How to Register A Business In Uganda (The complete guide with everything you need to know)
Updated: Jan 10
Running a business in Uganda is as easy and possible as it is hard. When you abide by the legislation of registration laws from day one, it should be a smooth sail.
For a business to do right and become acceptable in Uganda, it is advisable that you have to follow the recommended procedures and processes to start a company registration process and post office address registration.
By doing this, we are bringing together some of the things that can guide you in the registration process through cooperate procedure and some occurrences that may happen during business registration and cooperation in Uganda so that you can’t miss out on the right information.
The process of registering your business name at Uganda Registration of Service Bureau can start with “searching the name of your business; here everyone needs to come up with at least 3 name options of your choice, fill in a name reservation form that can be obtained from the physical office or website of Uganda Registration of Service Bureau, submit filled form with the approval of payment, request and ask for how much the process may cost you while picking other company forms. To remind, the name reservation fee is equivalent to Uganda shillings 20,000 only. After making payments of required fees, the applicant should also be subjected to the proposed business name to a search in the business registrar to ensure that the name proposed is not similar to any of the existing business names.
You have to be patient when making follow-ups upon certain procedures because some of them may take some time. Enjoy the package!
How important is it to register your company under URSB?
First, it helps to gain legal documents like a certificate of incorporation and postal address that might help you obtain financial loans from any financial institution.
URSB acts like an umbrella for your business name by acquiring a trademark logo/brand.
Business formalization creates more employment opportunities through business expansion.
Obtains better marketing strategies and advertising opportunities for increased customers through domestic and foreign markets.
Boost your level of competitiveness in the regional market with your foreign competitors in the same race.
How to Register a Local Business/Company in Uganda
1. Search for a business name from the URSB, and this may take up to 30 minutes to receive a notification or confirmation.
2. Name reservation; take it for reservation after selecting your business name. This process may take up to 1hour, and the cost is 20,000ugx. Remember, name reservation takes only 30days to expire or before starting the registration process.
3. Company registration; registration process requires you the following documents; memorandum of understanding and article of association with board resolution signed on by a lawyer, company forms (this one you can pick from URSB or download online), and postal address. The cost for this depends on your company's share capital.
4. Certificate of incorporation; when you submit relevant documents, the process may take up to 3-7days to pick up your certified copies and certificate of incorporation.
5. Obtain Tin; apply for tax invoice number from Uganda revenue authority; this can be done online or by submitting your certified documents containing a third party to URA’s offices.
6. Apply for a trading license from the local municipal authority; note that this one expires on 31st December of every year.
7. Register with NSSF (National Social Security Funds). Here, you need to take employer forms and employee forms for registration, and this may take up 1-7days and cost-free of charge. Note that NSSF is for all companies registered as private or limited by share capital.
8. Copies of original national identity cards, passport photos, and signatures for directors and secretaries. Note; signatures that appear on registration documents should be similar to those that appear on their national ids.
9. Email address and contacts for your company,
10. Get a company seal or stamp for your company from Posta Uganda.
How to Registering a Foreign business/company in Uganda
To register a foreign company in Uganda, the following documents are required for the entire process:
You need certified copies of the Memorandum of Articles of Association/Constitution and certificates from the country of origin.
Form 24, this form contains the names of directors and secretaries.
Form 13, this form shows statements of all subsiding charges.
Form 25, this form is indicating names and postal addresses for the company.
From 26, to allocate the company's address and the physical principal's office.
Other additional documents;
Bill of lading to confirm importation of tools like machinery and tractors.
A copy of the secretary license issued by the Uganda government ministry or department agency to your company
Registering of Non-Governmental Organizations in Uganda
NGOs are voluntary groups or institutions with a social mission, vision, and objectives that operate independently from government public institutions. NGOs are non-profit-making; instead, they help empower and better our society. They generate and create their funds through contributions and donations from the public. To register an NGO in Uganda, one should be obtaining the following documents;
1. Obtaining a certified copy of the incorporation certificate
2. Copy of the organization’s governing documents
3. Approval of payment of the prescribed fees
4. Agreement showing the governance structure
5. Source of funding of the activities of your organization
6. Copies of valid identification documents for at least two founder members
7. Meeting minutes and resolutions of the members authorizing the organization to register with the Bureau
8. A recommendation from; district NGOs monitoring committee where the headquarters are located and government department agencies.
9. Application for registration of an organization assigned by at least two founder members
Registering a sole proprietorship in Uganda
A sole proprietorship is defined as an individual engaged in the business independently or running a business by themselves and has unlimited liability for the business debt.
Becoming a sole proprietorship in Uganda, you need first to take the following steps to get your company or business fully registered;
a) Register your business with Uganda Revenue Authority to get a formal trade name or brand logo and tax identification number recognized by a legal entity. The following documents are needed ;
A copy of national identity cards or passport
Completed individual application form