and the ECOWAS

Opening and running a new business in Ivory Coast implies the choice of a suitable legal structure and the knowledge of the existing business taxes to comply with. You will have to choose between several legal structures in Ivory Coast depending on your needs:

  • General partnerships (sociétés en nom collectif)
  • Limited liability partnerships (sociétés en commandite simple)
  • Private limited companies (sociétés à responsabilité limitée, SARL)
  • Public limited companies (sociétés anonymes, SA)
  • Simplified public limited companies (sociétés par actions simplifiées, SAS)

Each legal structure has its own benefits and drawbacks.Make sure you have a clear vision of your project before making your choice.

What about the tax environment for businesses?

– Corporation tax  (Normal or simplified) : 25% for enterprises liable to income tax in the category of business profits (bénéfices industriels et commerciaux, BIC) and 20% for enterprises liable to income tax in the category of non-commercial profits (bénéfices non commerciaux, BNC)

– The single combined tax represents a percentage of your  annual turnover. This tax regime is only for entities with a projected turnover below 50 million CFA (approximately 75.000 euros) if they are selling goods and below 25 million CFA (approximately 32.000 euros) if they are selling services. The single combined tax replaces all taxes usually supported by corporate entities including the VAT ( It is paid monthly and ranges from 4.1% to 8.7% of your annual turnover.

Note that Ivory Coast has its own Free Zone for companies in the biotech, ITt, and telcos industries located in Grand-Bassam (a few kilometers from Abidjan and the Port). Furthermore depending on your projected activity, your new entity can benefit from reduced corporate tax (down to 0%), local taxes and social security contributions during 7 to 15 years.

Ready to set up a business?  Here are the steps to follow :

1 – Choose your legal form

Depending on your strategy, choose between the many legal forms available in Ivory Coast.

2 – Define your local commercial address

This can be a real or a virtual office. Focus Ventures can provide you with a commercial address and a flexible office space to start operations.

3 – Gather supporting documents

Make sure you have all the documents required to register your company: id, birth certificate, lease agreement, license etc..

4 – Open a bank account

In Ivory Coast Capital deposit must be consigned and deposited with an accredited Banking institution for the company to be able to be registered.The minimum capital for a company has been lowered to 5.000 FCFA (7.5 euros) for most entity execpt for Public limited companies (sociétés anonymes, SA)

5 – Write legal documents

Articles of association, Statement of subscription and payment of funds, list of shareholders, etc…

6 – Apply for company registration

Bring all your documents & Fill in legal application forms. If everything is in order your entit will be registered within 24 hours.

7 – Get your entity official documents

Once the company is reistered you will get the following documents: Extract of the entry in the Companies Register, Corporate taxpayer number, importer/exporter Customs Registration code, Employer’s registration number

8 – You’re not done yet: Official registration to the tax office

You must register to the local tax office within a week after having registered your company. Do not expose your new company to financial penalties.

9 – Order your standardised invoices

In Ivory Coast, the use of standardised invoices is compulsory. Only a few printers are authorized by the government. In general, invoices are delivered within 3 weeks after your order.

Ready to operate

You can start doing business in Ivory Coast

Willing to start? Discover our company registration packages to save time and  money. Start here