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Ghana's 1992 Constitution, which is the basic framework for the governance of the country, offers guarantees for protection to investors and their investments. Chapter five of the Constitution embodies the relevant protection mechanisms.
Companies are guaranteed:
This is done in very exceptional cases, mostly in the strategic industries
Currently all electric generators below 375kva attract import duty of 5% and VAT of 17.5%
a) In the GIPC Act 2013 Act (865) there is no minimum capital requirements for investors entering the manufacturing sector as compared with the other sectors
b) Manufacturing industries located in regional capitals other than
Accra and Tema - 25 % rebate
Elsewhere outside the regional capitals - 50% rebate
c) After the initial 5-year tax holiday period, agro-processing enterprises, which use local agricultural raw materials as their main inputs, shall have corporate tax rates fixed according to their location as follows:
This provision can be found in Section 28 of the GIPC Act.
For a joint venture, the minimum capital requirement is US$200,000.00 in cash or equivalent in capital goods relevant to the investment or a combination of both by way of equity participation. If the joint venture is between a foreign investor and a Ghanaian citizen, then the Ghanaian must not have less than 10% equity participation in the Enterprise.
For a 100% foreign owned company, the minimum capital requirement should be US$500,000.00 in cash or capital goods relevant to the investment or a combination of both by way of equity participation
For trading, the minimum capital requirement for an investor is US$1,000,000.00 in cash or goods and services relevant to the investments. A foreign investor involved in trading must also employ at least twenty (20) skilled Ghanaians in the trading enterprise. Please take note of the fact that, other relevant applicable laws have equity requirements.
100% ownership of companies is allowed by law, so far as the investor meets the minimum equity requirement of $500,000, or as in trading $1,000,000.
There is no such regulation, so far as the foreigner satisfies the minimum equity requirement. However the Act 865 states that, if the joint venture is with a Ghanaian, the Ghanaian partner should have a minimum of 10% shares in the company
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act, 2013 (ACT 865) applies to all local and foreign investments in Ghana. Other relevant laws include but are not limited to the following;
the Technology Transfer Regulations (L.I 1547)
the Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179)
the Banking Act, 2004 (Act 673)
the Free Zones Act, 1995, (Act 504)
Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1994, (Act 490)
Ghana National Petroleum Corporation Law, 1983, PNDCL 64
Public Procurement Act, 2003, Act 663
Minerals and Mining Amendment Act 1994 (Act 475)
Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. 1992
Yes a short term permit is different from an expatriate quota.
A work permit is used synonymously with short term permit. Short term permits can be applied for and given for specific periods of time, normally not exceeding five years (5 years) at a time. They are not renewable, extendable or transferable.
To this effect, you must apply for the exact and specific duration you desire. Expatriate quotas on the other hand, once given are basically for an indefinite period, i.e. for as long as the investor needs to keep such workers in Ghana to facilitate his business. Once an expatriate quota is given, the beneficiary is also given resident permits for his or her dependents.
If an investor wants to bring in more foreign workers beyond four, then he or she would have to apply for a work permit for such additional numbers at the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. This application would then be forwarded to the Ghana Immigration Service for consideration.
Five (5) working days.
Section 24 (2) of the GIPC Act specifies that, the Centre shall within five (5) working days from the date of receipt of a completed registration form; register the enterprise if the Centre is satisfied that certain requirements have been complied with.
These requirements are that;
a) All the relevant documents for registration are in order
b) The minimum foreign equity capital requirement has been complied with; and
c) The fees required for registration has been paid
Its a great quality of life
Ghana provides a welcoming environment for international business executives and their families. With a diverse range of affordable, highly attractive housing options, a first-class health service, a renowned education system and sporting a cultural heritage that is second to none, international executives relocating to Ghana enjoy a superb quality of life.We have a warm and welcoming people, and the English Language, widely spoken both in formal and informal environments is Ghana’s official language.
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre provides support to foreign and domestic companies looking to set up or expand in Ghana. We do this by providing a fully integrated advisory service, assistance in acquiring licenses and requisite entry permits in addition to aftercare support.
Specific services include:
a) Key information on regulatory factors
b) Issuance of the GIPC Registration Certificate that facilitates immediate start of business
c) Key information on location factors and business opportunities
d) Sector information and introduction to key sector networks
e) Support to build collaborative partnerships with Ghanaian businesses
f) Continued support to companies once they have established.
Ghana’s Companies Code states that; an incorporated company may be either:
a) a company limited by shares (Ltd). The members’ liability is limited to the amount if any, unpaid on shares they hold
b) a company limited by guarantee – the members’ liability is limited to the amount they have agreed to contribute to the company’s assets if it is wound up
c) an unlimited company – there is no limit to the members’ liability
A company of any of the foregoing types may either be a private company or a public company.
Other business entities include; different types of Partnerships.
You are strongly advised to seek legal advice before deciding on the best entity that suits your kind of business.
