How to Start Your Own Business in Botswana

Own Business means the business(es) carried on by the Servicers other than any business consisting of the providing of services to Serviced Group Members (including for any Affiliates or other managed entities) under this Agreement.

Business ownership refers to the control over an enterprise, providing the power to dictate the operations and functions.

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.

Can a foreigner start a business in Botswana?

Botswana Companies Act requires any foreign company to apply for registration as an external company in order to operate, meaning to do business in Botswana. A foreign operating company in Botswana should apply for external company registration within 30 days.

How much does it cost to start a business in Botswana?

Certified copies of identity documents for the proposed directors and shareholders and a practicing certificate for the Company Secretary; Two (2) original bound sets of all documents are required. P360. 00 registration fee of payment upon submission and acceptance of registration documents.

Is it easy to start a business in Botswana?

Starting a business can seem daunting but the process is relatively straightforward. If you have a strong idea and you’ve carried out essential market research and planning, your business should thrive in Botswana.

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.

What business is in demand in Botswana?

Demand for online services and products rose dramatically. There was also a new demand for COVID-related products, like sanitizer and digital thermometers.