Business entities in Liberia
Healy Consultants will assist our Clients to incorporate the optimal corporate structure in Liberia. There are several ways of doing business in Liberia, the most common being the setting up of a corporation. Foreign entrepreneurs may also opt to set up a limited liability company, private foundation, a foreign maritime entity or branch office.
The Liberia limited liability company (LLC)
- The Liberian LLC is the preferred entity type for investors looking to form a holding company, and requires only one director and one shareholder of any nationality for incorporation process to be complete. The minimum paid-up capital required is US$1;
- The LLC must appoint a registered agent and must have a legal registered address in Liberia. By law, all Liberian companies must appoint LISCR Trust Company to serve as the registered agent. LLCs are not required by law to submit annual audited financial statements.
The Liberia corporation
- The Liberian corporation must appoint at least one director and one shareholder who can be of any nationality. The minimum paid-up share capital required to complete the incorporation process is US$1 while initial assets must be in cash or equivalent value of US$10,000. The company must also appoint a registered agent as well as a supervisory board and must have a registered address in Liberia;
- A Liberian corporation is not required to file any annual returns or audited financial statements, but should maintain accounting records at the registered office to reflect the company’s financial status.
The Liberia private foundation
- The Liberian private foundation must appoint at least one director and three shareholders, who can be of any nationality. Two of the shareholders must be individuals. The minimum paid-up share capital required to complete the incorporation process is US$10,000;
- A private foundation is popular among those who wish to set up an entity to preserve wealth-generating activities of a family. This entity must appoint a registered agent and must have a registered address in Liberia;
- A Liberian private foundation is not required by law to submit annual audited financial statements.
The Liberia foreign maritime entity (FME)
- The non-Liberian entity may register an entity in Liberia so as to own and operate a ship flying the Liberian flag. The minimum paid-up share capital required to complete the incorporation process is US$1;
- As a statutory requirement, an FME must appoint the LISRC Trust Company as registered agent in Liberia must have a registered address in Liberia;
- A Liberian foreign maritime entity is not required by law to submit annual audited financial statements.
The Liberia branch office
A Liberian branch office is an entity whose scope of operations will be defined by the parent company. This entity must appointed legal representative or agent who is authorized to accept service of court processes and other official government documents on behalf of the parent company, and who must reside in Liberia. Also, the branch office must have a registered address in Liberia with a post office to which all communications and notices may be addressed and must maintain statutory records in this office.
Table of comparison between Liberia entities
|How long to set the company up?||1 week||8 weeks||10 weeks||10 weeks||10 weeks|
|How long to open company bank account?||4 weeks||4 weeks||5 weeks||5 weeks||6 weeks|
|Wholly foreign owned?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum paid - up share capital?||US$1||US$1||US$10,000||US$1||US$1|
|File annual tax return?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Tax registration certificate required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Recommended corporate bank account?||Ecobank||International Bank (Liberia) Ltd||UBA Group||UBA Groupx||EcobankGlobal Bank Liberia Ltd|
|Does our Client need to travel?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Resident director required?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Resident shareholder required?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Minimum directors allowed?||1||1||1||1||1|
|Tax identification code needed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Company secretary required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Corporate shareholders allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Corporate director(s) allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Statutory audit required?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Liberia corporate tax rate?||0%||25%||25%||25%||25%|
|Annual financial statements required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to issue sales invoices?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to sign contracts?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to import and export goods?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can rent an office space in Liberia?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can buy Liberia property?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Total Liberia business setup costs in yr. 1?||US$6,430|
|Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)?||US$2,400|
|Sample engagement invoice?|