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Guide to starting a business in Lesotho

Staff Reporter | 4:53 PM |

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Lesotho. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Conduct a company name search and apply for business registration7 daysLSL 2 per page to certify the documents
* 2Pay registration fee at the Accounting window, submit the receipt and obtain company registration documents and TIN number1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure)LSL 500 for a domestic company + LSL 30 for search of company name
3Have land lease stamped and pay the stamp duty1 dayno cost
4Receive an inspection by the Public Health Inspector and obtain health certificate14 daysLSL 60
5Apply for an operational license1 dayno charge
* 6Pay the operational license fee at the Accounting window, submit the receipt and obtain operational license1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure)LSL 650 for a retailer of domestic goods.
* 7File for workman’s compensation with an insurance company1 day (simultaneous with previous procedures)no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.