Authored by Fugar & Company, Lex Africa Law Firm in Ghana
- Type of Government
- Forms of Business Organisation
- Formation of Business
- Foreign Investments
- Benefits and Incentives
- Exchange Control
- Intellectual Property
- Membership of International &
- Regional Organisations
TYPE OF GOVERNMENT
Constitutional government under a multi party democracy
FORMS OF BUSINESS ORGANISATION
- External company
- Sole proprietorship
- Joint ventures
FORMATION OF A BUSINESS
Both local and external companies must be registered with the Registrar of Companies. Certain business activities require licences, approvals and permits to enable them to carry on business in Ghana.
Ghana encourages and promotes investment by foreigners. The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre initiates and supports measures that enhance the investment climate in the country for both Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian companies.
With the exception of a few areas set aside for Ghanaians foreigners may participate in all business activities and may also own shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
BENEFITS AND INCENTIVES
Investors are generally entitled to benefits and incentives. There are also special incentive packages available to those engaged in specific priority investment areas such as manufacturing and tourism.
SOME SPECIAL INCENTIVES ARE:
- exemption from the payment of customs import duties and other related charges to establish the approved enterprise
- investment allowances of seven and a half percent in the year of investment
- depreciation of capital
- immigrant quota in respect of an approved number of expatriate personnel
- certain tax benefits for the approved number of expatriate personnel
Exchange controls exist and are regulated by Statute. With regard to foreign exchange, the present financial regime is quite flexible and permits the easy transfer of foreign exchange in and out of the country.
Investors are guaranteed unconditional transferability in freely convertible currency of profits, dividends and capital.
Income is taxable if it is accruing in or derived from Ghana (ie if it has a Ghanaian source). A non-resident carrying on business in Ghana is deemed to have the full profits of that business derived from Ghana, even though part of its operations are carried on outside Ghana.
- Corporate tax rate is 35% except for banking and insurance companies which pay at the rate of 45%.
- Sales tax is 15%.
- Withholding tax of 10% is paid on dividends earned by both Ghanaian and Foreign Shareholders.
Ghana currently has double tax agreements with the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, France, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Gambia.
Businesses are subject to customs, import and export duties, except where they are exempted.
Protection is provided by Statute. Trademarks, Designs and Patents may be registered with the relevant bodies or authorities.
MEMBERSHIP OF INTERNATIONAL & REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS
South African Customs Union, Southern African Development Community, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organisation of African Unity, United Nations Organisation, British Commonwealth, Lome Convention and a signatory to GATT
Legal Disclaimer: This information is not intended for use without professional advice
"Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice from any lawyer of Werksmans. The article is a general summary of developments or principles of interest, and may not apply directly to any specific circumstance. Professional advice should therefore be sought before action based on any information is taken."
For further information please contact:
Werksmans Chambers, 22 Girton Road, Parktown, Johannesburg 2193
P.O. Box 927, Johannesburg 2000 South Africa
Enquiries: Mr Charles Butler
Telephone 27 (011) 488-0000
Telefax 27 (011) 484-3100/3200
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