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Setting up a business in Ivory Coast

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Looking forward to set up a business in Ivory Coast? Find all that you need to know on related procedures in this article.

As one of the most developed West African countries, Ivory Coast is very open towards foreign investment. Its growing economy and attractive market is a real haven for expatriates looking forward to set up a business there. Indeed, the Ivorian government has set up a series of measures to attract more foreign investment in the coming years, especially through mergers, joint-ventures, as well as start-ups. The country also has a more developed infrastructure compared to other countries in the region. Setting up a business there can turn out to be fruitful as related procedures are quite simple.

Types of companies

There are different types of companies in Ivory Coast, namely the Limited Liability Company (SARL), the Limited Company (SA), the Partnership (SNC) and the Limited Partnership (SCS).

The Limited Liability Company does not have a limit regarding the number of partners and associates. A minimum capital of 1 million CFA francs is required. Each partner's liabilities are limited according to the amount contributed.

The Limited Company, for its part, requires a minimum of 7 partners whose liabilities will be limited according to the amount contributed. A minimum capital of 10 million CFA francs has to be invested.

The Partnership is has no limit regarding the number of partners and associates. Moreover, no minimum capital is required. Each partner's liabilities are limited according to the amount contributed.

Finally, the Limited Partnership requires a minimum of two associates: sponsors and sponsored. The minimum capital is not fixed. The sponsors' liabilities are unlimited while sponsored partners' liabilities are limited according to the amount contributed.

Procedures

First of all, you are required to hire a notary for the setting up of your company. Fees generally amount to 120,000 CFA francs in the case of the Limited Liability Company with a minimum capital of 1 million CFA francs. For companies having a capital of 3 to 9 million CFA francs, notary fees amount to 3% of the capital invested. These can also vary according to the type of company which is being set up.

Opening a bank account

You are then required to open a bank account in which you will deposit the capital. To open a bank account, the following documents have to be produced:

  • the founder and the associates' identity cards or passports
  • each partner's resident card
  • proof of address for each stakeholder.

Note that it is not mandatory to open a company bank account for the time being as the company name has yet to be officially defined.

Registering at the CEPICI

Once you have deposited the capital, you can then proceed with the booking of the company name. You will then have to notify the Journal Officiel de la République de Côte d’Ivoire (JORPI).

The company name can be booked either on the CEPICI (Centre de Promotion des Investissements en Côte d'Ivoire) website or at its office in Abidjan. However, its availability has to be checked first. Note that you do not have to call at the Registry of Commerce, the Crédit Immobilier, the General Tax Directorate and the Caisse Nationale de Prévoyance Sociale by going through the CEPICI. In fact, the center will take care of all registration formalities on your behalf.

The following documents are to be produced:

  • each associate's identity card or passport
  • each associate's criminal record (issued less than three months before)
  • the company's statutes
  • the statement of subscription and payment
  • a list of the company's executives certified either by the notary or by the manager in the case of a private deed
  • the company's lease document if the premised are being rent or
  • the property's title deed if the entrepreneur is the owner of the premises
  • an authenticated proxy letter if the procedures are being undertaken by a representative.

Obtaining a company stamp

Once all these steps have been accomplished, you have to order a company's stamp from any manufacturer. This should cost around 10,000 CFA francs.

 Useful links:

CEPICI www.cepici.gouv.ci
Ivorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry www.cci.ci
US Embassy in Ivory Coast – Doing Business abidjan.usembassy.gov

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