Business entities in Ivory Coast
Healy Consultants will assist our Clients with incorporating the optimal corporate structure in Ivory Coast. There are several ways of doing business in Ivory Coast, the most common being the setting up of a limited liability company. Foreign entrepreneurs may also opt to register a branch office, or a representative office if they do not plan to trade in Ivory Coast.
The Ivory Coast limited liability company (Société à Responsabilité Limitée – SARL)
- The Ivory Coast limited liability company (LLC) must appoint at least 1 director and 1 shareholder who can be of any nationality. The minimum paid-up share capital required to complete the incorporation process is US$2,000 (FCFA20,000);
- An Ivory Coast LLC must appoint an auditor from setup and audited financial statements must be submitted every year. The Ivory Coast LLC must maintain its books of accounts in French at its registered office in Ivory Coast. The accounts must be maintained according to the OHADA system.
The Ivory Coast public limited company (Société anonyme – SA)
- This business entity requires a minimum capital of US$20,000 (FCFA200,000) which must be paid up in full prior to Ivory Coast business setup. At least 1 shareholder and 3 directors must be appointed, whom can be of any nationality;
- The Ivory Coast public limited company (PLC) books of accounts must be maintained in French at its registered office in Ivory Coast. The accounts must be maintained according to the OHADA system of accounting. If required, Healy Consultants will assist our Client to locate permanent office premises in Ivory Coast;
- Annual financial statements must be prepared and an audit must be submitted every year. An Ivory Coast PLC must appoint an approved auditor.
The Ivory Coast branch (Succursale)
The scope of operations for the branch office is defined by the parent company. Also, the branch office must have a registered office in Ivory Coast as well as a resident agent appointed by the company to receive summons, notices etc. on behalf of the company.
The Ivory Coast representative office (bureau de liaison)
Foreign companies are also allowed to setup permanent establishments in the form of representative offices in Ivory Coast. This entity is not allowed to engage in any commercial or profit making activities. A representative office is only permitted to i) conduct market research and ii) promote activities of its company.
Table of comparison between Ivory Coast entities
|Also known as:||SARL||SA||Succursale||Bureau de liaison|
|How long to set the company up?||6 weeks||8 weeks||8 weeks||6 weeks|
|How long to open company bank account?||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|Wholly foreign owned?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum paid - up share capital?||US$2,000||US$20,000||US$1||US$1|
|File annual tax return?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Tax registration certificate required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Recommended corporate bank account?||Standard Chartered Bank||Ecobank||Banque Atlantique||Banque Atlantique|
|Does our Client need to travel?||No||No||No||No|
|Resident director required?||No||No||No||No|
|Resident shareholder required?||No||No||No||No|
|Minimum directors allowed?||1||3||1||1|
|Tax identification code needed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ivory Coast resident corporate agent required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Corporate shareholders allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Corporate director(s) allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Statutory audit required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Ivory Coast corporate tax rate?||25%||25%||25%||N/A|
|Annual financial statements required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to issue sales invoices?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Allowed to sign contracts?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Allowed to import and export goods?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Can rent an office space in Ivory Coast?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can buy Ivory Coast property?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Total Ivory Coast business setup costs in yr. 1?||US$21,290||US$21,590||US$22,390||US$22,090|
|Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)?||US$6,900||US$6,900||US$6,900||US$3,650|
|Sample engagement invoice?|