An entrepreneur, irrespective of nationality, can set up a business enterprise in Ghana in accordance with the provisions of any of the following legal instruments:
- The Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179)
- The Partnership Act, 1962 (Act 152)
- The Business Name Act, 1962 (Act 151).
- Minimum Foreign Capital Requirement
A foreign investor may team up with a Ghanaian entrepreneur or company for a joint venture, usually in the form of a partnership or a limited company. However, under the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 1994 (Act 478), a minimum equity capital of US$10,000 is required from any foreign investor who intends to enter into a joint venture partnership with a Ghanaian in any area of economic activity, except trading. In trading, the minimum equity capital requirement is US$300,000.
The foreign shareholder is required to satisfy this minimum equity capital either in cash transferred through Ghana's banking system or its equivalent in the form of goods, plant and machinery, vehicles or other tangible assets imported specially and exclusively to establish the enterprise. A Destination Inspection Report issued by an accredited inspection company, stating the value and condition of the goods, must cover the imported items. Consideration for goodwill of a business or services rendered by partners cannot be used to satisfy the minimum foreign equity capital.
Foreigners are permitted 100-per-cent ownership of an enterprise provided the investor satisfies section 19 (2b) of the GIPC Act, 1994 (Act 478). Wholly foreign-owned enterprises must have a minimum paid up capital, the equivalent of US$50,000 in all areas of economic activity except import trading, where the minimum equity capital requirement is US$300,000. In the cases of export trading and liaison (external) offices, there is no minimum foreign equity requirement.