How to Register a Trust in Botswana

Prior to June 2019, the law of Trusts was governed by the common law. The enactment of the Trust Property Control Act No. 11 of 2018 which came into force on the 29th of June 2018, effectively made it mandatory for any person appointed to be a trustee of a trust in any form of property or assets, to be authorized by the Master of the High Court to act as a Trustee. The Act was amended by Act No.10 of 2019, which came into force on the 4th of September 2019.
1.2. Although the Act is the principal legislation governing trusts, the regulation of trusts must be seen in the context of increased local and international regulations, statutes, and rules that have been put in place; to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism that directly impact the
manner in which trusts are regulated and administered. In Botswana, the Financial Intelligence Act (as amended) places the spotlight on trusts. It is against this background that one gets a full appreciation of how the law of trusts, particularly as it relates to trustees, has evolved from being
a creature of the common law to becoming more regulated.


Apply In-Person
The application to Register a Trust shall be to the Master’s Office situated at the High Court. Botswana Courts Offices Location & Contact Details
Step 1: Establishment of the Trust.

  1. A person(s) wishing to establish and register a trust should have clear trust objectives in their mind.
  2. There are many reasons for establishing trusts and the founder(s) should be clear in his/her mind on why a Trust is being set up and registered including who will be the beneficiaries and what property will be settled upon the Trust.
  3. The founder (s) should appoint a person willing to act as a trustee and then secure that person’s consent to act in such capacity together with settling on how that person is to be remunerated for providing trustee services.

Step 2: Preparation of the Trust Deed by the advocate:

  1. The founder(s) should engage an attorney to prepare a trust deed.
  2. The Trust deed shall contain the following pertinent information: name and objectives of the Trust, full names and addresses of the Trustees, and their powers thereto. Thereafter it must be signed by all the Trustees.
  3. After the preparation of the Trust Deed and the document being signed appropriately by the Trustees. The Trust Document is submitted for Stamp duty.

Step 3: Register the Trust with the Master’s Office.

  1. The founder(s) should collect and complete the Trust Registration Application Forms, available at the Master’s Office or download it via the Botswana Administration Justice Website- Master’s Office-Trust Form or directly download them using these links-
  2. Submit the relevant supporting documentation as mentioned under the “Required Documents” section of this page, in addition to the duly completed relevant application forms, in all respect, to the nearest Master’s Office for consideration. Any omission of these documents will render the application process incomplete.
  3. Upon receipt of the application, the receiving officers will check for discrepancies or ineligibility in the application documents. If a discrepancy that cannot be immediately corrected exists in any of the documents, the application and all the submitted documents will be returned to the applicant and should not be re-submitted until the discrepancy has been rectified.
  4. If everything is in order, the applicant will be advised to pay a prescribed fee, as per the Authority’s preferable payment mode.
  5. A registration number will be allocated and the application will be referred to the Master’s assistant for processing.
  6. The Master’s office may request additional information relevant to the application. In such a case, the information must be submitted within the stipulated time from the date of notification. Where the applicant fails to submit the required information, the application shall be rejected.

Step 4: Registration and issue of Letters of Authority.

  1. After the document evaluation phase has been completed satisfactorily, the Master will approve the said Trust and issue Letters of Authority to the applicant (founder).
  2. These letters serve to authorize the Trustees to act on behalf of the Trust and upon receipt of same, the trustees must establish a separate trust account for the trust with a bank or building society and submit full details thereof to the Master within 14 (fourteen) days from the date of receipt of the Letters of Authority.

Required Documents

  • Certified copy of Identity Card (Omang) or passport for each trustee’.
  • Certified copy of Identity Card (Omang) or passport for each beneficiary.
  • Proof of payment of the donation by the founder.
  • A bank account (the trust’s bank account)

Where the Trustee is a company, the following is also required in addition to the applicable application forms:

  • Certificate of Incorporation or registration.
  • Resolution of the Board of Directors authorizing the company to be a Trustee and appointing someone to act on its behalf.
  • Copies of the IDs/passports of the person[s] nominated to represent the company as trustee[s].
  • Copies of shareholders’ Identity cards/Passports, including those of any beneficial owners as defined in the Act.
  • List of the Company’s Directors and shareholders

Office Locations & Contacts

Administration of Justice Botswana
Chief Registrar
Private Bag 00220
High Court Gaborone Botswana
Tel: +267 3718000 / 8365
Fax: +267 3915119

Gaborone High Court-Master Office
Private Bag BR 293
Tel: +267 3956339

Deputy Registrar and Master Office
Francistown High Court
Private Bag F13 Francistown Botswana
Tel: +267 2412125
Fax: +267 2416378
Toll-free Number: High Court- Gaborone 0800 601 027
High Court- Francistown 0800 600 947


A Trust should meet the following to be eligible to apply:

  • The settlor( founder) must have the capacity to create trust.
  • The settlor must have the intent to create trust.
  • There must be at least one definite beneficiary.
  • There must be duties for the trustee to perform
  • The sole trustee and the sole beneficiary cannot be the same person.


Please consult with the Master’s Office.


Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid. e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever

What is the procedure to form trust?

These are:

  • Trust Deed on stamp paper of requisite value (as stated above)
  • Two passport-size photographs & self-attested copy of the proof of identity of the settler.
  • Two passport-size photographs & self-attested copies of the proof of identity of each trustee.
  • Signature of settler on all the pages of the Trust Deed.

What is the cost of trust registration?

100 is the registration fee and Rs. 1000 are the charges for keeping a copy of the Trust Deed with a sub-registrar.

What are the documents required for the formation of trust?

Document Required for Trust Registration

A court fee stamp of Rs. 2 was affixed to the application form. Certified copy of Trust deed. Consent letter of Trustees.

Is a trust required to be registered?

​​​​​​​Is registration of a trust mandatory? It is mandatory for a trust to get registration under section 12AB of the Income-tax Act, 1961 so as to claim an exemption under Section 11.