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How To Start A Business in Swaziland

Starting (Registering) a Business in Swaziland

Starting a business, or company, in Swaziland takes approximately 61 days as compared to about 46 days for the Sub-Saharan Africa region. This piece outlines the general technical procedures for starting a company in Swaziland, according to the Doingbusiness.org database by the World Bank. It includes details and requirements to be in good standing with all relevant agencies beyond the company registrar like social security agencies.

Use this as a guide while you complete the process and consult with agents carrying out work on your behalf.  Additional notes may be found here.

Technical Procedures

The steps involved in registering a company(Private Limited Liability Company) in Swaziland are:

  1. Reserve name at the Company Registrar.
  2. Pay fee for reserving a name.
  3. Obtain tax clearance for company directors.
  4. Pay registration fee at revenue office.
  5. Have articles of association and memorandum prepared by a lawyer.
  6. Register with the Company Registrar.
  7. Request trading license from the Ministry of Enterprise and Employment.
  8. Pay trading license fee.
  9. Obtain bank statement.
  10. Obtain company tax identification.
  11. Get certificate of inspection by health department or city council.
  12. Register workers with Provident Fund.
  13. Get worker’s compensation insurance for workers.

 

 

No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
 1Reserve a unique company name at the Companies Registry
Agency: Companies Registry

The founder submits a letter to the Registrar of Companies proposing 3 company names. The fee is paid at the Revenue Office.
1 day SZL 20
 2Pay the name reservation and registration fees
Agency: Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA)

The official fees are now paid at the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA).
1 day included in procedure 5
 3Obtain tax clearance for company directors
Agency: Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA)

To register a new company, each founder must obtain an income tax clearance statement.
1 day no charge
 4Preparation of the memorandum and articles of association by a lawyer
Agency: Lawyer

Although entrepreneurs can use the standard forms available for the memorandum and articles of associations, most of them choose to hire lawyers to facilitate the process. The lawyer’s fee varies between SZL 1,500 and SZL 3,000.
2 days SZL 1,500 - SZL 3,000
 5Register with the Company Registrar
Agency: Companies Registry

The investor must submit the following documents to the Registrar of Companies:
• Tax clearance – original (1 copy)
• Memorandum Articles of Association – 3 copies (1 original, 1 to be filed, and 1 copy for the applicant)
• Government revenue receipts for the payment of the reservation of the company name and the registration fees
• Copy of the applicant's ID card
• Notarized Receipt of the successful reservation of the company name
10 days SZL 360
 6Obtain a bank statement
Agency: Bank

The entrepreneurs must then obtain a bank statement from a bank.
1 day no charge
*7Obtain a company Tax Identification Number (TIN)
Agency: Tax Authority

Company founders must inform the tax authority about the new company establishment.
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge
*8Receive inspection by the Health Department or City Council
Agency: Health Department or City Council

Depending on which agency has jurisdiction, the city council or health department issues a Health Clearance Certificate upon inspecting the business location. The certificate is a supporting document in the company's application of a Trading License.
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) included in license cost
 9Request and Obtain a trading license
Agency: Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade

All companies require a trading license, except for professional companies that have a different licensing system. To obtain a trading license, the company requests a hearing before the Ministry of Enterprise and Employment. The Ministry publishes a notice in a daily newspaper (The Observer) at least 3 business days before the hearing, allowing individuals and companies to object to the company’s formation.

Companies must submit the certificate of incorporation upon requesting a hearing. The following documents must be submitted before the hearing and can be obtained while waiting for the hearing:
- Bank statement, proving the directors have enough funds to run the company
- Lease agreement of the company location
- Company tax registration
- Certificate of inspection by the health department or city council
- Memorandum and articles of association
- Receipt of license fee payment

A company might need more than one trading license if it does more than one activity. For instance, if the company produces and sells its goods to the public. Each activity has a different license fee.
12 days SZL 50 to SZL 10,000 (most likely a general services or manufacturing company would pay a license of SZL 3,000 to SZL 5,000, therefore SZL 4,000 is a reasonable estimate for this fee)
*10Pay the trading license fee
Agency: Trade Licensing Office

The trading license fee is paid at the Trade Licensing Office.
1 day (simultaneous with procedure 9) included in previous procedure
*11Register workers with the Provident Fund
Agency: Provident Fund

Upon recruitment of new staff, the employer must register the employees with the Swaziland National Provident Fund, which provides pension and occupational injury and illness benefits.
1 day (simultaneous with procedure 9) no charge
*12Enroll workers in the worker's compensation insurance
Agency: Royal Swazi Insurance Corporation

All employers must register their employees for worker’s compensation insurance at the Royal Swazi Insurance Corporation. The rates vary by industry.
1 day (simultaneous with procedure 9) no charge