Here’s a practical guide from Enterprise Singapore on the nuts and bolts of setting up shop in Ivory Coast.
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With all the proper documents in place, businesses can be registered within 2 - 4 days.
The number of directors required vary based on your business structure.
Limited Liability Companies (i.e. SARL) and Branch companies (i.e. Succursale) require a minimum of 1 director.
On the other hand, Public Limited Companies (i.e. SA) require a minimum of 3 directors.
No minimum number of resident directors are required.
No, there is no restriction on who you appoint as a director.
Yes, all directors may be foreigners.
Yes, your company can be wholly foreign-owned.
A minimum of 1 shareholder is required to set up a company.
All business entities must register with the state Commercial Registry within 30 days of commencement of activity.
No, there are no restrictions on business activities for foreign companies. However, certain sectors (for example, the transport sector) require managers to be Ivorian.
Some activities that require commercial licenses before commencing operation are: agribusiness, security, large retail, mining, import-export, transport and distribution.
You may apply for licenses after setting up your company.
Yes, companies are required to renew their licenses yearly.
It is not compulsory for you to display your business license.
Limited Liability Companies (SARL) do not have a minimum capital requirement.
However, Public Limited Companies (SA) do have minimum capital requirements. Closely-held stock companies have a minimum share capital of US$20,000 (S$27,200), while publicly traded companies have a minimum share capital of US$200,000 (S$272,000)2.
No, the decision to change one's company's share capital or investment capital is up to the discretion of the company's administrators.
Yes, each share must have a nominal value of at least US$20 (S$27.20).
No, companies are not allowed to issue shares in a different currency.
No, there are no restrictions.
Yes, capital must be collected in the bank account of the company based in Ivory Coast.
It takes around 3-4 weeks to set up a corporate bank account.
Companies have no obligation to retain a minimum amount of share capital in their bank account.
Corporate income tax (CIT) is currently at 25%. Companies in the telecommunication, information technology and communication sectors are taxed at 30%.
The investment code treats foreign investors and the Ivorian investors equally. For this purpose, there are no special subsidies granted to foreigners. In general, the benefits granted to investors are contained in the investment code, and more specifically through investment approval (tax and customs reductions). There are some sectorial subsidies, particularly in the cashew sector, where the state provides a subsidy to companies in this sector.
Companies are required to have a 31 December fiscal year-end as per the law.
Payment of CIT is made in three instalments in April, June, and September following the end of the fiscal year, depending on the sector of activity and taxpayer's office, as follows:
Withholding tax rates are as follows:
Yes, Ivory Coast has VAT and the current VAT rate is 18%.
VAT is reduced to 9% for milk, pasta products containing 100% durum wheat semolina, and equipment designed to produce solar energy.
There is a minimum wage of US$12 (S$16.30). Benefits to be given to employees include insurance and contribution to the National Social Security Fund (CNPS).
Yes, you will be required to pay social security contributions for your employees.
There is no local minimum quota that must be met first in order to hire a foreign worker in Ivory Coast. However, to recruit a foreign employee, the following procedure must be followed: the job announcement must be declared to the Youth Employment Agency in Abidjan (in French, Agence Emploi Jeunes (AEJ)), or the Ivory Coast Labour Office, which is the national agency in charge of promoting employment in Ivory Coast. Following the declaration to the AEJ, the position is advertised in a local newspaper (ideally a gazette) for a period of one month.
Should no national be hired at the end of the said period, the employer is free to choose anyone of his/her choice to fill the position4.
Yes, your employee need a Work Contract Visa.
If your company is not fully established, it is possible for it to be hosted or temporarily domiciled at an address.
Please note all information is based on online sources, and is provided in good faith for guidance and reference purposes only. It is accurate as of June 2019.