Benin

Company Formation in Benin

Benin is a good destination to set-up your company to cater to the fast growing African market with a large population. YourGlobalPro can assist in Benin for Company Formation, Secretarial Compliance, Tax Registration, VAT Reclaim, Document Retrieval and Trademark Registration.

About the Country

The Republic of Benin and formerly Dahomey, is a country in West Africa sharing border with Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. The below content will explain you in detail about the requirements for the company formation in Benin, know more about the process of trademark registration in Benin and understand the Benin Legal and Compliance requirements.

Benin

Doing Business Introduction

The Country is having its dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade which has continued to strengthen over the past years. The Government of Benin, to attract more foreign investment, is placing more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, and encourage latest information and communication technology. As per Doing business report of The World Bank –Benin ranks 155 for 2017 survey.

YourGlobalPro professionals can assist with any type of company formation in Benin, trademark registration in Benin and other recurring services for your business.

Incorporation - Types of Business Entities

Before starting the business, the first decisions to make is to determine what form of business entity to establish. There are several types of entities that can be incorporated in Benin are as mentioned below

·       Limited Liability Companies – two types namely:

·       the Société á Responsabilité Limitée (SARL)

·       the Société Anonyme (SA)

·       Unlimted Liability Companies

·       Société en Nom Collectif (SNC)

·       Société en Commandite Simple (SCS)

·       Société en Participation (SP)

·       Société de Fait

Time Frame for Incorporation of Company in Benin varies from depending on the type of entity selected and each business type has its own advantages and disadvantages. YourGlobalPro professionals estimate the time required for the process of Company formation in Benin to be completed is 10-12 working days.

Benefits of Registration of a Company

Below are the advantages of company formation in Benin:

·       Stable democracy and political system

·       Stable security situation

·       Vast opportunities in the business sector

·       Best prospects for major projects are infrastructure projects

·       For the foreign investor, government has established a Corporate Formalities Center (CFC) at the Benin Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (CCIB) Cotonou headquarters

·       Freedom of commerce and choice of customers and suppliers

·       Free movement throughout the country

·       Freedom from government interference in the management of private enterprises.

Tax Registration and Filing

Below are the some of the crucial points in relation to taxation rates in Benin.

Corporate Income Tax Rate 30 %
Capital Gains Tax Rate 30% (on business assets) or 7%
Value Added Tax 18%
Branch Profits Tax Rate (Permanent Establishments) 30%
Branch Remittance Tax 13.50%
Withholding Tax Dividends - 9% (10% on 90% of business assets)
Interest - 15%
Royalties - 25% or 30% on 40% of the amount paid Services - 10.5%
Tax Year Calendar Year
Filing Annual Tax Return By 30 April or four months after the end of the fiscal year
Quarterly Advance Tax Payment Due on the 10th day of March, June, September and December

Double Tax Treaty

Double Tax Agreements (DTA) regulates the tax treatment of income or capital gains in situations where the same taxpayer is taxed twice in two countries for the same subject.  Benin has double taxation treaties with France, Norway, Kuwait and WAEMU (covering eight other countries and addressing income taxes, VAT and other duties – consisting of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo).

Trademark registration

For trademark registration in Benin, an application needs to be made to the Government Patent Office (CENAPI). It takes approximately 14-16 months’ timeframe to complete the process of trademark registration in Benin.  The Trademark Registration in Benin is valid ten years from the date of filing trademark and is renewable for ten years’ period by paying the renewal fee by the expiration date for an unlimited number of times.  Also, renewal of the trademark can be requested during the grace period of six months after expiration, upon payment of a late renewal fee.

YourGlobalPro professionals are fully equipped to assist you with the process of trademark registration in Benin for your business. For assistance or advice in the matter of the trade mark registration or intellectual property – please feel free to write or contact us.

Secretarial Compliance

Below are some of the important points in relation to Company Secretarial Compliance in Benin:

·       Maintain the Statutory Register and Minutes Book and to do statutory filing requirements

·       At the end of the financial year, it is imperative that business managers produce the accounts and balance sheets of the company and send them to the shareholders at least 15 days before the date of the general meeting.

·       The Foreigners, Beninese, natural or legal persons can obtain the number of shares available – as there is no limitation in the holding of securities or shares.

