Do I need to register my business?
Yes, Businesses in The Gambia must be registered and may be registered as a company, a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or other forms of business (namely co-operatives, subsidiaries of other companies
Do I need a legal practitioner register my business?
No, but it is highly recommended for you to use the services a legal practitioner who will carry out the following:
Name search for company
Notarisation of company statutes
Payment of stamp duty and deposit of corporate tax with Commissioner of Income Tax.
Registration at the Commercial Registry in Banjul. Fees are incremental depending on the share capital of the company.
Get an operational license from either Kanifing Municipal Council or Banjul City Council.
Register employees with the Social Security Corporation
Will my company be allowed to transfer profits, dividends and capital upon liquidation?
Companies are guaranteed
- Unconditional transferability of dividends and net profits after tax to their home countries through the banking system
- Transferability of payments for loan
What documents do I need to register my business?
To incorporate a company the law requires the company to file the following documents with the Registrar of Companies:
1. Memorandum of Association: Indicates the name of the company, its registered place of business, its objectives, whether it is a limited liability company, and the authorised share capital with the amount subscribed by each member;
2. Articles of Association: Contain the company's organisation and rules of operation.
3. Receipts of payment of Stamp Duty & Business Registration fees from the Gambia Revenue Authority
Does my business need a registered office?
Yes, every company must have a registered office in the Gambia to which all communications and notices may be addressed
Do I need an environmental clearance?
Yes, depending on the type of project. The Environmental Clearance issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA) is required of all projects that could have a negative impact on the environment. There are guidelines set out by the NEA as per the Environment Act 1994.
Can I employ expatriate staff?
Yes, investors wishing to employ expatriates whose skills are not available in The Gambia are required to obtain Residence and Work permits for each expatriate staff. The process is very simply and completed application forms can be sent direct to the Department of State for Interior.
In order to reside and work in the Gambia, a Residential permit ‘B’ is the permit issued to Experts, their Spouses and Children.
This permit is issued for both residence and employment and in connection with policies laid down by the Government. It is usually issued to skilled expatriates and owners of big business as follows:
The Director of Immigration can only issue permits ‘B’ to a skill expatriate worker in the executive managerial and middle management position in accordance with the directives and instructions given from time to time through the expatriate quota allocation Board specifying Government’s Immigration Policy. In other words residential permit ’B’ can only be issued to a skilled expatriate worker if there is a quota position for him to occupy.
The validity of Residential Permits;
All residential permits expire on the 31st December each year for example a permit issued on February 1st 2012 will expire on 31st December 2012. Please note that application forms can be obtained at a very minimal fee from the Department of State for Interior.
The fees for Residential Permit ‘B’ are:
For ECOWAS Nationals – D10, 000.00 per annum
For Non-ECOWAS Nationals – D40, 000.00 per annum
Who is Liable to Pay Taxes?
Any person to whom income has accrued, derived from, brought into or received in The Gambia is liable to pay tax on such income in respect of:
- Gain or profits
- Income from any trade, business, profession or vocation that may have been carried out
- Gains or profit from any employment including allowances whether payable in money
- Dividends, interests or discounts
- Any pension, charge or annuity
- Rents, royalties, premiums and any other profits arising from property.
What are the priority sectors?
7. Skills Development
8. Other Services
9. Minerals Exploration & Exploitation
What are the priority areas?
- Western Region (Foni, Kombo East and Kombo Central except the town of Brikama)
- Lower River Region
- North Bank Region
- Central River Region
- Upper River Region
What qualifies me for the incentive called the Special Investment Certificate?
- In order for an investor to access the incentive in a priority sector, he or she shall invest at least two hundred and fifty thousand United States dollars (US $250,000) in a priority sector.
- In order for an investor to access the incentives in a priority area, he or she shall invest at least two hundred and fifty thousand United States dollars (US$250,000) in a priority sector within a priority area.
What are the requirements for Special Investment Certificate (SIC) application?
- Completed SIC Application Form
- Business Plan / Feasibility Study
- Evidence of Funding
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Memorandum and Article of Association
- Business Registration
- Tax Identification Number (TIN)
- Goods to be Imported for the Duration of the SIC
- Profit and Loss Projections for the Duration of the SIC
What are the requirements for an Export Processing Zone Licence (EPZL)application?
Export Processing Zone enterprises shall be entities incorporated in The Gambia;
To apply for a license as an Export Processing Zone enterprise, the following information shall be required:
A. Company Information:
- Name of the applicant
- Certificate of incorporation/business registration;
- Name and contact information of main officers and legal representatives.
B. Project Information:
- Description of the activities and business operations to be conducted by applicant, who shall be consistent with the Export Processing Zone, approved activities
- Date in which the applicant could start operations in the Export Processing Zone;
- Required size for the planned premises;
- Export activity description including estimated percentage of output to be exported;
- List of capital equipment;
- Description of raw material and packaging to be acquired;
- Required services and facilities (electricity, water, telecommunications etc);
- Estimated environmental impact including needs for waste disposal;
- Estimated job creation, specifying between foreign and local projected employees.
What are the incentives for an Export Processing Zone Licence (EPZL)?
The incentives for an EPZL holder are:
- Tariff and Sales Tax Incentives
A newly established investment enterprise that falls within any priority investment category is granted an import sales tax waiver on imported specific goods as per the agreed list of items.
- Export Promotion Incentives
An investment enterprise located outside the export processing zone that exports at least 30 percent of its output is entitled to the following:
- 10 percent corporate or turnover tax concession for 5 years
- Financial planning services and advice.
- Participation in training courses, seminars, and workshops.
- Export market research.
- Advertisement and publicity campaigns in foreign markets.
- Product design and consultancy
- Zone Investor Incentives.
An investor operating in an Export Processing Zone and exports at least 80 percent of its outputs is exempt from payment of numerous duties and taxes, including import/excise duty, sales tax, import duty on capital equipment, corporate or turnover tax, withholding tax on dividends, municipal tax, and depreciation allocation.
Are there any tax holidays for businesses?
Yes there are tax holidays. A newly established investment enterprise that falls within any priority investment category shall be granted a tax holiday in respect of its corporate or turnover tax, depreciation allowances, withholding tax or dividend.
- In the case of priority sector, for a period of five (5) years
- In the case of a priority area for a maximum period of eight (8) years from the date of commencement of operation
What support is GIEPA providing to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s)?
MSME’s are entitled to the following facilities:
- Support for research and development.
- Income tax deposit waiver.
- Matching grants.
- Market survey and research support.
Who assesses investment applications?
All investment applications are assessed and evaluated by the Investment Monitoring Committee