Business Formation

Reserve a unique company name

Agency: Companies and Intellectual Property Authority    

The entrepreneur can search the online database to check whether the desired company name is available for registration. This database is available on the website of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (www.mti.gov.bw). The entrepreneur then submits the Name Reservation Form (Form 1) to the Registrar of Companies and receives a notification within 3 days. Once approved by the Registrar, the company name is reserved for a period of 30 days.

Time and cost: 3 days on average, BWP 20

Sign the declaration of compliance of statutory requirements for incorporation before a commissioner for oaths or company representative

Agency: Companies and Intellectual Property Authority    

The entrepreneur or company representative must submit the following documents:

  • Limited Liability Company Registration Form (Form 2). This form must be accompanied by the consent to act as shareholders, directors, auditors, company secretary and registered officers, along with copies of their national IDs or passports.
  • Declaration of Compliance of Statutory Requirements (Form 3). This form must be accompanied by the particulars of the company secretary and his/her valid practicing license. According to the Company Amendment 2012, Form 3 can be signed by a legal practitioner, a director of the proposed company, or a class of person as the Minister may prescribe or also commissioned by law enforcement officers.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Register the company at the Registrar of Companies, Ministry of Trade and Industry

Agency: Companies and Intellectual Property Authority    

To register the company, the entrepreneur must submit a completed application form, along with the name reservation certificate and the declaration of compliance of statutory requirements for company registration.

Time and cost: Between 6 and 8 days , BWP 300 for the application to register a company and BWP 60 for the certificate of incorporation

Receive inspection of company premises

Agency: Industrial Affairs Department, Ministry of Trade and Industry

The company premises will be inspected by the Health Department, Environment Department and Town Planning Department of Gaborone City Council to ensure compliance with minimum standards. No charges are involved as this procedure is done by the municipal authorities as part of the application for a trade or an industrial license.

Time and cost: 7 days, no charge

Obtain an industrial license from the Industrial Affairs Department, Ministry of Trade and Industry; or obtain a trade license from the Gaborone City Council

Agency: Gabrone City Council, Ministry of Trade and Industry

Business founders can either obtain an industrial license from the Industrial Affairs Department, Ministry of Trade and Industry or obtain a trade license from the Gaborone City Council.

Time and cost: 3 weeks (simultaneous with previous procedure); BWP 50 for industrial license if applied by self, BWP 1,500 by agent; BWP 100 for trade license if applied by self, BWP 2,000 by an agent

Open a bank account

Agency: Bank

All new businesses must open a company account with a bank in order to register for a Tax Identification Number.

Time and cost: 1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure), no charge

Obtain Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Botswana United Revenue Services

Agency: Botswana United Revenue Services (BURS)

The company applies for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) number using the BURS form. The company then completes a taxpayer registration form to enroll in the employee withholding Pay–As-You-Earn tax (PAYE).

Time and cost: 7 days, no charge by self, BWP 1,500 by agent

Register for VAT at the Department of Customs & Excise

Agency: Botswana United Revenue Services (BURS)

Section 16 of the Value Added Tax Act CAP 50:03 provides for VAT registration. In terms of this section every person who carries on a taxable activity and is not registered, becomes liable to be registered if:

  • At the end of any period of 12 months the person made, during that period, taxable supplies the total value of which exceeded the amount specified in paragraph 1 of the Fifth Schedule; or
  • At the beginning of any period of 12 months there are reasonable grounds to expect that the total value of taxable supplies to be made by the person during that period will exceed the amount specified in paragraph 1 of the Fifth Schedule.

Paragraph 1 of the Fifth Schedule places the registration threshold at BWP 1,000,000.00 as amended by the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act No 1 of 2015.

Time and cost: 7 days, no charge by self, BWP 1,500 by agent

Register employees for workplace injury insurance

Agency: Insurance company

Under the Workers Compensation Act, companies must provide their employees with workplace injury insurance. Companies may choose to pay a security deposit to the Commissioner for any associated claims; however, most of them often purchase their own insurance.

Time and cost: 2 days, no charge