Constitutional monarch with Parliament and Senate partly elected through an intricate process and partly appointed by the monarch.
FORMS OF BUSINESS ORGANISATION
- Private or public limited liability company
- External company (ie a branch of a foreign company)
- Trading trust
- Sole trader
FORMATION OF A BUSINESS
Companies, trusts and external companies must be registered with the authorities in Mbabane. A business generally has to register for various tax purposes, workmens compensation, graded tax and Swaziland National provident Fund. Business licenses are required for certain activities.
Tax is levied on income from actual and deemed Swaziland sources. The corporate tax rate is 37,5. In addition there is:
- a withholding tax of 10% of dividend payments to non residents;
- sales tax at 10%.
There is no capital gains tax or tax on dividends from companies and distributions paid to residents. Swaziland has double tax agreements with various countries in Africa including South Africa.
RESTRICTIONS ON FOREIGN INVESTMENT
Swaziland welcomes foreign investment and most business activities are open to foreign investors. Exchange control still exists but South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland have no exchange control restrictions in effect amongst them by virtue of their membership of the Common Monetary Union and the same restrictions apply in respect of customs with Swaziland being a member of the Southern African Customs Union. Revenue and original capital investment can be repatriated subject to the consent of the Central Bank of Swaziland being obtained in terms of which such revenue and capital can be repatriated in the currency in which the original investment was made in Swaziland.
The Swaziland Stock Exchange has regulations governing dealings in securities listed on it which are in line with those of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Protection is provided for by statute.
There are public registries for trademarks and patents. Swaziland is a signatory to the Berne and Paris Convention.
Import tariffs and direct controls such as import permits exist but are subject to the provisions of GATT. There is a free and virtually unimpeded exchange of goods between member states of the Southern African Customs Union. In addition Swaziland is party to many Preferent Trade Agreements in Africa, Europe and the United States and there are many export incentives available to genuine exporters.
The following are the main incentives to investors in Swaziland:
- substantial investors can apply to the Ministry of Commerce for an income tax holiday which is usually granted fro a
- five year period;
- machinery imported into the country for the purposes of setting up such business are exempt from sales tax;
- the labour market in Swaziland is extremely competitive with other Southern African countries;
- non-Swazi citizens are able to purchase immovable property and investors who purchase property in the Matsapha
- Industrial Area are exempt from applying for and obtaining the consent of the Land Speculation Control Board.
The Swazi legal system is totally independent and follows the principles of Roman Dutch Law.
- A well served and efficient banking system is in place.
- A more than adequate road haulage and transport system including a rail system is in place.
- The Maputo Harbour is now being utilised extensively for bulk export.
Legal Disclaimer: This information is not intended for use without professional advice
For further information please contact: Werksmans Attorneys Werksmans Chambers, 22 Girton Road, Parktown, Johannesburg 2193 or P.O. Box 927, Johannesburg 2000 South Africa Enquiries: Mr Charles Butler Telephone 27 (011) 488-0000 Telefax 27 (011) 484-3100/3200 E-Mail Address Click Contact Link Or visit the Werksmans web site, at Click Contact Link