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A Complete Guide To Starting A Business In Uganda

It is easy to get your business started once you know what to do, where to do it from, and how to do it. But if you are not aware of what to do, it might become a little bit hectic, especially if it's your first time. Uganda is very welcoming.

Business is a sector or organization comprising people committed to achieving or accomplishing one common goal. Therefore, it is very critical for everyone who part of a business to specify his or her vision, mission, and objectives; this airs out and, of course, contributes to what kind of business one intends to startup in the future.

Businesses usually put up in Uganda include; commercial, industrial, manufacturing, processing, insurance, distribution, banking, transport, farming; there is no limit to doing a certain business in Uganda. Still, it's all about what you are passionate about.

To implement your business plan or develop your business idea, you should be able to identify the difference between the private and public sectors in Uganda to help you categorize your startup during the registration process and venture where necessary. Some examples of the private sector in Uganda are sole trade companies limited by share capital and public sector companies limited by guarantee.

  • Much as you consider putting up a business, there is a major factor you should think about which is serving customers. This is done by offering good customer services, offering good quality products, sometimes you can also sell goods to your customers at affordable and cheap prices so long as it doesn't affect your transactions. The essential measures down here will help you to attract/win the hearts of people if you are targeting to make them your potential buyers and you have to bear in mind that you must be able to allocate resources into the appropriate areas.

  • Be the challenger to your customers and meet their expectations from your business to satisfy their needs for example by offering good customer service to your customers can run the race ahead of your competitors/ rivals to the market and increase the level of income and revenue to your business.

  • However the profit is the engine and measure of growth for any business, businesses should also think of their customers, not only offering good customer service and good quality products, they sometimes have to purchase goods to their customers at genuine price as long as it doesn’t put the business into a decline.

  • Be creative and a good communicator especially when it comes to delivering services to your customers, don’t have to be money minded and forget what customers mean to your business,always offer high quality products and keep the price constant, these will guide you to win hearts of everyone in the community than your competitors.

What to consider before starting a business in Uganda

According to the Us Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, every step you take in the beginning might have a big impact on your business journey; as they say “bad begging makes the bad ending,” so every business should follow step-by-step before it gets off to start running.

1. Take your time and plan for your startup

As a businessman/lady before you start running a business, first get time, sit down and highlight all the requirements you need to start a business; which step should come first and come later. These are essential things to be considered before starting a business because drafting the guidelines for your business will help you accomplish your monthly and weekly plans and minimize the budget for your business.

2. Let the world know that you have started a business.

Start telling the people you are in business by advertising in a local publication, upload photos, and banners on your website to identify what you are offering to people, pinning fliers along the roadside. These will help you get customers before you even get started because people will have reorganized your company; the sooner you start getting customers worldwide the better the sustainability of the business will be.

3. Have a postal address for your business

Get a location for your business, set an office for your business, and look for post address to let people know where you are operating from and what you are offering to society.

4.Ask yourself why you’re performing better than anyone else.

However a business is meant for making profits and generating income to the owners equity, sometimes a businessman/lady needs to practice record keeping like noting down every experience and innovation acquired by business to allow in bringing something special into your business like expertise in sales, care about helping customers and accounting by doing these, you will be able to communicate better to your customers and get surprised at how fast your business is growing and by reminding yourself of what to bring in your business.

5. Reach out to the community.

Running a business can feel a little isolating if you’re used to working in a big organization. Of course, you’ll feel less isolated as you win clients and start working with them, but in the meantime, friends can be your life-support, cheering you on when your energy is accumulating down; however, we have seen that customers are the lifeblood of every business; you need to reach out to people by texting supportive people and sharing dinner after work.

How to Start a Business in Uganda

Business statistics in Uganda today show that many people who are running businesses are majorly young. However, of the10% of young people who start up business, about 1/5th get stranded on the way before they make even a year. Therefore, for insistence as a young person whose ambition is to get successful in the business, you should first put in your mind that starting a business is risk and train yourself to be a risk taker/bearer; however, the following steps could guide you or anyone else whose plans are starting a business in Uganda today.

