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Steps in Starting a Business

Ownership structure
The investor is at liberty to use any of the following ownership structures which are recognized in Uganda;

  • Limited liability Company under the companies act cap 110. Both private and public companies are recognized. The investor can also register a branch of a foreign company
  • The investment can be channeled though a partnership structure with a minimum of two (2) persons and not exceeding twenty (20). Registration of a partnership deed is optional. The law considers every partner to be the agent of the firm and of the other partners for the purpose of partnership business under Partnership Act 2010.
  • Sole proprietorship arrangement whereby a business name registered and nothing more. Any individual is free to establish a business in Uganda.  The proprietor is responsible for the business and is personally liable for the business debts.
  • Joint Venture can also be registered providing for a strategic alliance between two or more parties under Partnership Act or companies act.

Registration of business
There a number of business lawyers who readily available to help in the registration of the business at the Uganda Registration Service Bureau.

Investment incentives certificate
This involves completing UIA Form 1 and forwarding it to Uganda Investment Authority with the necessary attachments.

Business premises
There are a number of business premises available for use by the investors. Alternatively the investor can lease land and build own premises. Uganda Investment Authority is readily available to assist investors in identifying business premises or land for building. The investor  will need to engage a local Architect to advise  on building requrements in case a  decision is made  to build  own premises.

Obtaining licenses to operate
The investor will require registering with the following organizations

  • Kampala Capital City Authority ( KCCA) for trade licenses
  • NEMA to advise on the environmental standards to follow
  • Uganda Revenue Authority for payment of taxes: This can be done online from the website for TIN and VAT. TIN approval takes a period of 2-28 days. The Corporate Tax file number is internally assigned.
  • Uganda Investment Authority for business incentives
  • Other specialized approvals based on the sector the investor is operating in

Recruiting staff
The investor may need to engage a recruitment firm to help  in ensuring compliance with the law during  recruitment process . The engagement of staff will also include the following;

  • Obtaining permits for foreigners
  • Registration of National Social Security Fund (NSSF).The NSSF is a compulsory saving scheme that covers all employees in the private sector. The sector is in the process of being liberalized to allow private sector players.

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