Pistis and Associates

Free Zone Company Formation

Free zones in Ghana are managed and operated by free zone authority.

These free zones operate outside the federal Law or Laws of the Ministry of Labor.

A free zone company is the most fruitful legal entity that not only offers the benefit of 100% ownership to the investors or entrepreneurs but a host of other exclusive advantages that other legal forms do not have. 

Normally for company formation in Ghana mainland, the expatriates need a local sponsor but through Free zones Company Set in Ghana the expatriate can set up their business without the local sponsor and he can enjoy 100% repatriation of capital profits. Ghana free zone offers 100 % corporate and personal income tax benefit.

Most of the free zones in Ghana broadly offer trading, service, industrial, national industrial, and branch licenses to investors looking to set up their businesses. In Ghana free zones are either attached to a port or industry-specific.

Free zone Company Formation - Benefits

Benefits of Setting up a Free zone Company in Ghana

A Free Zone Company (FZC) is a limited liability entity and can be incorporated by natural persons or legal entities. A new limited liability company with a single shareholder is incorporated as a Free Zone Establishment (FZE); while a multi-shareholder entity is a Free Zone Company (up to 5 shareholders).

  • A branch of a local/foreign company also requires a separate License after incorporation/registration.
  • The Financial Year follows the calendar year i.e. January to December, except in the case of the first year of operation which will commence on the Date of Incorporation.
  • 100% Foreign company ownership is allowed.
  • 100% Import and Export tax exemption.
  • 100% Exemption from all commercial levies.
  • 100% Repatriation of capital and profits allowed.
  • No Corporate Profit Tax and no Personal Income Tax.
Types of Free zone Companies
  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE) – Single shareholder
  • Free Zone Company ( FZC) – Two or more shareholders
  • Branch Company – Branch of a local company or branch of a foreign company

Steps and Procedures to Setup a Free zone Company in Ghana, Once we decided to incorporate the company in any free zone in Ghana, there are certain steps or procedures has to follow. 

Those steps are mentioned below:

  • The client has to decide the legal type of their company like FZE / FZCO / LLC.
  • The client has to select the name of their company.
  • The client has to select an appropriate free zone for their business according to business viability and feasibility.
  • Once the client decided on the free zone, the client must submit the documents as per the Free Zone requirement.
  • As the last stage, the Free zone authority has to approve the application and provide the business license to the client.
Deciding the legal type.

As the initial step to form the company the investor has to decide on the legal entity like;

  • Free Zone Company (FZC).
  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE).
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Only a few free zones have the option to form Limited Liability Companies.

Procedure to form a Free zone Company in Ghana

The procedure to form a free zone company in Ghana is mentioned below:

Trade Name Registration

Once the client decided on the legal entity of the company which he wants to form, then he has to register the name of the company which is known as trade name registration. The suggested name should be approved by Ghana free zone authority also. While selecting the name, it should not be related to the name of a country or name of religion or name of any GOVT bodies etc. The name should not violate any morals of the public.

Application for Business License

Once the Ghana free zone authority approved the trade name for the business, then the client can apply for the trade license. The documents required to incorporate the company differ from different free zones. The basic documents required are the passport copy of the shareholder, which should be at least valid for more than six months. Some Ghana-free zones require a detail business plan and external approval which depends upon the business activity.

Once we submit the application, the Ghana free zone authority will provide an application form where the shareholders have to sign and submit back. In some Ghana free zones we can form the company remotely and in other free zones, the physical presence of the shareholders is required.

The Ghana free zone authority will approve the application within 10 days and the concerned authority will issue the business license along with a share certificate and memorandum of association.

Once the company is formed the shareholder can apply for the establishment card for the company. The establishment card means the link between the immigration department and the company. Once the establishment card is ready, the client can apply for e – channel registration. Only a few Ghana-free zones require e – channel registration. After completing the registration of e – channel, the shareholder can apply for a visa or resident permit for shareholders or for the staff.

Also, once the shareholder receives the business license, they can open a corporate bank account with any banks in Ghana or outside Ghana. 

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