Commercial Registration, TIN Certificate and Acquiring an Investment Permit

Over the last few articles, we have acquainted you with the requirements to form a company. This article will take a look at the final steps on the way to registering your company, acquiring an investment permit, and related certifications.

Getting your Company name verified

On the condition that the company you formed is a PLC or a share company, applying for a company name is a requirement. Accordingly, it will be the name under which your company operates in Ethiopia.

Steps to follow to get the verification

In addition to the documents listed in our article on investment permit application requirements, you will have to submit the name verification form, signed by the general manager or a legal representative.

This form will require you to list down 3 alternative names in case your first choice has already been taken.

Once the name you choose is verified, both the Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Articles of Association (AoA) will be edited according to your company’s official name.

The MoA is the document that declares the establishment of the company while the AoA sets the ground rules for the administration of your company.

When the shareholders or their legal representatives have signed the documents, the documents will be authenticated by the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC).

As a result, you will receive a letter confirming the verification of your company name.

Getting a Tax Identification Number (TIN)

The next document you’re going to apply for before acquiring an investment permit is a TIN certificate. This certificate is important to carry out your company’s tax obligations.

Your TIN certificate is obtainable at the Ethiopian Ministry of Revenue, which conveniently, has a desk at EIC.

 The required documents to obtain your TIN are:

  • A copy of both the notarized MoA and AoA.
  • Application form to be duly filled and signed by the general manager.
  • Company name verification letter.
  • Passport copy and two pictures of the general manager.

For companies investing outside industrial parks:

  •  An office lease agreement.

Furthermore, to lease office space PLCs and Share companies can use their notarized MOA and AOA, simultaneously sole investors can use their passports.

On the other hand, companies investing in industrial parks can present their MoUs in place of the office lease agreement.

Opening a foreign currency bank account

As discussed in an article on the requirements to invest in Ethiopia, one of the conditions is the minimum capital requirement. Consequently, you will need to transfer this amount to a foreign currency account.

Following the verification of your company name, the one-stop-shop (licensing and registration directorate) at EIC will write you a letter to a bank of your choice with the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) cced.

Hence, This letter will enable you to receive the foreign currency account opening permit from the NBE. This in-turn will allow you to transfer the minimum amount required.

Once you receive this letter; you will need to head to the NBE.

Here you’ll find a few documents you need to present so you can receive said permit:

  • Letter from EIC
  • A duly filled Foreign Currency account opening permit application form
  • Your notarized MoA and AoA (PLCs and Share Companies)
  • Passport of the general manager

After you receive the permit, the follow-up step will be going to the bank and branch of your choice so as to open a foreign account. Keep in mind, you will need the following documents:

  • The permit to open a foreign currency account from the NBE.
  • Letter from EIC.
  • Your general manager’s passport and 2 of their pictures.
  • Your notarized MoA and AoA (PLCs and Share Companies).

In light of receiving a foreign currency account, the bank will give you a swift code as well as an account number in which you will be transferring the money. Once you have transferred the minimum capital required, you must collect the bank transfer credit advice.

So long as you are an industrial park enterprise, you can transfer the amount to the Industrial Parks Development Corporation’s (IPDC) account. Thereafter, IPDC will issue you the credit advice with an attachment.

The final step

Following your successful acquisition of the bank transfer advice, you will head back to EIC and present the credit advice along with your TIN certificate and 5 of your general manager’s photo.

Marking the end of the process,  you will be acquiring an investment permit and a commercial registration certificate which can be considered your company’s birth certificate.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have at [email protected].

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