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You have registered your business. What next?

You have registered your business. What next?

You have read and possibly taken steps to incorporate your new business. You have understood and complied with expert advice, giving you assurance that you followed the lawful procedure to incorporate the type of business structure that fits your objective.

Honourable entrepreneur, distinguished investor, congratulations. You have passed one of the important stages to start a business in Ghana.

Permit me to usher you into the subsequent stages which are relevant to set the pace to avoid regulatory offences and most importantly, protect your valuable investment.

Happy you have your business registration certificate (for enterprises/sole proprietorship) and incorporation and commencement certificates (for limited liability companies), let me now refer to you as a new business owner. I imagine you may have just as many questions after completing your registration or incorporation.

As you can imagine, there are some essential differences between running a limited liability company and running a sole proprietorship, and it’s important to get all your legal ducks in a row as early as possible. Let us discuss these issues with a focus on limited liability companies since they have relatively more complex regulatory requirements than sole proprietorship. –


Find below the 5 steps to check off your list

  1. Get your company registered with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)

Whether you plan on hiring any employees or not, your company is required under the laws of Ghana to register for the relevant and applicable taxes at the GRA. Though your incorporated company and all its officers (Directors, Shareholders, Secretary) have Tax Identification Numbers (TIN), you would still be required to register and pay Corporate Income taxes (if you are exempt), withholding taxes, VAT (if you qualify to charge VAT) and personal income taxes (if you have employees who fall within the income tax threshold).


Though it isn’t mandatory, it’s a good idea to talk to a tax advisor. A brief meeting with a tax advisor can give you valuable insight into how you should file your taxes as a Limited Liability Company.

Please note that failure to register and comply with the tax laws of Ghana is a regulatory offence.

  1. Register your business with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT)
  2. Register for a business operating license from your Municipal Assembly.
  3. Understand what you need to do to stay compliant.

One of the chief reasons to incorporate or form a limited liability company is to limit your personal liability. However, if you fail to keep your business in good standing, then you can lose this liability protection. Make sure you understand exactly what’s needed to keep your business compliant each year. Typically, this involves registering with the relevant statutory or regulatory body, filing periodic reports, etc.

All businesses with foreign participation (Non- Ghanaian companies and Joint Venture companies) are required to mandatorily register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre ( GIPC) for an investment license. There are several categories of registration at the GIPC and you may click this link for details including the benefits you could derive from registering your business with the GIPC. It is worth emphasising that though registration with GIPC is not mandatory for wholly owned Ghanaian businesses, there are no restrictions for the registration of local businesses.

Please note that unless you fall under a different regulatory body such as Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB) or you operate in the energy or petroleum sectors, failure to register and comply with the tax laws of Ghana is a regulatory offence for all businesses with foreign participation.


Depending on your investment objectives, you may register your business with the Ghana Free Zones Board. The most basic requirement is to export a minimum of 70% of your production output. Details of registration and benefits of registration could be obtained on

Below is a link to other statutory/regulatory bodies that would be required depending on your type of business.

  1. Protect your business name with a trademark.

When you incorporate a limited liability company in Ghana, your business name is protected in Ghana (or more specifically, no other business can file with your incorporated name as a limited liability company in the country).  For some businesses, this is enough brand protection. However, your business name is one of your company’s most important assets. It’s a symbol for your reputation, and it’s how you’re known to the outside world. If a competitor or any other business starts using your name, you’re not likely to be happy about it.

A registered trademark gives you the exclusive right to use your business name and brand you’ve identified in your registration and allows you to enforce your trademark by filing a lawsuit in a court of competent jurisdiction. Those are strong protections, but it will be up to you to monitor unauthorized uses of your name and take steps to stop them.

Talking to a trademark lawyer can be your first step to ensuring that registration conflicts are identified at the front end and dealt with, thereby saving you unnecessary time and additional expenses. For further details on trademark click this link

Best wishes on your new venture, and don’t forget to follow up with your other legal obligations by contacting Firstcode Management Services.

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