Registering a new company
If you are an entrepreneur who wishes to start a business in Rwanda you will need to register a business entity in Rwanda before being able to operate and generate revenue. This is true for sole traders as well.
Registering a business in Rwanda is completely free of charge.
The process is generally very quick (a few hours) depending on the type of business
You can register your business online (here – you will need to register an account online) or in person at the Office of the Registrar General (ORG) which is in the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) building (Address: KG 220 St, Kigali) . Everything is done through the RDB but for VAT registered businesses who want to use Electronic Billing Machines (EBM) you might have to speak with the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) as well. (We advise you to ask RDB staff for specifics)
The procedures involved, including the required documents, will differ slightly depending on the type of business you want to register.
- Domestic companies
- Foreign companies
- Foreign company (not VAT liable)
- Foreign company(VAT liable)
- Branch of a foreign company(large company)
- Sole Trade
if you need help we advice you to contact the RDB
Closing a business
If you already have a business registered in Rwanda and wish to close it, you will have to complete an application for cessation of trading activities.
Closing a business costs between 10,000 and 14,000 RWF (approx. 8 to 12 EUR)
Once the documents are submitted the process takes about 30 minutes. In case of complications, however, it can take up to 2 months.
Cessation of business activities can be applied for at any time you wish but only if your tax payables are in order and (in the case of incorporated companies) if all investors have provided written consent.
For the tax clearance certificate, the procedure can be started online Then you will need to go to the RRA and RDB to submit the application for cessation of trading activities alongside the required documents.
The details of the procedure including the required documents can be found here:
- Cessation of trading activities for entreprise(sole traders)
- Cessation of trading activities for Companies(imported company)
- Submit a claim for insolvery(sole traders)
For specific help,you can contact the RDB
- The company code on the incorporation certificate also serves as Tax Identification Number (TIN) and Social Security Number. (RDB Business Procedures).
- For large corporates, the franchising model is useful because when going into different jurisdictions each county has its own regulatory framework. So it would be very tricky to have an international company with local branches. (Case Study → BDO Rwanda)
- Some EBCR Members have reported thinking they were registered for tax after registering with the RDB when in reality they were not. For VAT-registered companies, we advise you to double-check with the Rwanda Revenue Authority to make sure. (Case Study →Viebeg Medical)
- Having your company registered as a 100% subsidiary of a foreign holding company registered in an English-speaking country can be beneficial in the long run as it will facilitate foreign investments in the company. (Case Study → Viebeg Medical and OX Rwanda)Viebeg Medical OX Rwanda )