300,000.

The foreign shareholder is required to satisfy this minimum equity capital either in cash transferred through Ghana's banking system or its equivalent in the form of goods, plant and machinery, vehicles or other tangible assets imported specially and exclusively to establish the enterprise.

Wholly Foreign-owned Enterprises
Foreigners are permitted 100-percent ownership of an enterprise provided he/she satisfies section 19 (2b) of the GIPC Act, 1994 (Act 478). Wholly foreign-owned enterprises must have a minimum paid up capital, the equivalent of US$50,000 in all areas of economic activity except import trading, where the minimum equity capital requirement is US$300,000. In the cases of export trading and liaison (external) offices, there is no minimum foreign equity requirement.

Procedures For Forming A Limited Company
Application for registration of a company is made directly, or through agents or solicitors, to the Registrar-General. A company is duly registered after the company's regulations have been submitted to the registrar of companies and a certificate of incorporation issued. A specified fee is paid on presentation of the regulations.

The information required includes:

  • The name of the company with the word "Limited" as the last word in the name
  • The nature of the company's business
  • A statement that the company possesses all the powers of a natural person of full capacity
  • The names of the first directors of the company
  • A statement that the liability of the company is limited
  • The share capital and its division into shares of no par value
  • Limitation on the powers of the board of directors in accordance with Section 202 of the Companies Code
  • Any other lawful provisions relating to the constitution and administration of the company

The requirements for a public company limited by shares are similar to those stated above, except that the public can buy shares.
Commencement Of Business: Before commencing business, further information on the company must be provided. This includes the particulars of the company and a declaration of compliance.

The particulars of the company are given on Form No. 3 and signed by the directors and the company secretary. The information provided must include:

  • Name of company authorized business
  • Particulars of directors (at least two) and a secretary
  • Name and address of auditors
  • Addresses of the company's registered office and a principal place of business
  • Address at which register of members is maintained
  • Amount of stated capital; number of authorized and issued shares, amount paid (other than cash), and amount due for each class.

The declaration of compliance is made on Form No. 4. This states that the conditions of section 28 of the Companies Code pertaining to a minimum capital issue of 25,000 cedis (¢) has been paid and signed by all directors and the secretary of the company. There is a stamp duty of 0.2 percent of capital issue payable. Upon due completion and presentation of the forms, the Registrar issues the company with a Certificate of Commencement of Business.


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