DOING BUSINESS IN BURUNDI IN 2023
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group has assisted our Clients with doing business in Burundi. Our services include i) Burundi business registration ii) government license registration iii) corporate bank account opening services in Burundi iv) employee recruitment services v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions.
Summary table of Burundi company registration
|Summary||Tax resident LLC||Fast setup solutions||Free trade zone LLC||Representative office||Branch office|
|Also known as||Société Unipersonelle à Responsabilité Limitée||Société Unipersonelle à Responsabilité Limitée||Societe en zone franche||Bureau de représentation||Succursale|
|Best use of company?||All products and services||Client to fast close local deal||Manuf/ export trading||Marketing/ research||Specific projects|
|How soon to invoice Clients?||3 weeks||2 weeks||6 weeks||3 weeks||3 weeks|
|How soon can you hire staff?||3 weeks||2 weeks||6 weeks||3 weeks||3 weeks|
|How soon can you sign a lease agreement?||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week|
|How long to supply corporate bank a/c?||6 weeks||4 weeks||2 months||6 weeks||6 weeks|
|How long to supply co. reg / tax numbers?||3 weeks||2 weeks||6 weeks||3 weeks||3 weeks|
|Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?||30%||30%||0%||Cannot trade||30%|
|Limited liability entity?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Government grants available?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Govt approval required for foreign owners?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Res. director/partner/ legal rep. required?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Minimum paid up share capital?||US$1||US$1||US$100,000||None||US$1|
|Can bid for Government contracts?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Corporate bank account location?||FinBank||Ecobank||Diamond Trust Bank||BCB||Interbank|
|Can secure trade finance?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|VAT payable on sales to local customers?||18%||18%||18%||Cannot trade||18%|
|Average total business set up costs?||US$12,450||Request a proposal||US$19,950||Request a proposal||Request a proposal|
|Average total engagement period?||3 months||2 months||3 months||3 months||3 months|
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Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of Burundi company registration
- A limited liability company in Burundi can be incorporated with a minimum of i) one individual shareholder (two shareholders if one is a corporate) and ii) one director of any nationality. The minimum paid-up capital required for incorporation is US$1 (BIF1) and our Client will not have to travel to Burundi to complete the process;
- Running a business in Burundi requires little investment, thanks to low operational costs: i) the average monthly salary of the staff in Burundi is US$2.5 according to the World Bank and ii) office space annual rent is approximately US$6.5 per square foot;
- Companies registered in Burundi’s special investment zones benefit from i) corporate tax exemption for the first ten years of operation and thereafter a reduced tax rate of 15% ii) tax exemption on dividends for an unlimited time period iii) ability to freely repatriate profits and capital iv) permission to have foreign currency bank deposits v) flexibility in labor regulations vi) tax and duty exemptions on all imports and exports;
- Although most of Burundi is landlocked, there is a port in Bujumbura (the capital city of Burundi) and this port facilitates water transportation of products via Lake Tanganyika which is connected to a major port in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
- Burundi has a substantial proportion of well-educated workers in its economy which is a subsequent result of its high adult literacy rate of 85% (as per 2015). Moreover, Burundi’s minimum wage is as low as US$2 per month. Therefore, investors can easily find quality labour force at affordable rates in Burundi.
Disadvantages of Burundi company registration
- Burundi is in the midst of a civil war, with an armed rebellion against the Government and alleged mass killings by both sides, in spite of the intervention of a UN peacekeeping mission;
- Burundi is a landlocked country with very poor roads and infrastructure in general. There is only one airport in the capital city of Bujumbura and no railways in the country. Paved road network covers only 7% of the total area of the country. Investors will face delays when importing goods and our Clients should therefore be aware that transportation will be a major inconvenience when starting a company in Burundi;
- Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world and is also one of the most corrupt nations. According to the Corruptions Perceptions Index 2015, Burundi is negatively ranked as 160th out of 174 countries. Investors should therefore note that they will need to offer gifts, favors or money to government officials in order to hasten the process of obtaining business licenses. Healy Consultants will be happy to help you handle your administrative requirements;
- French is the official language, hence all business documents must be translated into French prior to incorporation of a company in Burundi. For our non-French speaking Clients, language can also be a barrier when trading in Burundi;
- Burundi has been poorly ranked at the 129th position (out of 137 countries) in the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018 Index. This is largely due to the i) nation’s poor access to financing for its investments, widespread corruption as well as ii) an unstable macroeconomic environment caused by high inflation and instability in policies.
Best uses for a Burundi companyBurundi is an ideal location to setup a headquarters for business in Africa as the country is a member of i) Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPLG) ii) Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and iii) the East African Community (EAC), and this provides investors access to open markets consisting of over 500 million consumers for their products.
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