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)

Requirement to setup business in Ivory Coast

  • 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

  LLC PLC Branch Representative office
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
Legal liability? Limited Limited Unlimited Unlimited
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
Minimum shareholders? 1 1 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? View invoice PDF View invoice PDF View invoice PDF View invoice PDF

Contact us

For additional information on our business setup services in Ivory Coast, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Lee Wen Bin, directly:
Consultant at HC - Wen Bin
  • Ms. Lee Wen Bin
  • Client Engagements Department, Deputy Director
  • Contact me!
ivory-cepici ivory-bceao Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Côte d'Ivoire General Directorate of Taxes Ivory Coast ivory's Ministry of Trade