How to Start a Business in Botswana

To start a business in Botswana, you need to go through a couple of steps like designing a business plan and registering your business. This is what you need to know before starting a business in Botswana.

Reserve a unique company name.
Declaration of compliance for Incorporation.
Registration of the company.
Receive inspection of company premises.
Obtain an industrial license or trade license.
Open a bank account.
Obtain a tax identification number (TIN) from the Tax authority.
Register for Value Added Tax (VAT)

Steps to Take When Registering a Business in Botswana

Write a Business Plan

The first step to starting a successful business is to draft a business plan. A business plan should have details of the business structure, its owners, objectives, financial projections, risks, strengths, and weaknesses of the business. A business plan also shows the sources of business funding. In case you want to get a loan for a startup, you will need to present the business plan to the financial institution.

Seek Business Startup Capital

There are many sources of business startup finance. You can get a loan from a financial institution or an angel investor, crowdfunding, government funding, friends and relatives, or even from franchising. Before starting the business, you need to have a clear picture of the amount you need and where to get it.

Reserve Your Company Name

The next thing is to reserve a business name for your business. This is done with the registrar of companies. You need around a week in the business name reservation process, while the reserved name can stay valid for only 30 days. Failure to register the company within the reservation period will need to reserve the name again. Otherwise, another business can register under that name.

Register Your Company

The registration of companies in Botswana is done by the Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property (ROCIP). The registration fee is P 360 and is done using the name reservation certificate. This is the business registration process.

You need to apply by proposing 3 business names with the Companies Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA). You can do a business name check online or submit an application form with the registrar of companies. If the name is approved, it will be reserved for 30 days.

You need to get a declaration of compliance signed by a representative of the company. The signing should be done before the commissioner of oaths and it is a statutory requirement. Then submit a company registration form with the national IDs or passports of the directors, shareholders, directors, and auditors. You also need to attach the practicing certificate of the company’s secretary. You need to provide the following information and certificates when registering a business in Botswana.

  • Company application forms
  • Personal details of the directors
  • Company’s proof of address
  • Copies of the IDs and passports of the directors

The documents to present vary depending on the type of business you are registering.

Secure Premises for Your Business

When registering your business, you need to provide proof of trading license in particular premises. The premises need to comply with the standards of public and environmental health standards. The Ministry of Trade and Industry, together with the Health Department and Environment Department, will inspect your business premises. The process takes around 7 days.

Secure a License

The other step is to get a trading license for your business. You can get one from the municipal authorities. The fee payable depends on the type of business one intends to operate. The process takes around three weeks. Ensure you carry your health inspection report for your business premises since you need to submit a copy.

Enroll for Tax

You need to register your business with Botswana Unifies Revenue Service (BURS) to ensure your business is tax compliant.  You need to have a Tax Identification Number (TIN). At this point, you can launch your business and start advertising it.

Open a Business Bank Account in Botswana

You also need to open a bank account for your business. It is best to have a separate bank account from a personal account. It makes it easier to manage and account for business expenses and revenues. Open a bank account that is convenient for your business.

Promote Your Business through Advertisement

Promote your business and let people know what services and products you are providing. You can advertise it on various platforms like social media, print media, posters, and billboards. Make sure that the method of advertisement you use is cost-effective for your business. With time, you will have an influx of customers.

How do I get a Botswana business permit?

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Requirements for a business permit for investors

  1. The appropriate business permit investor application forms;
  2. The company share certificate;
  3. List of Directors;
  4. The Certificate of Incorporation;
  5. A Copy of the appropriate business license;
  6. 2 passport photographs of the applicant;
  7. A Curriculum Vitae for the applicant;

How long does it take to open a business in Botswana?

This should take about 7 days. Procure an Industrial Licence from the Industrial Affairs Department or a trade license from the City Council. Open a corporate bank account for the company. Obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Botswana Revenue Service, and fill out a taxpayer registration form.

Is it easy to start a business in Botswana?

Botswana is one of Africa’s success stories, having built on a booming diamond industry to reduce poverty and provide its citizens with some of Africa’s highest living standards. According to Doing Business, it is also a very friendly place for entrepreneurs, ranking 12th out of 185 countries.

What business is needed in Botswana?

Tourism Industry

One of the industries through which you can kick-start your business in Botswana is forming your travel and tourism business. Tourism in Botswana is a very important industry that contributes nearly 12% to the GDP. In fact, it is home to one of the largest herds of free-ranging elephants in the world.

How much is a business Visa in Botswana?

Multiple entries- for a period of up to 3 months BWP 1, 000.00(US$100) Multiple entries – for a period of up to six months BWP 2,500.00(US$250)

How much does it cost to register a business name in Botswana?


P360. 00 registration fee of payment upon submission and acceptance of registration documents. In the case of a business, name registration form RBN 2 should be completed and submitted with a copy of the applicant’s identity document and P150.

How much is company registration in Botswana?


Different Botswana entity typesCostDraft Invoice
LLCUS$23,455View Invoice PDF
PLCUS$13,505View Invoice PDF
BranchUS$15,600View Invoice PDF
Representative officeUS$9,850View Invoice PDF

Which business is best for youth in Botswana?

5 Great Business Ideas for Youth In Botswana

  1. Custom Made Clothing. Every young person defines themselves as a fashionista; no one wants to be seen wearing the same dress as another woman at a party.
  2. Arts and Crafts.
  3. Magazine Publishing.
  4. Fast Food Franchise.
  5. Baby Sitting Services.