Starting a Business in Rwanda as a Foreigner – Rwanda is a country in East Africa that has a stable government with a clear and coherent vision of where it wants to take Rwanda, backed by commitment and determination.
A business can be registered and legally established through a two-step procedure in a very short amount of time, making Rwanda eighth in the world according to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business, due to ease of starting a business. It is also a country which current investors regard as being satisfactorily free of petty corruption, a feature that makes it stand out not only in its neighboring East African countries, but in sub-Saharan Africa more generally. Rwanda also enjoys low levels of crime and disturbances of the peace.
Why you should consider Starting a Business in Rwanda as a Foreigner
- It is a safe, peaceful and attractive location for expatriates
- There are no restricted sectors for investors
- There is a possibility of acquiring government stakes in banks, insurance, telecommunications, hotels and agricultural operators
- Numerous unexplored investment opportunities
- Investment incentives for foreigners
- Market access of over 10 million and centrality in East Africa
- High and rapid economic growth
- Political stability and robust governance
- There is no minimum investment capital required to set up a company
What to do when Starting a Business in Rwanda as a Foreigner
- Conduct market research and create a solid business plan. A market research on the industry one wishes to tap in is important to get an insight as to whether it is a viable sector to invest in. A business plan will then give direction and in-depth insight on how to start and run your business.
- Source for a business location. Depending on what your business is, you will need to source for a suitable location to host your business. You may need to even lease land if you to construct a building such as a go-down for your business. The business location must be conducive to your business category, in terms of your business daily operations and target market or shipping facilities to the target market.
- Identify reliable sources for financing your business and set the funds aside and strictly for business. This could be saved up money or a business loan from banks or other financial institutions.
- Business registration. Business registration takes a very short time at the Rwanda Development Board. You can choose to register a branch of a foreign company or a local company. After the process is done, you will be issued with your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and your Certificate of Incorporation.
Requirements when Starting a Business in Rwanda as a Foreigner
|Activity ||Requirements |
|Registering a local company |
- Copy of ID/Passport
- Complete two copies of Memorandum of Association Art 14
|Registering a branch of a local company in Rwanda. |
- Power of attorney to present the company in Rwanda. (Notarized)
- A duly authenticated copy of the memorandum Articles of Association. (Notarized)
- Certificate of Registration/Incorporation issued by the registration authority in the country of incorporation. (Notarized)
- Notarized resolution from the authorized agency authorizing to open a branch.
- Passport copies of the shareholders/directors.
- List of directors residing in Rwanda (at least one)
Once registration is done and you have necessary documentation, you are good to go ahead and run your business.
If you wish to lease land, you can do so through the Rwanda Development Board. A foreigner can lease land for a period of 49 years. If the land is developed in accordance with statutory requirements, the lessee may then have the option to buy the land. Both privately and publicly held land may be leased.
Depending on the location of your business in terms of the district and sector. We shall advise on how much local taxes are. Also, in your local area of business operation, inquire whether you will need to pay any special fees to the local authority, for example garbage collection and security.
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