Sierra Leone is a well-known African country that encourages foreign direct investments through different incentives, in particular. This jurisdiction is abundant in different mineral resources (including gold and diamonds) and steadily upgrades its legal framework. The agricultural, transport and tourism sectors are the most developed ones in Sierra Leone. Entity incorporation in Freetown or Bo may easily open access to the next advantages the state offers.
Why to Register a Company in Sierra Leone
If you wish to incorporate or buy a company in Sierra Leone, this scope of advantages may become available to your business:
- convenient geographical location;
- availability of large markets;
- support of innovations;
- incentives for foreign direct investments, including in terms of taxation;
- cheap labor force.
Legal and Organizational Forms in Sierra Leone
You are entitled to incorporate a company in Sierra Leone or establish your official presence in an alternative way by using one of these legal and organizational forms:
- Limited liability company – this is the most popular and flexible business form that can be established even by 1 founder. All the financial and legal obligations of each shareholder will be always restricted to the amounts contributed to this entity – a shareholder will never cover any potential losses in excess of the sums invested. The government has abolished compulsory requirements for the starting share capital to contribute. Legal persons may also be members of this company.
- Branch – this option will perfectly suit foreign companies who intend to realize in Sierra Leone their business objectives. Passing the simplified registration procedure will be required without the need of investing significant amounts of capital. 100% legal and financial liability over the debts and obligations of a branch will bear its mother company. The status of a legal entity is not granted in this case.
- Representative office – this is an alternative option for establishing a business presence in Sierra Leone that is associated with marketing and promotional activities but doesn't allow handling a business here. Passing the simplified registration procedure is also required in this case without (1) the need of making any contributions, and (2) getting the status of a legal entity as well.
How to Incorporate a Company in Sierra Leone
If you wish to start a company in Sierra Leone, making these steps is expected for that purpose:
- Clarifying your commercial objectives and selecting the most appropriate types of commercial activities.
- Elaborating on a unique business name for an upcoming registration.
- Gathering and formalizing appropriately all the details about shareholders, including a mother company (if any), shareholders, final beneficiaries, and managers of a future company.
- Arranging and formalizing the official legal address for a new company.
- Composing and executing all the required registration documents and application forms for an upcoming registration.
- Submitting the set of registration documents, including the bank statement on the payment of the registration fee, for consideration. Creating a new entry in the Register of Companies by the Corporate Affairs Commission and issuing the Certificate of Incorporation for a new company.
- Formalizing a new company for the purpose of paying taxes and compulsory social security contributions.
- Opening corporate bank accounts for a new company.
- Applying for and formalizing compulsory licenses and permits (optional, may be required for chosen types of regulated activities).
Legal and Regulatory Framework
Sierra Leone is interested in involving foreign investments maximally. This jurisdiction allows 100% foreign ownership and also provides foreigners the opportunities to work in many strategic sectors of the economy, for instance, mining. At the same time, running a business in Sierra Leone is always associated with lots of uncertainties and a high risk of corruption. Contact Prifinance attorneys to get equally good but safer opportunities for investment.
Taxation in Sierra Leone
Each option of business incorporation in Sierra Leone should be considered simultaneously with the next tax highlights:
- Profit tax (for legal entities) – 30%
- Income tax (for individuals) – 35%
- Goods and service tax (instead of VAT) – 15%
- Withholding tax (standard)* – (1) dividends – 10% (2) interests – 15% (3) royalties – 25%
- Capital gains tax – 30%
*rates may vary depending on the type of operation and the taxpayer.
How Prifinance Attorneys Can Assist You
Prifinance attorneys are ready to evaluate and foster the process of buying or opening a company in Sierra Leone so you could maximize potential benefits for your business, including:
- assessing the perspectives of business incorporation in Sierra Leone and developing a personalized registration plan;
- supporting the process of negotiations with the officials of the state authorities and banks;
- collecting, drafting, and executing all the required documents for a future company;
- supporting comprehensively the next entity’s operation both in Sierra Leone and abroad.
Experts have more than 11 000 successful cases in their portfolio and are ready to bring your project to success as well. Share the details and business objectives you have now.