How To Start A Business in Benin


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Benin. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with between 10 and 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2015




Time to Complete

Associated Costs



Verify the uniqueness of the company name
Agency: Commercial Registry

In Benin, as in all member countries of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), any company must choose a unique company name before it is registered in the trade register. Checking the company name can now be done online (

1 day

notary service fees include name verification charges



Have a notary public notarize the instrument of incorporation
Agency: Notary

By virtue of law, the use of notaries has become optional since 2014. However, entrepreneurs in Benin most


commonly use the services of notaries in their business start-up formalities. For companies with a share capital over 1 million, the notary fees vary depending on the expertise and the services provided by the notary. The fees are approximately: 25,000 for the legal announcement in the newspaper; 3% of the capital for the notary; 20,000 for the stamp duty (debours, e.g. frais de timbres).


3 days

see comment



Subscribe and deposit capital in a bank, and obtain a receipt
Agency: Bank
The entrepreneur needs to open a Bank Account to deposit the company’s share capital. The operator will then obtain a “récipité” and an “attestation” from the bank, which will be necessary for the formalities at the GUFE.


1 day

no charge



File documents with GUFE
Agency: Guichet Unique de Formalisation des Entreprises (GUFE)

The Government of Benin issued Decree N° 2009-542 on October 20, 2009, which created a one-stop shop. The one-stop shop became operational on March 26, 2012. The new one stop shop allows entrepreneurs to register with the commercial registry and the tax authority, the Labor directorate (Direction Générale du Travail) and the Directorate of commerce (Direction Générale du Commerce Intérieur et la Direction Générale du Commerce Extérieur) at one place.
The cost are since May 2015 the following: 12,000 XOF for the cout de greffier + 5,000 XOF carte de professionelle du commercant

4 days

XOF 12,000 registration costs + XOF 5,000 for the trader card



Activate the bank account within 30 days of incorporation
Agency: Bank
The entrepreneur needs to return to the bank to show the “registre du commerce” in order to be able to activate the company's account and withdraw funds.

1 day

no charge



Subscribe company and employees to the Caisse Nationale de Securité Sociale (CNSS)
Agency: Caisse Nationale de Securité Sociale (CNSS)

As per the law, a newly registered company must register with social security at the CNSS within 3 months of incorporation.

1 day

no charge



Declaration of registration with the Tax Authority - Direction Nationale des Impots et des Domaines
Agency: Direction Nationale des Impôts et des Domaines

All new businesses must declare their existence “declaration d’enregistrement aux impots"" to the tax authority “Direction Nationale des Impots et des Domaines ” within 20 days of the start of the business activity. This is basically for the records of the Direction Nationale des Impots et des Domaines (DNID) in order to ensure that taxpayers are compliant with dues.

In order to register, the documents to be submitted are the fiscal number (IFU), the number of employees and the “carte du commercant”. The DNID tax agency will conduct a site visit to ensure that the address provided is correct.

1 day

no charge