Ivory Coast company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN IVORY COAST IN 2018

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with business registration in Ivory Coast. Our services include i) Ivory Coast company incorporation ii) government license registration iii) corporate bank account opening services in Ivory Coast and abroad iv) employee recruitment v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions in Ivory Coast.

Summary table of Ivory Coast company registration

SummaryLLCAgribusiness companyFree zone LLCFast nominee solutionRepresentative office
Also known asSARLEntreprise agroalimentaireSociété de zone francheSociété nominée rapideBureau de liaison
Best use of company?All products and servicesAgriculture and related activitiesManufacturing and export tradingAll products and servicesMarketing and research
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?6 weeks6 weeks8 weeks1 weekN/A
How soon can you hire staff?6 weeks6 weeks8 weeks1 week6 weeks
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?1 week1 week1 week1 week

1 week
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks1 week4 weeks
How long to supply company registration/tax numbers?6 weeks6 weeks8 weeks1 week6 weeks
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?25%25%0% for up to 15 years 25%No income
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesNo
Government grants/incentives available?YesYesYesYesNo
Government approval required for foreign owners?NoYesYesYesYes
Resident director/partner/manager/legal representative required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital?US$2,000US$2,000US$2,000US$2,000US$1
Can bid for Government contracts?YesYesYesYesNo
Corporate bank account location?Standard Chartered BankEcobankBanque AtlantiqueBICICIGT Bank
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesYes
VAT payable on sales to local customers?18%18%0%18%

No sales
Average total business set up engagement costs?US$21,290Request a proposalRequest a proposalRequest a proposalUS$22,090
Average total engagement period?3 months3 months3 months2 weeks3 months

Ivory Coast company registration summary

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  • Advantages and disadvantages

    Advantages of Ivory Coast company registration

    A limited liability company in Ivory Coast can be incorporated with a minimum of one shareholder and one director of any nationality. The minimum paid-up capital required for incorporation is US$2,000 (FCFA1 million) and our Client will not have to travel to Ivory Coast to complete the process;
    business opportunity in Ivory Coast

    1. The procedures to form a company have become much easier to complete for foreigners because:
      • The government of Ivory Coast has established a one-stop-shop (CEPICI) for company registration which in turn has greatly reduced the amount of time taken to register a new company in Ivory Coast;
      • Since 2012, only investment projects by foreigners representing an amount over US$1.7 million (FCFA 1 billion) are required to be previously approved by the Ivory Coast authorities. Projects below this amount just have to be notified to the Government;
      • Ivory Coast is a member of the CFA Franc Zone and benefits from financial assistance from the French Treasury, which guarantees the convertibility of the CFA Franc. The exchange rate has been pegged to the Euro at €1 for CFA Franc 656 since 2009, stabilizing prices and limiting currency exchange risk for foreign investors.
    2. Ivory Coast is an attractive location to start a trading business in Sub Saharan Africa because:
      • The market constituted by Ivory Coast is the 8th largest of Sub Saharan Africa, with a i) population of 20 million ii) an economy recorded at US$35 billion in 2016 and iii) a GDP per capita of 1,500;
      • Ivory Coast’s infrastructure is better than in other Sub-Saharan African countries: for example, it takes about 11 weeks for businesses to get electricity connection in Ivory Coast, against a 28 weeks regional average;
      • The second largest port in Africa is located in Abidjan, resulting in much lower costs to trade globally: the average cost to export a container is US$1,390 and takes 25 days while importing a container costs US$1,960 and takes 32 days. In other Sub-Saharan African countries, it costs an average of US$2,200 to export a container and this takes about 30 days while importing a container costs US$2,930 and takes 38 days;
      • Foreigners investing in Ivory Coast at least US$70,000 (FCFA70 million) in specified industries are eligible to up of 8 years of tax holidays and partial exemptions from social security contributions. The tax advantages granted by the Ivory Coast authorities can be extended to up to 15 years, for larger projects representing at least US$120,000 (FCFA 120 million).

    Disadvantages of Ivory Coast company registration

    1. Foreigners generally avoid to do business in Ivory Coast due to the UN sanctions, which result into:
      • Additional scrutiny for their Government: virtually all countries in the world are implementing sanctions against some Ivory Coast individuals and corporations. Consequently, trade with this country is monitored and considered high risk;
      • Closed corporate bank accounts: global banks also associate trade and financial transfers to Ivory Coast as high risk in terms of anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism compliance. They are reluctant to open corporate bank accounts for Ivory Coast subsidiaries and can close the accounts of connected businesses.
    2. French is the national language of Ivory Coast therefore all business documents must be translated into French prior to incorporation of a company. If required, Healy Consultants will be pleased to provide translation services to our Clients.
    3. Businesses not eligible to the tax incentives granted by the Ivory Coast Government have to pay a significant amount of taxes, because:
      • The corporate income tax rate is high: 25% of the earnings of a company. Ivory Coast also implements a minimum tax corresponding to 0.5% of the company’s annual turnover;
      • Dividends repatriated overseas are subject to withholding tax, at rates of up to 15%. Withholding tax is also payable on directorship fees at a 12% rate;
      • Ivory Coast has signed only twenty eight double taxation avoidance treaties, mostly with other African nations. The only Western countries included in the list are: i) France ii) Belgium iii) Canada iv) Germany v) Italy vi) Switzerland vii) Norway and viii) the United Kingdom.
    4. Whereas a company can easily repatriate profits and funds from businesses in Ivory Coast, exchange controls exist for financial remittances outside the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).
  • Best uses for an Ivory Coast company

    1. Ivory Coast is a good place to produce cocoa and derived products.

Company registration

  • Time to incorporate: Six weeks
  • Cost to set up: US$21,290
  • Minimum capital: US$2,000
  • Physical office required: Yes

Required appointments

  • Shareholders: 1
  • Directors: 1
  • Company secretary: No
  • Resident director: No

Key facts

  • Corporate tax rate: 25%
  • Corporate tax base: Worldwide
  • Shelf companies: No
  • Main company type: SARL

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Useful links for Ivory Coast

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Ivory Coast, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Saidolim Kodirov, directly:
ivory-cepici ivory-bceao Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Côte d'Ivoire General Directorate of Taxes Ivory Coast ivory's Ministry of Trade