Article 20 of the Constitution guarantees protection from deprivation of property. Specifically, the Constitution states that there shall be no compulsory acquisition of property which by implication includes "investment", except where such compulsory acquisition is necessary for the defense, public order, morality, health and benefit of the country. More importantly, compulsory acquisition of property must be accompanied by prompt, fair and adequate compensation.
Under the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act 2013 (GIPC ACT 865), investors are given concrete guarantees and assurances in respect of their investments in Ghana.
The GIPC Act offers guarantees against expropriation. Similar to the provisions in the Constitution, Article 20, expropriation is allowed only in the national interest and must be accompanied by fair and adequate compensation. The aggrieved party or the investor is given the right of access to the High Court for the determination of the fair value of the investment and the amount of compensation payable.
What is your legal system? Is it similar to the common law or civil law? Is it written law? Is it modern?
Ghana's legal system takes its root from the British common law tradition and it is supplemented by various legislations on specific issues. Accordingly, Ghana's legal system has all the attributes and safeguards for the protection of property and human freedom, all of which are inherent attributes of the common law tradition.
Ghana is NOT ruled by military decrees. Ghana has had a freely elected democratic government since 1992
What protections do we have regarding our personal safety as investors and as expatriate experts in Ghana?
Similar to the United States Constitution and the British legal tradition, Ghana's Constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary. Under the Constitution, the judiciary is subject only to the Constitution and is, accordingly, insulated from interference by the President and impliedly other members of the Executive, the Legislature and other government bodies and in the exercise of its administrative, financial and judicial functions, it is not subject to the Control of any authority. This protection mechanism is designed to give the judiciary the freedom to handle cases in a firm and fair manner devoid of political, racial, religious or other considerations
Can we depend on the country's judicial system to handle investment disputes in a fair and equitable manner and in accordance with due process under law?
Ghana's judiciary comprises very seasoned lawyers with specialization in various areas of the law. They are singled out for appointment to the judiciary on the basis of their excellent performance at the Bar. Similar to the United States Constitution and the British legal tradition, Ghana's Constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary
The institution of the fast track court and the introduction of Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms such as arbitration, mediation and conciliation (ADRS) within the Courts system are all attempts to enhance the work of the judiciary and to generate the necessary confidence in the legal and judicial systems.
The period to settle a dispute depends on the available information that the prosecutors have. But there are fast track and commercial courts which deal with cases involving commerce and investments expeditiously. In addition, disputes can be settled under Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism, such as arbitration, mediation and conciliation
Does Ghana offer you arbitration, mediation and conciliation proceedings as alternative mechanisms for dispute settlement in the courts?
Within the National Court System, ADRs, as a mechanism for dispute settlement is vigorously encouraged. The Ghana Arbitration Centre (GAC) has been established to reinforce the legal framework for protecting commercial or economic interests and accordingly inspire the confidence of the prospective investor in Ghana.
Section 44 (1) of Act 865 states that the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 1994 (Act 478) is repealed. However, Act 865 provides that, all enterprises registered under Act 478 (the old law) will continue to enjoy all benefits granted under the repealed law.
Subsequently Companies that were incorporated before Act 865 came into force but did not register with the Centre at that time will be registered under the new law now in force, Act 865.
The GIPC Act offers guarantees against expropriation. Similar to the provisions in the Constitution, expropriation is allowed only in the national interest and must be accompanied by fair and adequate compensation. The aggrieved party or the investor is given the right of access to the High Court for the determination of the fair value of the investment and the amount of compensation payable.
Does your government accord national and most favoured nation treatment in any bilateral regimes between Ghana and my country?
Ghana offers commitments at the bilateral level to protect investors and their investments. Under these bilateral regimes, government gives the right to the investor to take government to arbitration in any of the selected and pre-agreed dispute settlement fora.
Further protection under the BITs include: national treatment, which is by reference to treatment similar to that accorded to nationals of the host country; most favoured nation treatment, which is by reference to the standard of treatment not less favourable than that accorded to nationals and investments of third countries in similar circumstances; and treatment which is fair and equitable which is derived from basic principles of international law and a common shared sense of justice.
Does Ghana have Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and Double Taxation Agreement with my country?
In furtherance of the investment promotion mandate given under section 3 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act 2013 (Act 865), the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre is mandated to encourage and promote investments in the Ghanaian economy through the negotiation of Bilateral Investment Treaties with interested countries.
Those signed and ratified include:
The Kingdom of the Netherlands
Those signed but awaiting ratification are
The Republic of Romania
The Republic of Egypt
Ghana has also concluded Double Taxation Agreements with;
Ghana uses the instrumentality of Double Taxation Agreements to rationalize the tax obligations of investors who come from global tax sourced jurisdictions with a view to saving the affected investors from the incidence of double taxation by both their home governments and the host country. Ghana is committed to entering into DTAs with interested countries with the ultimate objective of freeing investment capital and thereby securing the investment capital from being eroded by the effects of taxation.
Ghana has concluded Double Taxation Agreements with the following countries:
The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama and the Government recognizes the private sector as the bedrock for economic development. Government has therefore instituted several measures to create the enabling environment for the private sector to operate easily and profitably. Some of these measures included: