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  • Apophia

Everything You Need To Know About Registering A Business In Botswana

Registering your business in Botswana is very important because doing things by the book saves you lots of penalties. Whether internationally or locally, operating as a legally registered business has its relevant benefits and also it prevents your business from working under certain unforeseen security risks.

With the advancement of time and due to public demand, the registration process is

Here is what you should expect once you officially register your business in Botswana;

  • Free flow of your business and limited blockages

  • Botswana allows repatriation of profits and dividends

  • The country has a ready labor market

  • It is also a member of the world trade organization

  • It is a developing economy and high economic growth

  • Low costs of setting up a business and free trade economy

  • Set up requirements are minimal

  • There is increasing economic growth in the country, which gives a favorable economic environment for business growth.

Like any other country, to register a business in Botswana, you are required to go through specific processes, with business name reservation and submission of incorporation documents as required by the Registrar of Companies and intellectual property Authority (CIPA) at the top of the list. This is a body that authorizes the registration of all businesses in Botswana.

Procedure to register your business with CIPA in Botswana;

1. First, you have to draft an application to the Companies and Intellectual property Authority. Then, you have to make a list of at least three proposed names for your business. Then, it is advisable to look through the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Botswana database to check whether your proposed business names exist or not.

When you submit to CIPA, you should be able to get the reply in three to five working days, and when approval is finished, you are sure that your business name has been reserved. This lasts for a month. While submitting form 1 and form RBN1A, CIPA requires you to pay the registration fee of P15.00-20.00; these must be submitted along with the applicant's identity documents.

2. Secondly, when reserving a business name is done, you will be required to have the declaration of compliance of statutory requirement with a signature appended by the business delegate for incorporation before a Commissioner of Oaths. Then, hand in the company registration form. This is based on the approval by CIPA; about the availability of the business, an authority to act as shareholders, directors, auditors, company secretary and registered officers jointly with their national ID or passports, alongside the declaration of compliance with the business secretary’s practicing license, to the Registrar of Companies. If not found physically, you can find business registration forms through an online platform at for download, filling in and then submitting.

3. Upon submitting what is required in step 2, a weekly exercise of examining the site where your business will operate is done. This practice is done by the ministry of trade and industry and the Industrial Affairs department. This is done along with the health department( for assessing impacts related to health and life), urban town planning( to determine if the business suits in a region) and the environment department(for evaluating environmental impact) of the business.

4. Next up is an operating license from the town city council or the industrial affairs department from the ministry of trade and industry.

5. The fifth item is opening a bank account for your business, which will be used in your day-to-day business-related transactions.

6. The sixth item is getting a TIN (tax identification number) from the Botswana Unified Revenue Service and filling in the taxpayer registration form; this helps you to pay and clear taxes in the form of business-related transactions.

7. Upon getting that done, the second to last item is registering for VAT which stands for Value Added Tax (tax added indirectly on produced and customizable goods) with the customs and excise department.

8. And finally, you can start running your business operations and recruitment of employees so long as you have everything required of you in place, including materials, contracts and insurance for employees and other necessities as you may know better.

To fully register your company in Botswana, these forms are a must-have;

  • Business application form

  • Full postal address

  • Residential address that is the plot number, location, ward, town and street

  • Details of each director

  • Personal information of each director

  • ID and passport copies of the director and other shareholders

  • Proof of company registered address

  • In cases where a representative is applying on behalf of the applicant or a person in charge, a letter of authorization confirming the representative is necessary.

Required documents to have your business registered fully include;

  • Form 2 and 3, that is, if it’s a company limited by shares

  • Form 2A and 3 if it’s a closed company

  • Form 2B and 3 are for a business limited by guarantee.

  • Form 3, however, is filled by a qualified company secretary documented by the Act or the director of the business.

  • The person presenting the application form should fill in their address phone number and attach certified copies of the identity card or passport.

  • Copies of identity documents for the directors and shareholders and also a certificate for the business secretary

  • Original sets of required documents

  • Reception and giving in of registration documents together with payment of P360.00

It is possible to register a business online, and here are the steps that you need to go through;

  • Download company registration and application forms from fill in the required details.

  • Then, go ahead and submit your application through CIPA’s online platform known as Online Business Registration System (OBRS).

  • After accessing the login page, you can enter your username and password and click on the login button.

  • Enter your login details, click next to your name and identify page, and fill in the required information.

  • Upload your identity page and click next to go to the required contact information

  • If you can access your dashboard, click on the link of starting a business and then move forward with registering a business

  • Then, fill in your general business details on the next page and continue to the address page.

  • Then enter principal address information and location details, for example, plot number, street, or city and then click next to the postal address page.

  • Then choose your address and feed in your address details and after that go to contact information as next and feed in the required information and continue to;

  • Add proprietor page and add the proprietor you wish to, confirm the validity of their details and the uploaded the necessary documents and submit then continue.

  • The next page is the payment page; select the method you wish to use to clear your payments; you can either use a credit/ debit card, mobile money, or deposit account, enter the required details, and choose to pay now or later.

  • Upon successful review of the business name and application, CIPA will register it and send you registration details through your email address.

To know more about CIPA and business registration in Botswana, you can contact CIPA at; plot 54358, prime plaza, CBD, Gaborone, Botswana, or reach them through an email at; Alternatively, these contacts are helpful as well; +2673673700/+2673188130 or 3673797, 3673758, 3673783, 3673748 and 3673700.

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