Setting Up a Business in Tema

To start a new business in Tema you have to first legally register the business with the Register General’s Department which is located in Accra. The Register General’s Department is the organization mandated to register all businesses operating in the Ghana. The requirements for the formulation of a business anywhere in Ghana are stipulated in the Ghana Company Code 1963 (Act 179).

In addition to the certificate of Incorporation you obtain from registering with the Register General’s Department, you are also required to obtain other certificates from such institutions as the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Ghana Free Zones Board, Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drugs Board, depending on your business activity. However, it is mandatory for all businesses to register with Ghana Revenue Authority and obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) for tax purposes.

Businesses with foreign partners are required to register with the Ghana Investments Promotion Centre, while businesses involved in manufacturing and processing of goods are required to register with the Ghana Free Zones Board. If the businesses activities affect the environment then they will require a certificate from the Environmental Protection Agency. The business will also need a certificate from the Food and Drugs Board if the business deals in food and drugs.

Step 1: Registration of Business

Registration of business is done at the Register General’s Department located in Accra. You can get your business registered within a period of 5 days and you are obligated to renew the registration yearly. Visit the Registrar General's website for more.


Step 2: Registering with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre

Businesses with foreign investments are required to register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) and have their registration renewed every two years. The GIPC was instituted under the Ghana Investment Promotion Act, 1994 (Act 478) to promote, facilitate and support investors, both local and foreign in establishing their businesses in Ghana. Investors who register with the GIPC enjoy various levels of incentives according to their investment capital and which sector of the economy they operate. Businesses in the mining and petroleum sectors are exempted from registering with the GIPC.

Applicants are required to complete the Investor Registration Form and have their business registered within 5 days after paying the relevant fees applicable and subsequent submission of the forms to the GIPC.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre has all the information on types of businesses and the corresponding fees applicable.


Step 3: Registering with the Ghana Free Zones Board

The Ghana Free Zones Board was established by an Act of Parliament in1995, GFZB Act (504) and assigned the responsibility of regulating the activities in the free zones. The GFZB is a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry and is tasked with providing a conducive business environment and facilities to assist and promote businesses in process and manufacturing sectors of the economy. The main aim is to promote economic development in Ghana.

The license can be obtained within a period of 28 days if procedures are followed and all documents duly submitted. To obtain a free zones license, the applicant is required to complete a GFZB Application form and submit it together with other documents.

Visit the Ghana Free Zones board for more.


Step 4: Obtaining a Business Operating Permit

It is mandatory to obtain a business license from the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) if you want to establish a business in Tema. Any person who sets up a business to operate either within the limits of the city or outside the city is obligated to apply for a Business License by law. This license expires on 31st December of each year and must be renewed yearly at a fee.

The Business License Division department of the TMA is responsible for the issuance of the Business Operating Permit.

Read more about the Business Operating Permit from the TMA website


Depending on your type of business, there could be other permits and licences that you may require from various bodies.