How To Start A Business in Republic of South Sudan

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in South Sudan. 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.


No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
 1Reserve the company name at the Business Registry
Agency: Business Registry

The entrepreneur submits a standard form with three different business names to check the availability. Once the availability is confirmed, the entrepreneur can reserve the name, which will be valid for 30 days. The name search has been computerized. This process can be completed on the spot at the Business Registry. The ‘data officer’ signs the name search form approving the name of the company.
1 day fees included in procedure 3
 2Prepare the company documents with a lawyer
Agency: Law firm

The entrepreneur prepares the Memorandum and Articles of Association with a lawyer. The Business Registry requires entrepreneurs to use a lawyer to draft the MoA. The MoA has to state the objectives of the company; list and postal address of the shareholders and include the articles of association. Copies of the passports or nationality IDs are also attached. The lawyer who drafts the Memorandum and articles of association must be an enrolled advocate in the republic of South Sudan and must hold a valid practicing license for that specific year.
1 day SSP 2,500
 3Pay all the fees to register a business at a designated bank
Agency: Bank

All fees are paid at once, before submitting the final documents to obtain the certificate of incorporation. The fees are paid at the Buffalo commercial bank. The applicant completes a form for payments which can be picked from the Ministry of Justice, office of the Registrar of Companies. The lawyer or the entrepreneur obtains a receipt as proof of payment.
The fees for incorporation have been approved by the Ministry of Finance in 2011.
1 day SSP 15 for the name search + SSP 25 for application form + SSP 1,145 for certificate + SSP 5 for bank charge
 4Obtain the Certificate of Incorporation from the Business Registry
Agency: Business Registry

The advocate collects the necessary documents (name search form signed, MoA and receipt of payment) at the business registry and obtains the Certificate of Incorporation. At the registry, the documents are assigned to one of the legal counselors seated at the business registry. There are 9 people working as legal counselors divided in 3 sections: 4 for limited liability companies, 3 for business names and partnerships and 2 for NGOs. They check the activities, capital and shareholders of the companies. After approval by the legal counselors, the certificate of registration is printed and signed by the Registrar. The Registrar is the only person who can sign the certificate. This certificate has to be renewed at the registry every year.
2 days fees included in procedure 3
 5Obtain an Operating License from the Government of Central Equatoria
Agency: Government of Central Equatoria

The entrepreneur fills in a form, presents the Certificate of Incorporation and indicates the address of the company headquarters and pays the fees to the Central Equatoria State Revenue Authority. An official from the Directorate of Trade should visit the office to confirm its whereabouts, but it does not happen in practice.
2 days SSP 2,000
*6Obtain a Trading License from the payam (Juba city authority)
Agency: The Payam

An application form is filled out and the companies' documents are submitted to the Executive Director at the payam.
4 days (simultaneous with previous procedure) SSP 1,800
*7Inspection by the payam
Agency: The Payam

The payam does an inspection of the premises of the business.
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) free of charge
*8Register with the Ministry of Finance and request a Tax Identification Number (TIN)
Agency: Ministry of Finance

Companies need to obtain a TIN number from the Government of South Sudan.
7 days (simultaneous with previous procedure) free of charge
*9Inspection by the Ministry of Finance to deliver the TIN number
Agency: Ministry of Finance

The directorate of taxation inspects the location to verify the address. The Ministry of Finance wants to reduce the occurrence of ‘brief-case’ companies (people working at home or from a hotel).
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) free of charge
*10Register with the Chamber of Commerce
Agency: Chamber of Commerce

All businesses must register with the Chamber of Commerce in order to obtain tax clearance and conduct certain commercial operations. Additionally, the membership card/Chamber of Commerce certificate is required to open a bank account. Only the certificate of incorporation is needed to register with the Chamber of Commerce.
7 days (simultaneous with previous procedure) SSP 600
*11Register with the Ministry of Labor
Agency: Ministry of Labor

Part X of the Labor Act of Sudan (1997) establishes that the company must deposit the basic work and penalties regulations with the competent labor office. The Ministry of Labor approves the contract of the company’s employees. Once a year, the Ministry of Labor requests the company to submit the list of employees.
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) free of charge
*12Open a separate bank account for social security payments
Agency: Bank

There is no social security fund or institution yet in South Sudan. As a temporary measure, the Ministry of Public Labor, Public Service & Human Resource Development of the Government of Southern Sudan issued a circular (Circular J/5/21, March 22, 2010) instructing companies to open a separate bank account to deposit social security payments until a new mechanism is devised. The directive is still applicable as of 2013 (however most companies do not comply with it).
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) free of charge
*13Obtain a company seal
Agency: Sealmaker

The Company Act of 2012 requires companies to obtain a company seal. The seals can be acquired at any shop.
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) SSP 90