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How to Register a Sole Proprietorship in Ivory Coast

Learn about setting up a sole proprietorship in Ivory Coast: the required documents, as well as the tax system that applies to this type of business entity.

Anja Simic
Written by Anja Simic
September 17, 2021
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Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) is a country in West Africa, on the Atlantic shore. The capital city is Abidjan, and French is the official language.

The majority of the population lives in a rural environment, and the country has a weak business orientation. This might be your advantage, as the competition is low.

The government has created a one-stop-shop registration procedure and has simplified the tax regime. If you’re looking to start your own business in Ivory Coast, your best choice might be the sole proprietorship business structure.

In this article, you will find all the information about the registration procedure in Ivory Coast. 

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.

What is a Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship (entreprise individuelle) is a business formed and owned by an individual. It is easy to establish and run, unlike other, more complex forms. The law does not distinguish the business from its owner. Being run by only one person, this form is flexible to the changing business environment, as there is only one decision-maker. The liability of a sole trader is unlimited, which means that you are responsible for all the assets and debts of your business, and you're operating it with all your fortune.

There are no requirements to start a sole proprietorship. You only need to register with the authorities.

Registration process

The government in Ivory Coast has created a one-stop shop, the Center for the Promotion of Investments in Côte d'Ivoire (CEPICI), for the registration procedure. You only have to visit the CEPICI office and provide the documents required. The authorities will then finish the registration, and you will have your business license in no time. The CEPICI office is located in Abidjan, at MEMANOU building, Boulevard Clozel, Plateau. You can find more contact information on the CEPICI website.

The process itself is simple; however, you need to gather the necessary documentation first. Here are the documents required:

  • ID card or passport copy for nationals or consulate card for foreigners;
  • Birth certificate copy;
  • Two copies of the proprietorship title (certificate of ownership);
  • Two copies of the location contract;
  • Residence certificate (can be obtained from National Identification Office);
  • Marriage certificate, if applicable;
  • Localization of business activities details;
  • Criminal record (no older than three months).

Most forms are written only in French. After you have all the documents, bring them to the office. Complete the application form and submit it to the officer in charge. A registration fee of CFA 16.000  has to be paid upon submission. The application will take up to two weeks to be processed. If everything is in order, you will obtain your registration certificate, and you will also be registered for tax purposes.

If you're not looking to become an independent contractor, but hire one - learn how you can do it compliantly in Ivory Coast.

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Taxes for sole proprietors in Ivory Coast

There is a flat-rate tax regime for sole proprietors in Ivory Coast. The synthetic tax is an annual tax whose payment frees you from the payment of the license, the tax on commercial profits (BIC), and VAT. The tax services calculate it on the basis of a scale that defines the tax according to the turnover of previous years.

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