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The Ghana Free Zones Authority promotes investment through the provision of a conducive business environment and attractive incentives.
Yes. A free zones company in Ghana can be 100% foreign owned, 100% Ghanaian owned or investors from different countries coming together to form a company or a joint venture between a Ghanaian and a foreigner.
Yes. Ghanaians qualify to be in the free zones only if they can export at least 70% of their products.
Free Zone investors do not require any minimum capital investment. However, an investor should be able to show evidence of funding and investors must indicate their ability to fulfill the minimum 70% export requirement.
Investors are required to go through the following application procedure to obtain a Free Zone license:
a. Incorporate a company in Ghana with the Registrar General’s Department
b. Obtain and complete the GFZA Application Form (US$ 100) and submit with the following;
i. Business Plan
ii. Copy of Certificate of Incorporation
iii. Copy of Certificate to Commence Business
iv. Copy of Company’s code
v. Evidence of possession/lease of real property or intent to acquire such property
vi. MOU with potential clients
vii. Environmental Protection Agency Permit
viii. Evidence of Funding/Capital Transfer
ix. Any other relevant document
c. After completing the application and submitting it with all the necessary and required documents, and upon receipt, GFZA will notify the prospective investor of the status of his/her application for license within 28 working days.
No, Free Zones companies are subject to the same labor laws as any other company in Ghana. They enjoy the same rights and privileges as non-free zone companies.
Ghana Free Zones Authority is a public agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
After completing the application and submitting it with all the necessary and required documents, and upon receipt, GFZA will notify the prospective investor of the status of his/her application for a license within 28 working days.
There are monetary and non-monetary incentives. The monetary incentives offered include:
a. 100% exemption from payment of direct and indirect duties and levies on all imports for production and exports from free zones.
b. 100% exemption from payment of income tax on profits for 10 years which will not exceed 8% thereafter.
c. Total exemption from payment of withholding taxes from dividends arising out of free zone investment.
d. Relief from double taxation for foreign investors and employees where Ghana has a double taxation agreement with the country of the investors or employees.
Non-monetary incentives include:
a. No import licensing requirements.
b. Minimal customs formalities.
c. 100% ownership of shares by any investor – foreign or national in a free zone enterprise is allowed
d. There are no conditions or restrictions on repatriation of dividends or net profit, payments for foreign loan servicing, payments of fees and charges for technology transfer agreements and remittance of proceeds from sale of any interest in a free zone investment.
e. Free Zone investors are permitted to operate foreign currency accounts with banks in Ghana.
f. At least 70% of annual production of goods and services of Free Zone Enterprises must be exported, consequently up to 30% of annual production of goods and services of a free zone enterprise are authorized for sale in the local market.
g. Free Zone investments are also guaranteed against nationalization and expropriation.
The following priority sectors have been identified by the Board based on the comparative advantages of the country. These sectors are however not exclusive. Investors can invest in any other sector of their choice with exception of plastic manufacturing, Timber related activities and enterprises engaged in the exploration of extraction of precious metals, gas and crude oil.
a. Agro Food Processing (Fruits, vegetables and coca)
b. Information & Communication Technology (Data processing and transcription, call centers, software development and computer assembling)
c. Textile/Apparel manufacturing (including accessories for garment industry and footwear)
d. Sea Food Processing
e. Jewelry/Handicraft Production
f. Light Industry/Assembling Plant
g. Metal Fabrication
The GFZA application form costs US$200.00. In addition to the application form fee, the following fees are also paid based on the sector.
a. A Developer’s license fee of US$5,000.00 or its equivalent in Ghana Cedis is charged by the GFZA in the first instance and a renewal fee of US$4,000.00 or its equivalent in Ghana Cedis is paid annually by the Developer.
b. Investors wishing to set up enterprises (for Manufacturing , Commercial or Services activities) will need to obtain the relevant Enterprise License:
c. An Enterprise fee of :
i. US$3,000.00 for Manufacturing
ii. US$4,000.00 for Service
iii. US$10,000.00 for Commercial
or its equivalent in Ghana Cedi is charged by the GFZA in the first instance and a renewal fee of:
i. US$2,500.00 for Manufacturing
ii. US$3,000.00 for Service
iii. US$5,000.00 for Commercial
or its equivalent in Ghana Cedi is paid annually by the Enterprise Operator.
This is allowed only if the said skill that is being brought to Ghana is proven not to be available in Ghana.
Yes, Free Zones companies pay property tax.
The Ghana Frees Zones Authority has been in existence since 1995 by an Act of Parliament, Act 504 LI 1618. The Act was passed in September 1995 and the Secretariat commenced operation in August 1996.