Côte d’Ivoire is the largest economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, constituting 40 percent of the Union’s total GDP.  It is also the world’s leading cocoa exporter, Côte d’Ivoire also exports coffee, palm oil, cotton, and rubber, among others making it the 4th largest exporter of goods in sub-Saharan Africa behind South Africa, Nigeria, and Angola. Oil has become one of Côte d’Ivoire’s leading exports, and the development of new gold mines in recent years in the central and northern areas of the country has also contributed to national economic growth. The Ivorian government actively encourages foreign investment through mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, takeovers, or start-ups.

Setting up a Company in Côte d’Ivoire

Opening and running a new business in Ivory Coast implies the choice of a suitable legal structure and the knowledge of the existing business taxes to comply with. You will have to choose between several legal structures in Ivory Coast depending on your needs:
– General partnerships (sociétés en nom collectif)
– Limited liability partnerships (sociétés en commandite simple)
– Private limited companies (sociétés à responsabilité limitée, SARL)
– Public limited companies (sociétés anonymes, SA)
– Simplified public limited companies (sociétés par actions simplifiées, SAS)

Each legal structure has its own benefits and drawbacks. Make sure you have a clear vision of your project before making your choice.

Tax environment for businesses

– Corporation tax (Normal or simplified) : 25% for enterprises liable to income tax in the category of business profits (bénéfices industriels et commerciaux, BIC) and 20% for enterprises liable to income tax in the category of non-commercial profits (bénéfices non commerciaux, BNC)
– The single combined tax represents a percentage of your annual turnover. This tax regime is only for entities with a projected turnover below 50 million CFA (approximately 75.000 euros) if they are selling goods and below 25 million CFA (approximately 32.000 euros) if they are selling services. The single combined tax replaces all taxes usually supported by corporate entities including the VAT (It is paid monthly and ranges from 4.1% to 8.7% of your annual turnover.

Note that Ivory Coast has its own Free Zone for companies in the biotech, IT, and telecommunication industries located in Grand-Bassam (a few kilometres from Abidjan and the Port). Furthermore depending on your projected activity, your new entity can benefit from reduced corporate tax (down to 0%), local taxes and social security contributions during 7 to 15 years.

Company setup procedures

1. Choose your legal form
Depending on your strategy, choose between the many legal forms available in Ivory Coast.

2 – Define your local commercial address
This can be a real or a virtual office. Focus Ventures can provide you with a commercial address and a flexible office space to start operations.

3 – Gather supporting documents
Make sure you have all the documents required to register your company: id, birth certificate, lease agreement, license etc.

4 – Open a bank account
In Ivory Coast Capital deposit must be consigned and deposited with an accredited Banking institution for the company to be able to be registered. The minimum capital for a company has been lowered to 5.000 FCFA (7.5 euros) for most entity except for Public limited companies (sociétés anonymes, SA)

5 – Write legal documents
Articles of association, Statement of subscription and payment of funds, list of shareholders, etc.

6 – Apply for company registration
Bring all your documents & Fill in legal application forms. If everything is in order your entity will be registered within 24 hours.

7 – Get your entity official documents
Once the company is registered you will get the following documents: Extract of the entry in the Companies Register, Corporate taxpayer number, importer/exporter Customs Registration code, Employer’s registration number.

8 – Official registration to the tax office
You must register to the local tax office within a week after having registered your company. Do not expose your new company to financial penalties.

9 – Order your standardised invoices
In Ivory Coast, the use of standardised invoices is compulsory. Only a few printers are authorized by the government. In general, invoices are delivered within 3 weeks after your order.

10 – Ready to operate
You can start doing business in Ivory Coast

How we can help you

If you are considering forming a business or you need expert help with company registration in Côte d’Ivoire, LegalGenius™ is ready to assist you with its skilled team of lawyers, consultants and tax experts. We are committed to making the process as stress-free and streamlined as possible for you, and we will take care of all your document preparation and administrative tasks regarding the registration forms, payment of government fees, local address registration, banking support, etc., whilst always keeping your exact objectives and unique vision in mind throughout the process.

Please use our Company Formation Wizard if you would like to set up your registered company in Côte d’Ivoire or if you would like to know the costs involved prior to proceeding with our exceptional services. For other queries and special requests for complex or customised company formation services, please contact us at legal@7geniusgroup.com