1. Conduct business research

Before you implement your business idea, I want to take you through some of the questions you should ask yourself and try to match with the reality: is your business idea right? Is there any possibility of it succeeding? Is your business going to solve community problems? how best can you know this? Who needs the goods and services you are going to be offering? Who is your rival at the market? How will you compete with your rivals in the market? when you get to cope with these questions, you can go ahead and do research in the market through focus groups and with individual interviews in the surrounding community and talk to those who tried and ended up failing, learning from their errors, and weighing up your idea.

2. Make a business plan for your business

A business plan is a summary of how much the business will cost you to provide services to your customers, how to increase the speed level of your business, the best ways your business intends to offer better services to it’s customers than its rivals, kind of workers will your business need to recruit, how an entrepreneur intends to organize and implement the various activities. In addition, creating a business plan for your business will guide you to erase some errors like poor performance, wastage of resources.

3. Make a budget plan

Before you start outsourcing and soliciting funds for your business, you need to draft a budget first for the initial start. And this will help to know what amount of capital you need to start up and where to allocate it. This budget should be covering the following items/bills.

  • Company registration costs

  • Renting costs or land costs

  • Capital for stock/ inventories

  • Salary for workers

  • Bills like electricity and water

Transport costs and more depending on your business type

For insistence, if you do not have f resources(capital), take advantage of the various existing financial options like bank loans(either long term loans or short term loans), personal savings, parental contributions, or funds from investors who understand that you want to start a business.

4. Choose a Business Type

Identify the kind of business you want to start, this could either be a sole proprietorship, it could be a resource limited company or a limited guarantee company. Whichever entity you choose, have in mind that it will have a big impact on the types of taxes you are bound to pay, the number of individuals you employ, plus the business name. If you are not knowledgeable enough on which entity or structure to take up, be wise to consult a lawyer or colleague that has done this before you take any steps.

5. Reserve and Register your Company Name

Choose a suitable business name and take a reservation, , normally an individual is made to apply for the picked name by Uganda Registration Services Bureau. The name is then searched through a database to pass the similarity, desirability tests to ensure its availability. If results show similar names then another has to be used until it passes this stage. In the case of successful results, this is your green card to start a business any day.

6. Search for your Business license and Tin ( tax invoice number)

Licenses and Tax invoice numbers from the Uganda revenue authority can be applied to different businesses depending on the class of the venture and location. Therefore, one may need to do thorough research to understand what license and permits apply to his or her business. Note that this paperwork is very vital before one can legally start operating, so it’s highly advisable to have a lawyer around you.

7. Choose Suitable Location for your Business

Choosing geographic location for your business requires choosing whether to buy or rent your working premises, work from home, or move to a public space. Not forgetting there’s a new option taking Uganda by storm which is sharing work space through hubs that support young people looking up to starting a business. Plus, you will need to choose whether to locate near the market or the source of raw materials intended to reduce costs incurred in production. Finally, you need not forget that all these considerations depend on the type of business you are running or venturing into.

8. Recruit qualified workers for your business

If your business needs you to recruit workers, it’s at this point that one has to recruit; however, an entrepreneur should take his/her time, identify the various positions to be filled and the skills needed by those to fill these positions. If your business is a sole proprietorship and you are going down the business lane alone, you may still need to engage your team, including your mentor-ship, family, or business coach, who will support you in that process.

9. Establish the Business

When all required is set, the appropriate team is hired, and the work place is set. Finally, review your schedule book and close the planning stage in preparation for the business opening stage.

10. Advertise/market/promote your brand

When your startup is already established and running , you need to lay strategies on how to attract more customers to your business. Remember, you are the business owner; you know best who your customers are, so only you can better understand how you want to be noticed by them in the market.

In conclusion, starting and putting up a business in Uganda is never hard; you need to follow the guidelines provided to you by MonkeyPesa in this article and you will have your way through.

MonkeyPesa is here with a ready-made Business Management Suite that helps streamline everything from Leads to Deals, Tasks, Accounts, and contacts. MonkeyPesa is genuinely built for Sales teams. It is simple but well streamlined and organized. Are you an entrepreneur? Please leave your details here & we will contact you:​ Learn everything you need to know to help empower you to grow your business through the roof. We shall be learning to integrate services like Email Marketing, SMS, Social Media marketing, and customer support, all in a single business system. You can contact us on or by a phone call or WhatsApp at +256757537658

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