Ivory Coast company set up for an Australian engineering conglomerate
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group assists multinational Clients with business set up in Ivory Coast, including i) company incorporation ii) multi-currency corporate bank account opening iii) company secretary and legal registered office iv) regulatory license applications v) tax registration vi) assistance to source office premises in Abidjan or other cities and vii) employee recruitment and visas.
In April 2021, our Australian Client approached us to i) set up an Ivory Coast company ii) register the entity for tax iii) open a corporate bank account in the Ivory Coast and iv) provide a legal registered address.
The company is an international conglomerate providing engineering and project delivery services to several large global corporations operating mainly in the mining sector. Over the past years, I previously worked with this Client to project manage three other African business set up engagements.
After a brief email and phone exchange with me, our Client settled our Ivory Coast company incorporation fees. These fees include i) our time to incorporate the Ivory Coast entity ii) tax registrations iii) bank account opening and iv) registering a legal address and hiring a local company secretary.
- We initially sent our Client a receipt confirming the engagement fees were paid.
- My team and I prepared a detailed engagement project plan.
- We then prepared a detailed business plan for our Client’s review and approval.
- Around the same time, our team was informed of a Covid case reported at the Ivory Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and it had to also close due to the Eid holidays. Unfornatutely, there were also rolling blackouts in Ivory Coast at the time, affecting all businesses and government departments. Consequently, we advised our Client of potential delays to the engagement.
- Our Client reverted with the approved business plan, inclusive of estimated financial figures for expected turnover.
- Our Client confirmed his preferred name for the Ivory Coast company.
- I also received from my Client all the documents (required for company incorporation) translated into French. The Ivory Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry only accept applications and documents in French.
- Our Client returned scans of the signed power of attorney and registered address agreement.
- Our team in Ivory Coast then met with an official at the Ivory Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Using the power of attorney, the company corporate documents were signed.
- Our team followed up with the Ivory Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry on multiple occasions to try to secure company numbers and the certificate of incorporation. However, due to the rolling blackouts, this was challenging.
- 3 weeks after the application had been submitted to the Chamber of Commerce, our local affiliate received the certificate of incorporation. However, I spotted an error on the corporate documents issued by the Chamber – the company name was spelt incorrectly – and immediately advised the Client.
- I asked the Chamber to correct the mistake, and once rectified I was in a position to submit them to the Ivory Coast Tax administration (see below).
- The total time from incorporation application to receiving the updated corporate documents was about three months.
- Our Client was now, at last, able to legally conduct business and invoice customers.
- Our team also provided legal registered address and company secretary services.
Ivory Coast tax registration
- Our local Ivory Coast affiliate prepared the company’s tax number application, and submitted it, along with the updated corporate documents, to the Ivory Coast Tax administration.
- The tax office released the tax registration number to our Client a week later.
Ivory Coast corporate bank account opening
- Our Ivory Coast team contacted several local banks with the aim of securing confirmation that they would welcome an account opening application from our Client.
- At this stage, the banks also stated that they required the bank signatory to attend the bank branch in person to complete bank account opening.
- Fortunately, Our Client has bank accounts in several African countries, so we were able to leverage these relationships to obtain internal referrals so our Client could avoid travelling to Ivory Coast to meet the bank officer.
- One of the international banks with an Ivory Coast branch confirmed their interest in opening an account for our Client, and I started to prefill the corporate bank account opening forms.
- The prefilled forms were sent to the bank for their review and confirmation. The bank returned with feedback, I updated the forms and prepared the signing guide. I then sent the full application pack to our Client for review and signature.
- Within one week, our Client e-mailed signed, scanned copies of the forms.
- Our Client then reverted to us, stating that he wanted to add other signatories to the account. I requested identity documents to the new signatories, which my Client provided.
- I prepared the new bank account opening application forms, including the additional bank signatories’ information, and then submitted them to the bank.
- The bank confirmed that the forms were acceptable to be signed, and so they were forwarded to my Client for signature and e-mail return.
- Once received, I immediately forwarded the documents for the bank’s final review and confirmation.
- Our Client also provided the signed authorisation matrix for the company’s bank account.
- The bank requested an addition to be made to the authorization matrix. Our Client was notified, and they quickly returned the requested document, and the bank confirmed it was acceptable.
- I gave our Client a list of documents to be couriered to Ivory Coast. Our Client confirmed the original signed application forms were couriered to the bank in Ivory Coast, and the bank confirmed receipt of the signed documents.
- I followed up with the bank after a week. The bank confirmed the application was still being processed.
- I followed up with the bank again after another week, and the application was still being processed. Additionally, we provided an updated invoice and list of required documents to acquire a subcontractor’s license that our Client’s company is required to have to legally do business in Ivory Coast.
- Then, corporate bank account numbers were secured the following week. One week later, I assisted my Client to activate the internet banking facilities.
- The entire corporate bank account opening process took about four months.
- Our Client confirmed they no longer required Healy Consultants Group’s assistance to secure a subcontractor’s license.
- We sent our Client i) the original certificate of incorporation ii) company numbers iii) bank account numbers and iv) tax registration numbers.
- I requested a professional reference from our Client, and our team also requested the Client to post an online review.
- Annually thereafter, Healy Consultants Group in-house Accounting and Tax Department assists our Australian Client to timely accurately and completely discharge their annual Ivory Coast legal, accounting and tax obligations.