DOING BUSINESS IN CONGO IN 2021
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with business registration in the Republic of Congo. Our services include i) Republic of Congo company incorporation ii) government license registration iii) business bank account opening iv) employee recruitment v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions.
Summary table of Congo company registration
|Summary||Limited Liability Company||Special Economic Zone company||Mining company||Mobile services company||Representative office|
|Also known as||SARL||Société de la zone économique spéciale||Société minière||Société de services mobiles||Bureau de represtation|
|Best use of company?||All products and services||Manufacturing and related activities||Mining activities||Mobile phone, broadband and related services||Professional services|
|How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?||15 weeks||18 weeks||15 weeks||15 weeks||N/a|
|How soon can you hire staff?||15 weeks||18 weeks||15 weeks||15 weeks||18 weeks|
|How soon can you sign a lease agreement?||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks|
|How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?||5 weeks||5 weeks||5 weeks||5 weeks||5 weeks|
|How long to supply company registration/tax numbers?||15 weeks||18 weeks||15 weeks||15 weeks||18 weeks|
|Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?||30%||0% for first 6 years, 5% for year 7-10, 15% thereafter||30%||35%||0%|
|Limited liability entity?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Government grants/incentives available?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Government approval required for foreign owners?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required?||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Minimum paid up share capital?||US$1,728||US$1,728||US$50,000 for diamond trading, US$25,000 for gold trading||US$1,728||US$1|
|Can bid for Government contracts?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Corporate bank account location?||BCI Bank||BGFI Bank||Afriland First Bank||Ecobank||BCH Bank|
|Can secure trade finance?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|VAT payable on sales to local customers?||18%||18%||18%||16%||N/a|
|Average total business set up engagement costs?||US$14,030||Request a proposal||Request a proposal||Request a proposal||US$13,080|
|Average total engagement period?||5 months||6 months||5 months||5 months||6 months|
Congo company registration summary
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Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of Congo company registration
- It is possible to register a limited liability company in Congo (SARL), with only one director and one shareholder, who can be of any nationality and can be either individuals or corporate bodies. The minimum paid-up capital required is only US$1,100 and our Clients do not need to travel to complete the engagement;
- Our Clients find it attractive to establish a new company in Congo to trade natural resources because:
- The Republic of Congo is the 8th largest producer of oil in Africa, constituting approximately 70% of the country’s GDP. Investors keen to tap into this lucrative business will find that forming a company in Congo will provide them with expanded opportunities;
- Congo additionally offer investors and entrepreneurs with opportunities to venture into lucrative businesses involving mineral resources such as diamonds, potash, uranium, zinc, lead, phosphate and copper;
- Investors and entrepreneurs in the food industry will find Congo a better jurisdiction to trade with since the country is highly dependent on imported food products. The country imports nearly US$400 million in food products every year, constituting almost 75% of the country’s food consumption;
- The government of Congo, through the Investment Charter of 2003 gives guarantees, equal opportunities and protection to foreign investor against discrimination on all kind of investments in Congo.
- It is relatively easy to form a company in Congo, because the country is signatory to the Organization for Harmonization of Business Law in African (OHADA) together with nine other African countries including i) Mali ii) Senegal iii) Togo and iv) Cameroon among other countries to harmonize their respective business practices;
- The government of Democratic Republic of Congo highly supports business incorporation in its country through various assistance programs to its foreign investors such as:
- The National Agency for Investment Promotion (ANAPI) provides support to all those investors who want to undertake a business incorporation in the DRC;
- The DRC’s Investment Code gives the investors a range of benefits including:
- Customs advantages;
- Fiscal and Parafiscal advantages like exemptions a) from duties and taxes from import of machinery and raw materials, b) on profits, c) from taxes on properties and d) from ad valorem duties on an LLC setup;
- Provides the investors with guarantee and security.
- The minimum wages in Congo is US$20 per month. Moreover, Congo has an adult literacy rate of 77% (as per 2016). As a result, investors can easily hire skilled and educated workforce for their firms at affordable rates in this nation.
Disadvantages of Congo company registration
- A Congo limited liability company (SARL) is required by law to appoint at least 1 director who is either i) Congolese or ii) a foreign individual who must have been resident in Congo for at least 2 years. Our Firm can assist our Clients to comply with this requirement if needed;
- Forming a company in Congo is time-consuming for the following reasons:
- Incorporating a business in Congo is time-consuming as it involves numerous procedures and requirements including commissioning of a public notary to notarize the company documents and to temporarily hold the required minimum share capital;
- Non-French speaking investors and entrepreneurs will face difficulties interacting with Clients and suppliers since the Republic of Congo is a francophone African country and the official and business language is French;
- Apart from the numerous registration procedures, the government agencies are rife with corruption and spending money to get things done is the order of the day.
- Companies registered in Congo are subject to i) corporate tax at a standard rate of 30% ii) 20% withholding tax on dividends and interests paid to resident and non-resident companies and iii) VAT of 16% on domestic sales of goods and services.
- There are huge political bottlenecks in the DRC such as:
- The residency permit requirements, regulations for bringing in domestic labour, and tax regulations change haphazardly without any prior notice or at times without releasing any official notice.
- Congo has been ranked poorly in the 126th position (out of 137 countries) in the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018 edition. This is majorly due to the country’s i) underdeveloped financial markets for which investors do not have proper access to financing, as well as ii) poor infrastructural facilities.
Best uses for a Congo company
- Most companies formed in Congo by foreigners are mining or agroforestry businesses, as Gabon boasts significant natural resources and cheap labor costs to extract them.
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Latest information as of 2021