Business entities in Ivory Coast

Business entities in Ivory Coast

Healy Consultants will assist our Clients with incorporating the optimal corporate structure in Ivory Coast. There are several ways of doing business in Ivory Coast, the most common being the setting up of a limited liability company. Foreign entrepreneurs may also opt to register a branch office, or a representative office if they do not plan to trade in Ivory Coast.

The Ivory Coast limited liability company (Société à Responsabilité Limitée – SARL)

    Requirement to setup business in Ivory Coast

  • The Ivory Coast limited liability company (LLC) must appoint at least 1 director and 1 shareholder who can be of any nationality. The minimum paid-up share capital required to complete the incorporation process is US$2,000 (FCFA20,000);
  • An Ivory Coast LLC must appoint an auditor from setup and audited financial statements must be submitted every year. The Ivory Coast LLC must maintain its books of accounts in French at its registered office in Ivory Coast. The accounts must be maintained according to the OHADA system.

The Ivory Coast public limited company (Société anonyme – SA)

  • This business entity requires a minimum capital of US$20,000 (FCFA200,000) which must be paid up in full prior to Ivory Coast business setup. At least 1 shareholder and 3 directors must be appointed, whom can be of any nationality;
  • The Ivory Coast public limited company (PLC) books of accounts must be maintained in French at its registered office in Ivory Coast. The accounts must be maintained according to the OHADA system of accounting. If required, Healy Consultants will assist our Client to locate permanent office premises in Ivory Coast;
  • Annual financial statements must be prepared and an audit must be submitted every year. An Ivory Coast PLC must appoint an approved auditor.

The Ivory Coast branch (Succursale)

The scope of operations for the branch office is defined by the parent company. Also, the branch office must have a registered office in Ivory Coast as well as a resident agent appointed by the company to receive summons, notices etc. on behalf of the company.

The Ivory Coast representative office (bureau de liaison)

Foreign companies are also allowed to setup permanent establishments in the form of representative offices in Ivory Coast. This entity is not allowed to engage in any commercial or profit making activities. A representative office is only permitted to i) conduct market research and ii) promote activities of its company.

Table of comparison between Ivory Coast entities

 LLCPLCBranchRepresentative office
Also known as:SARLSASuccursaleBureau de liaison
How long to set the company up?6 weeks8 weeks8 weeks6 weeks
How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Legal liability?LimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Wholly foreign owned?YesYesYesYes
Minimum paid - up share capital?US$2,000US$20,000US$1US$1
File annual tax return?YesYesYesYes
Tax registration certificate required?YesYesYesYes
Recommended corporate bank account?Standard Chartered BankEcobankBanque AtlantiqueBanque Atlantique
Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNo
Resident director required?NoNoNoNo
Resident shareholder required?NoNoNoNo
Minimum directors allowed?1311
Minimum shareholders?1111
Tax identification code needed?YesYesYesYes
Ivory Coast resident corporate agent required?YesYesYesYes
Corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowed?YesYesYesYes
Statutory audit required?YesYesYesNo
Ivory Coast corporate tax rate?25%25%25%N/A
Annual financial statements required?YesYesYesYes
Allowed to issue sales invoices?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to sign contracts?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to import and export goods?YesYesYesNo
Can rent an office space in Ivory Coast?YesYesYesYes
Can buy Ivory Coast property?YesYesYesNo
Total Ivory Coast business setup costs in yr. 1?US$19,290US$19,590US$19,640US$20,090
Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)?US$6,900US$6,900US$6,900US$3,650
Sample engagement invoice?Ivory Coast LLC invoiceIvory Coast PLC invoiceIvory Coast Branch office invoiceIvory Coast Rep office invoice

Contact us

For additional information on our business setup services in Ivory Coast, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Zhang Yi, directly:
client relationship officer - Zhang Yi
ivory-cepici ivory-bceao Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Côte d'Ivoire General Directorate of Taxes Ivory Coast ivory's Ministry of Trade