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Guide to Starting a Business in Ghana

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 Ghana. 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
1Check for availability of company name and submitt company documents to obtain a incorporation certificate1 dayname search – check the availability of company name is free, check the particulars of an existing company is GHC10 per search; complete set of Incorporation forms – GHC10. In addition, GHC 135 for registration of a limited company + GHC 5 per certification of regulations (3).
* 2A Commissioner of Oaths authenticates forms required for the certificate to commence business1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure)GHC 2
* 3Obtain from the Registrar-General’s Department the certificate to commence business2 days (simultaneous with previous procedure)0.5% of the stated capital as commencement tax + GHC 10 (registration fee with IRS)
4Deposit paid-in capital in an account1 dayno charge
5Apply for business licenses at the Metropolitan Authority7 daysplease see comments
* 6Inspection of work premises by the Metropolitan Authority1 day (included in previous procedure)no charge
* 7Apply for social security1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure)no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.
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