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If you want to register a business in Botswana, it is an important to follow the steps below. The process involves selecting a business structure, such as a business name or company, and completing the necessary registration procedures. A well-informed understanding of the regulations and requirements will ensure a smooth and successful registration process. Starting a business in Botswana can be a exciting and rewarding endeavor, but it’s important to make sure you follow the proper steps to ensure your business is properly registered and compliant with local laws and regulations.
When starting a business in Botswana, you can choose between two types of structures: business names or companies.
A. Business Names: This is a name that you give to your business to identify it. It’s like a nickname for your business. The person who owns the business is also the owner of the business name, but the business name itself is not a legal entity. Most people find this option suitable when you want to register a business in Botswana.
B. Companies: There are four types of companies to choose from in Botswana. When picking a structure for your company, think about things like size, profit sharing, who is responsible for debts, funding, ownership, and accountability. The four types of companies are:
- Private company: This is a company formed to make a profit and can have up to 25 shareholders. The company does not sell shares to the public and the name ends with “Proprietary) Limited”.
- Public company: This company can have as many shareholders as it wants and usually sells shares to the public. The name ends with “Limited”.
Use these steps to register a business in Botswana
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to register a business in Botswana:
1. Choose a business name
The first step when you want to register a business in Botswana is to choose a unique and memorable name. Your business name should be distinct and not already in use by another company. You can check the availability of a business name by visiting the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s website or by contacting the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA). CIPA has an online registration system known as OBRS where you can reserve a business name for P20 and register a business name for P150.
2. Register your business with CIPA
Once you have chosen a business name, the next step is to register your business with CIPA. This can be done online through the CIPA website or OBRS, or you can visit a CIPA office in person. It costs P360 to register a private company. When registering your business, you will need to provide information such as your business name, contact information, business address, and details about the business owners.
3. Appoint a Company Secretary
Secretaries for businesses come in a variety of sizes and forms. An Example of a great company secretary is El Imperio (Pty) Ltd. some practices specialize on secretarial services while others provide them as associated services. This is one of the critical steps when you register a business in Botswana. You should find out what the company secretary will provide. Beyond the CIPA appointment, what more services do they provide that will aid in the expansion and success of your company.
Make sure that you have a qualified company secretary who is either a legal practitioner, a member of the Botswana Institute of Accountants, a member of the Southern African Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, a member of the Association of Business Consultants of Botswana, or a member of the Botswana Association of Company Secretaries.
4. Obtain a business license
After registering your business with CIPA, the next step is to obtain a business license. This can be done through the Ministry of Trade and Industry or the local council in the area where your business will be located. You will need to provide information about your business and pay a fee to obtain a business license.
5. Open a Bank Account
Opening a bank account is the natural next step to follow. To register for tax with BURS and do respectable business on the market, you require a business bank account. After you register a business in Botswana, you must choose the best business banking partner. Decide on a bank with an online platform and credit card security, and insist on spending as little time as possible there. The best Banks in Botswana to consider include;
- First National Bank Botswana
- First Capital Bank Botswana
- Access Bank Botswana
- Stanbic Bank Botswana
- Standard Chartered
- Bank Gaborone
- Absa Botswana
6. Bonus – Register for Taxes
It is important to register for taxes as soon as you register a business in Botswana. This can be done through the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS). When registering for taxes, you will need to provide information such as your business name, contact information, and details about your business operations.
7. Bonus – Register for PPADB
The requirement to register with the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) varies based on the industry and type of business. In the construction sector, a PPADB registration is necessary, and possession of appropriate codes is a requirement for bidding on government projects. PPADB is a necessary step when you register a business in Botswana.
8. Bonus – Compliance with other regulations
Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may need to comply with other regulations such as health and safety regulations, food safety regulations, or environmental regulations. It is important to research and understand any regulations that apply to your business and ensure you are in compliance.
It’s worth noting that both individuals above the age of 18 as well as corporate bodies can register a business in Botswana. The registration process can be done by a shareholder, a director, a company secretary, or authorized professional consultant.
By following these steps, you can successfully register a business in Botswana and start your entrepreneurial journey. It is important to ensure that you are properly registered and compliant with all local laws and regulations to avoid any legal issues down the line. After starting your business, discover these 5 ways you can make money online. You can also consider Selling online on Botswana’s Number 1 online marketplace, Skymartbw.com. Good luck with your new business!