·       The corporate executives must act in strict compliance with the legal or regulatory provisions applicable to the Company and its Articles of Incorporation. 

Accounting Services

The Entities in Benin are required to maintain proper accounting records and to prepare financial statement annually. The IFRS commonly used along with accounting standards of the organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).

YourGlobalPro professionals can assist you with the entire bookkeeping and accounting services to your Benin Business Set up as per your business needs including implementation of financial accounting software, accounting records preparation and time to time preparation of budgets, forecasts. 

Auditing service

In Benin, audits are mandatory for all public companies and limited liability companies that exceed one of these three thresholds: (i) share capital in excess of CFA franc 10 million; (ii) sales volume greater than CFA franc 250 million; or (iii) have more than 50 permanent employees. Banking and insurance legislations also require mandatory audits of banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies.

Based on the size of the business – the companies are required to prepare and file financial statements with the Authority. YourGlobalPro professionals provide you auditing services as required by your business.

Banking

The Central Bank of West Africa is the central bank in Benin regulating the Banks in the Country. The accounts can be opened and maintained in multi-currency and is available for all major currencies with the Banks.

The documentation requirement differs from Bank to Bank and need to be complied for the Bank account opening.  The major banks in Benin are African Investment Bank, Benin Regional Solidarity Bank, Banque Atlantique Bénin, Bank of Africa Bénin, BGFIBank Benin, Banque de l’Habitat du Bénin, Banque Internationale du Bénin, Banque Sahélo-Saharienne pour l’Investissement et le Commerce (BSSIC), Continental Bank Bénin, GM Clearing House EU, Caissie Primes, Ecowas Diaspora Banking, Ecowas Diaspora Bank, King Bank Plc Bénin, MSF Bank Bénin. All banks are stable, reliable and offer the same level of services.

YourGlobalPro professionals can facilitate all the paper work in relation to banking need and can assist you in opening bank account for your business plan in Benin.

Legal and Compliance

In Benin, the responsibility of legal compliance is not a one-time affair, but a continuous process. Below is the various Benin legal and compliance requirement to be followed by incorporated entities:

·       The investors must meet criteria including employment of a minimum number of Beninese national to qualify for tax reductions and other incentives.

·       To obtain professional trader card and importer card by making application to Directorate General of taxes, and Ministry of Industry, trade and Handicraft.

·       Members of the management body or other persons may carry various insurance policies.

·       The organizational chart of the governing body of the company should be publicized on website

·       Under the law of Republic of Benin, the employer (head of the company) has a duty to declare his existence and his workers to the National Social Security Fund (CNSS)

·       The Company must join the CNSS to enable the workers to enjoy the benefits of this membership.

·       Under the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) law, only corporate bodies are empowered to make decisions about the timing and content of disclosure of information.

HR and Employment Law and Immigration / VISA

Unless a foreign national is from an exempt county, he is required to obtain visa from one of the Beninese diplomatic missions. In Benin, the applicable labor regulations would apply to local entrepreneurs wishing to hire workers. Below are some of the important points in relation to HR & employment law in Benin:

·       Maximum number of working days per week.

·       Paid annual leave of 24 days for a worker with 1 year of tenure (working days)-

·       Maximum length of probationary period is 2 months

·       Five fully paid days of sick leave a year

·       No restriction on night work

·       Maximum length of fixed-term contracts, including renewals is 48 months.

·       The prospective employer provides the “sponsorship” for their entire stay of the Permanent employees for the Benin work permit.

·       All permits for working in Benin must be applied for before moving to the country.

Country Statistics

Capital Porto-Novo
Largest city Cotonou
Total Area 114,763 Sq. Km.
Population 10,879,829
Density 94.8 / Sq. Km.
Currency West African CFA franc (XOF)
Government Presidential Republic
Official Language French
Religion Christian: 42.8%
Muslim: 24.4%,
Vodun: 17.3%
Other Local traditional religions: 6%,
Other religions: 1.9%
No religious affiliation: 6.5%
Government Office Hours Monday - Friday (8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.)
Business Office Hours Mon - Fri (8 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 3 p.m.-6.30 p.m.)
Banks and Exchange Houses Hours Monday - Friday (8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.) Saturday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Get a FREE Quote for Company formation in this country

Download this Country Factsheet