How to Register a Sole Proprietorship (Etablissement) in Cameroon
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Rich in natural resources, Cameroon attracts a lot of foreign investors. It is located in Central-West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea shore. Any adult is free to set up a business in Cameroon. Also, foreigners are allowed to own 100% of a company's shares. If you're looking to establish your own business in Cameroon, you're in the right place. This article will help you understand the registration process in this country.
Disclaimer: Be aware that this article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.
A Sole Proprietorship, referred to as Etablissement, is in fact not the most common business form in Cameroon, but it is the easiest one to establish and register. The business license for a sole proprietorship is given in the name of the owner and not a specific business name. This also means that the owner's liability is not limited.
Business creation in Cameroon is done under the coordination of the Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises through its One-Stop Shops that are located all over Cameroon. Here is the list of One-Stop Shops. The registration process should not be time-consuming. There are two ways to register a sole proprietorship in Cameroon.
Online business registration in Cameroon
Registration can be done online. You need to visit My Business website and create your account. After that, choose the option Register as Individual Trader and follow the instructions to finish the registration.
The website is easy to use, and it provides good instructions for anything you need. The registration fee should cost somewhere around 40,000 - 60,000 FCFA (Central African CFA franc). However, if you are having trouble doing it yourself, you can visit any of the One-Stop Shops where they can help you do it.
Physical business registration in Cameroon
The other way is to register your Etablissement physically. You will need to go to any of the One-Stop Shops with the necessary documents:
- A photocopy of your ID card (if you are a national)
- A photocopy of your passport or resident permit (if you are a foreigner)
- A non-conviction certificate (this applies to both nationals and foreigners)
- Location sketch of your business premises
- A photocopy of the marriage certificate (if needed)
- Tenancy agreement (if you own or rent premises)
You will obtain a Business Registration document.
Taxes and VAT in Cameroon
To apply for a Taxpayer Card, take a copy of your ID card, your Trade Registration document, a business location plan to the Cameroonian Tax Center.
The standard VAT rate in Cameroon is 19,5%.