Forming a company in Africa
Set up a company with Confidus Solutions in any African jurisdiction, and we will offer you our highly valued legal expertise. The second-largest continent in the world, Africa covers twenty percent of the Earth's total land area. It is also the second most populous continent, consisting of 53 sovereign countries, a few disputed territories/countries and several dependencies, predominantly of Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Portugal.
As a global entrepreneur, you can count on us to help you find the right corporate structure for your global venture. With legal advice from Confidus Solutions, you’ll save a lot of time and money when setting up a business in Africa. Contact us now to proceed with incorporating your business in Africa.
List of countries and territories
- British Indian Ocean Territory/Chagos Archipelago (United Kingdom)
- Burkina Faso
- Canary Islands (Spain)
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Ceuta (Spain)
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- The Gambia
- Ivory Coast
- Madeira (Portugal)
- Mayotte (France)
- Melilla (Spain)
- Republic of the Congo
- Réunion (France)
- Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (United Kingdom)
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Western Sahara
The most developed countries in terms of GDP per capita (PPP based) are Egypt, South Africa, Angola and Algeria.
For incorporation purposes, we would advise you to choose one of the following:
Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Botswana, Tunisia and Gabon are also worth considering if you are thinking about incorporating a company in Africa.
Legal structure and advice
At any point in the lifetime of a business, the need might arise for an African-registered company, especially if your business is concerned with petroleum extraction or the diamond, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite or silver mining industries. Nonetheless, companies in any industry might wish to take advantage of our company formation services — for example, any multinational corporation that extracts salt or produces cocoa beans, wood products or tropical fruits.
Before registering a company, you should have a thorough understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each of the numerous jurisdictions in Africa and nearby islands such as Comoros, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Cape Verde, Mayotte, the Madeira Islands and the Canary Islands, so you can make an informed decision as to where you wish to establish your company.
Confidus Solutions is here to provide you with the best financial advice, a neat corporate structure offering full privacy as well as tax compliance and incisive legal advice on jurisdictions within the African continent. Contact us now.
You can incorporate a 'sharikat al-mossahamah' in Egypt or a 'société anonyme' in Morocco; these are generally the most common legal structures for companies throughout all of Africa. All African nations are independent from each other, which makes it difficult to recommend one specific legal entity for registering a company. Please bear in mind that if you need to incorporate a business trust in South Africa ('Trust' in Afrikaans), it would be best to contact us. There are some fundamental aspects to consider that can change the way your trust functions.
However, if you are looking for an easy-to-follow tutorial on the major legal structures for companies in Africa, please continue reading, as there are a number of factors that may present significant challenges and risks. Confidus Solutions’ top-choice suggestions are Egypt, South Africa, the Seychelles, Comoros and Nigeria, with the possible additions of Tunisia and Namibia.
In Egypt, you can incorporate an SAE, an LLC and several other types of legal entity. SAE in Arabic stands for 'sharikat al-mossahamah', a structure that closely resembles the United Kingdom’s plc. LLC in English stands for limited liability company, which is very similar to the United Kingdom’s limited company. Egypt also has a number of other company types that we have not listed here.
In South Africa, you can incorporate a Pty, commonly known as a Ltd, but you should bear in mind that there are many other types of company as well. (Pty) Ltd in Afrikaans is short for
privaat maatskappy (
private company in English), which resembles the United Kingdom’s private limited company or the US limited liability company. South Africa also has a number of other company types not included here. Contact us and we will help you choose the most suitable company type for your corporate needs.
In Tunisia, the options are an SA, an SARL or few other possibilities. Tunisia’s SA stands for 'société anonyme' (شركة خفية الإسم in Arabic) which is similar to the French société anonyme. Tunisia’s SARL stands for
société à responsabilité limitée (شّركة ذات مسؤوليّات محدودة ش.م.م in Arabic) and, again, it is similar to the SARL found in France. Incorporating a company in Tunisia offers many benefits. Tourism businesses, in particular, may find it especially profitable, as Tunisia attracts a substantial number of overseas tourists and has a transparent policy towards foreigners.
In Namibia, the available company types are close corporation, private and public company, sole trader, partnership, trust and co-operative. Contact us to find the best option for you.
Company formation procedure
As you will have gathered, choosing the right jurisdiction and business type within the framework of a wider corporate structure is not easy, but don’t worry — Confidus Solutions is here to help.
Each of the above-mentioned countries and dependencies has its own systems, and so it would be a difficult and time-consuming task to devise general guidelines for company registration. However, the company registration process is fairly uniform throughout Africa.
Choosing a jurisdiction
The location in which you establish your company (commonly known as its legal address) is quite an important decision that should be given careful consideration before you move on to the next step. Confidus Solutions can provide you with extensive advice regarding trading laws, registration procedures and registration fees.
Ask us about due diligence once you have chosen the country in which you wish to establish or expand your business.
Choosing a company name
The company name is a key decision when preparing to register a company. In some jurisdictions, foreign nationals are subject to certain restrictions, especially in Arabic-speaking countries. Due diligence can provide you with the answers you need. You should also be aware that some states charge a government processing fee. This process ensures that the name you have selected is not in use by another registered entity.
Once all the preparation steps are complete, we can move forward with registering the company with the government agency responsible for commercial activity within that country. You will need several essential documents for this, including the company’s
articles of association, which lists the name, ownership details, shareholder details and administrative structure of the business entity. The articles of association (a.k.a. articles of incorporation) is a legal document that requires professional legal skill and knowledge to draft. Confidus Solutions’ team of lawyers will help here as well. In some countries, these documents must be reviewed by a notary public.
Does your company provide tangible goods or services? If so, you will need to set up an extensive structure in order to process payments, circulate funds within the corporation and submit annual tax returns to the government. An income tax is usually imposed by the government, and so your company must complete the relevant tax registration process and obtain a tax number, which is required by law. In most countries, registering for a tax number is a free or low-cost process.
Licences and permits
Additional licences might be needed if your company is involved in one of a number of specific industries that are regulated and monitored by the state. These might include the wholesale of cacao beans, diamond and gold extraction or financial operations. If this is the case, ask us for advice on the requirements your company will need to meet before your business can operate commercially within a specific country on the African continent. In addition to licences, special permits may be required as well. Many businesses, for example, operate in one of the large number of industries requiring construction site or health permits.
When you are looking to register a company in Africa, we offer the full package. Please be advised that the precise amount of investment required will depend solely on the nature and scope of the services you have in mind.
Contact us now by email, phone or Skype.