Business entities in Cameroon

Business entities in Cameroon

requirements to setup business in CameroonHealy Consultants offers our Clients the best corporate structures in Cameroon to support their international business. There are several ways of doing business in Cameroon, the most common being the setting up of a limited liability company (SARL). Investors can also establish a public limited company (SA). Alternatively, foreign companies have the option of setting up a branch office or a representative office.

The Cameroon limited liability company (SARL)

  • The Cameroon SARL is the most common legal entity used by entrepreneurs to setup SMEs in Cameroon. A SARL must appoint at least 1 resident director and 1 shareholder of any nationality. The shareholder can either be an individual or a body corporate. A minimum paid-up share capital of US$1,900 is also required to complete the incorporation process;
  • This entity must appoint a statutory auditor to check its accounts only if i) the registered capital exceeds US$19,000 ii) annual turnover exceeds US$477,000 or iii) the company employs more than 50 staff.

The Cameroon public limited company (SA)

  • The Cameroon SA requires at least 1 shareholder and 1 resident director of any nationality to be incorporated. The shareholder can either be an individual or a legal entity and can be resident of any country. A minimum paid-up share capital of US$19,000 is required to complete Cameroon company setup. A higher share capital of US$190,000 is however required after Cameroon business setup, if the company intends to be publicly listed;
  • A Cameroon public limited company must also appoint 2 auditors for the purpose of verifying the company’s accounts. If listed in the Douala Stock Exchange market, an SA must appoint 2 additional auditors.

The Cameroon branch (succursale)

  • Foreign companies may open branches of their foreign legal entities in Cameroon. The branch can enter in all lines of business in Cameroon, although its scope of operations must be previously defined by its parent company. The branch must appoint at least one resident director, of any nationality, to oversee the company’s operations in Cameroon;
  • A branch may only be operational for a maximum period of 2 years after which it must be fully incorporated as a limited company in Cameroon. Operations as a branch can however only be renewed every two years, provided approval has been granted by the Ministry of Trade and Commerce.

The Cameroon representative office (bureau de liaison)

Although 100% foreign ownership of a representative office is allowed, it is not considered a legal entity and is not allowed to conduct any direct sales in Cameroon. This entity is only permitted to engage in i) market research and ii) to promote the parent company’s activities.

Comparison table between Cameroon business entities

 LLCPLCBranch officeRep office
Business entity also known as:SARLSASuccursaleBureau de liaison
How long to set the company up?5 weeks6 weeks5 weeks5 weeks
How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Legal liability?LimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Wholly foreign owned?YesYesYesYes
Minimum share capital?US$1,900US$19,000N/AN/A
File annual tax return?YesYesYesNo
Tax registration certificate required?YesYesYesNo
Recommended corporate bank account?Commercial Bank of CameroonUnion Bank CameroonStandard Chartered BankUnited Bank of Africa
Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNo
Resident director required?YesYesYesYes
Resident shareholder required?NoNoNoNo
Minimum directors allowed?1111
Minimum shareholders?1111
Tax identification code (TIN) needed?YesYesYesNo
Cameroon resident company secretary required?NoNoNoNo
Corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowed?NoNoNoNo
Cameroon corporate tax rate?33%33%33%0%
Annual financial statements required?NoYesNoNo
Statutory audit required?NoYesNoNo
Allowed to issue sales invoices?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to sign contracts?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to import and export goods?YesYesYesNo
Can rent an office space in Cameroon?YesYesYesYes
Can buy Cameroon property?YesYesYesNo
Can own equity in other Cameroon companies?YesYesYesNo
Total Cameroon business setup costs in Yr. 1US$15,425US$16,625US$16,025US$13,675
Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)US$3,950US$3,950US$3,950US$2,850
Sample engagement invoiceCameroon LLC setup costCameroon PLC invoiceCameroon branch invoiceCameroon RO invoice

Contact us

For additional information on our business setup services in Cameroon, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Kunal Fabiani, directly:
client relationship officer - Kunal
cameroon tourism government of Cameroon community economic and monetary affairs of central africa - CEMAC cameroon investment promotion agency - CIPA cameroon ministry of trade