How to Invest

To invest and begin business operations in The Gambia, please follow the below steps.

Steps to invest in The Gambia

Step Description Institution URL Document
1 Submit Letter of Intent to GIEPA GIEPA www.giepa.gm By email or go to institution
2 Obtain Business Registration Certificate, apply though the Registrar of Companies Any Private Law Firm, suggestions include: 
  • Solie Law Chambers
www.solielaw.gm Go to institution website or contact by email
3 Obtain Tax Identification Number, apply through Gambia Revenue Authority website Gambia Revenue Authority www.gra.gm Apply through Gambia Revenue Authority Website
4 Obtain Business Registration Certificate, apply though the Registrar of Companies Registrar of Companies www.moj.gm Apply through the Registrar of Companies website
5 Obtain Certificate of Incorporation, apply through the Registrar of Companies Registrar of Companies www.moj.gm Apply through the Registrar of Companies website
6

Obtain Operational License, through each ministry for relevant sector

For operational licenses related to unlisted sectors, please contact GIEPA to request assistance

Websites for each sector are as follows:
Energy Public Utilities Revenue Authority
ICT Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure 
Fisheries Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources
Agriculture Ministry of Agriculture
Financial Services Central Bank of the Gambia 
Tourism Gambia Tourism Board
Energypura.gm 
ICTwww.moici.gov.gm 
Fisherieswww.mofwr.gm
Agriculturemoa.gov.gm 
Financial Serviceswww.cbg.gm 
Food Productionsfsqa.gm

Apply through relevant institution listed

Please contact GIEPA for assistance if you sector is not listed. GIEPA can be emailed at info@giepa.gm

7 Open a commerical bank account in The Gambia All commercial banks in the Gambia are acceptable, recommendations include: 
  • Standard Charter Bank
  • Trust Bank Gambia Limited
  • FBN
  • Guaranty Trust Bank
Please visit a bank location to open account in person N/A
8 Fill Incentive Application Form and submit in person or via email to GIEPA GIEPA website – SIC application form www.giepa.gm Available on the incentives page of this website
9 Submit Application Form and other relevant documents to GIEPA All documents can be sent to GIEPA by email or submitted in person Email GIEPA at info@giepa.gm or visit GIEPA office N/A

 

FAQ

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 to register my business?

No, but it is highly recommended for you to use the services a legal practitioner who will carry out the following:

Step One:
Name search for company

Step Two:
Notarisation of company statutes

Step Three:
Payment of stamp duty and deposit of corporate tax with Commissioner of Income Tax.

Step Four:
Registration at the Commercial Registry in Banjul. Fees are incremental depending on the share capital of the company.

Step Five:
Get an operational license from either Kanifing Municipal Council or Banjul City Council.

Step Six:
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 Ministry of 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 2017 will expire on 31st December 2017. Please note that application forms can be obtained at a very minimal fee from the Ministry of Interior.

The fees for Residential Permit ‘B’ are:

  • For ECOWAS Nationals – D10,000 per annum
  • For Non-ECOWAS Nationals – D40,000 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?

 Sector Qualifying Activities
Agriculture
  •  crops: groundnuts, cashew, sesame, cotton, cereals
  • animal husbandry: livestock, poultry including meat processing, tannery, export of live animals
  • floriculture and horticulture
  • agro-processing
 Fisheries
  •  aqua-culture: fish and shrimp farming
  • fishing and fish processing at industrial level
 Tourism
  •  eco-tourism: national heritage and others
  • up-country tourism: motels, tourist camps, ground tour operators, river cruising
  • hotel development: up-market 4-5 stars
Forestry
  •  development of private/community forest parks
  • agro-forestry plantation
Manufacturing
  •  assembling and packaging
  • processing
  • foundry and forging
  • light pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
Energy
  • electricity generation and distribution
  • renewable energy sources: solar, wind , hydro energy
Skills Development
  • vocational training: carpentry, welding, masonry
  • development of specialised skills: electronics, computing
Other Services
  • financial services
  • off-shore services
  • health and veterinary services
  • river, sea and air transportation
  • information technology
 Minerals Exploration & Exploitation
  •  petroleum exploration
  • mining of precious stones and others

 

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, a complete apllication form should be submitted with the following information:

A. Company Information:

  • Name of the applicant
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Business registration certificate;
  • 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:

An investment enterprise exporting at least 80% of its output is entitled to the following:

  • Corporate or turnover tax
  • Value added tax on imported direct inputs
  • Depreciation allowance
  • Import duty on imported direct inputs
  • Excise duty on imported direct inputs
  • Waiver on muncipal tax
     

​An investment enterprise exporting at least 30% of its output is entitled to the following:

  • 10% 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.

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 Incentives Awards Committee (IIAC)