Starting a business, running it effectively and lawfully can be intimidating for newcomers. The added pressure of having next to no knowledge on what is needed to register the business is something that can be avoided with the help of this article, which is a result of a sit-down session with head of client services and company inspector of the Registrar General’s Department, Mrs Matilda Osei.

Registering a business in Ghana is a relatively simple affair, depending on how accurate the information provided is.

The first thing you must acquire before making a move to purchase the form or immediately after is a personal Tax Identification Number (TIN). A TIN, especially for a startup is the personal tax identification number of the founder or owner of the business. There is a special office within the registrar general’s department building where the registration form for TIN can be acquired for free.

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A form costs GH₵3.50p for sole proprietorship and the certificate costs GH₵60.00. An annual renewal fee of 25 cedis is required to keep the certificate relevant. The certificate remains legitimate for as long as you run the business, unless you do something contrary to the provisions of the constitution.

Ideally, the certificate should be ready for pickup three days after submission of the forms. But there can be delay caused by application errors such as a lack of valid TIN, incorrect or confusing address.

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The recommendation for an address when you have an unnumbered base of operation or residence is to use the nearest landmark for easy access to facilitate inspection.

Another factor to consider is the minimum age requirement which is above 21 years, there is no such thing as being too old to register a business.

Consequences for not registering your business among other things include a lack of legitimacy of the name and somebody can breeze in register the name you have worked hard to make profitable and reap the benefits of your labor. And difficulties in securing financial assistance from banks due to a lack of papers that legitimize the business.

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If you are not looking to register your business name under sole proprietorship but as a limited liability company, the following steps should help.

  • Purchase a set of limited liability forms at 10 cedis
  • Lodge a document of declaration and consent letter from qualified auditors
  • Pay a prescribed fee of GH₵ 230 and a 0.5% stamp duty on stated capital
  • The certificate should be ready within three working days
  • Renewal costs 50 cedis each year

All forms must be purchased from the in-house bank at the Registrar Generals Department.

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