Success tips when doing business in DRC
- Your joint venture partner or Congo shareholder must not merely be a nominee for the sake of meeting the rules of foreign company incorporation. You should choose a partner that actually brings a lot to the table, including local knowledge your business would need in Congo;
- To optimize the success of your new business venture in Congo, Healy Consultants recommends your firm i) complete a feasibility study ii) prepare a detailed business plan iii) communicate with the Congo Chamber of Commerce iv) speak to your local embassy in Congo and v) communicate with Healy Consultants Clients who successfully launched their business in Congo;
- Foreign companies should be aware i) Congo statistics and market data are usually imprecise ii) transactions tend to take longer than expected iii) more frequent and longer market visits are required, at least initially iv) complex business procedures are common;
- An essential factor in starting a business in Congo is to thoroughly research the business sector you are planning to invest in. Healy Consultants recommends our Client prepare a detailed business plan including an extensive market study and evaluation of competitors.
Frequently asked questions
Why invest in DR Congo?Doing business in the Democratic Republic of Congo can prove fruitful due to the following reasons:
- The DRC is a relatively untapped and huge market. First mover advantage is a high-return low-risk factor for businesses looking to expand into and within Africa.
- Primary industries like heavy industries, mining, manufacturing, ICT, and other infrastructural development businesses have a high demand in the DRC.
- The DRC is rich in mineral resources like bauxite, cobalt, copper, silver, uranium, lead, zinc, cadmium, diamond, gold, tin, tungsten, magnesium, and coltan. The metallurgy industry has recently been liberalized to welcome foreign investment.
- Presence of the Congo river also provides a conducive environment for maritime manufacturing and hydroelectricity production. Both these industries are promoted by the SEZ program.
How to get a work permit?The Work Establishment Visa is issued to foreigners who wish to work under an employment contract in the DRC. The application needs to be submitted to the regional employment office by the employer with the below documents:
- An application for a work card for the potential foreign employee submitted to the Direction General De Migration;
- An employment contract approved by the National Employment Office;
- CV of the potential employee;
- Evidence to support the professional skills and expertise of the potential employee;
- Job description;
- List of existing foreign employees;
- Training programs for DRC nationals.
The Work Establishment Visa is valid for two years.
How to get a residence permit?Establishment visas are issued to foreigners wishing to settle in the DRC. The visa is sufficient to prove a foreigner’s status of a resident, and to allow him/her to conduct legal economic activities. There are various types of visas available, depending on the nature of the applicant (student, employee, trader, etc.). There are a few residency permit requirements which apply for all establishment visas. The applicant must:
- have a regular stay in the DRC;
- stay in the DRC for at least six months;
- hold a valid passport;
- present an international vaccination card;
- present a certificate of good life and morals from his country;
- present a certificate of residence from the municipality of residence;
- have sufficient means to live in the DRC.
How long to open a corporate bank account?Bank account opening in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a relatively lengthy and complex procedure, which can take anywhere between three to five months. The time-consuming process depend on the type of business entity and the nature of the business., but primarily it is because of the bureaucratic and chaotic process of the local banks.