Gabon

Company Formation in Gabon

Gabon 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 Gabon for Company Formation, Secretarial Compliance, Tax Registration, VAT Reclaim, Document Retrieval and Trademark Registration.

About the Country

The Gabonese Republic (Gabon) is a sovereign state in Central Africa – sharing border with Equatorial Guinea to the northwest; Gabon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. The below content will explain you in detail about the requirements for the company formation in Gabon, know more about the process of trademark registration in Gabon and understand the Gabon Legal and Compliance requirements.

Gabon

Doing Business Introduction

The country’s rich petroleum as well as its foreign private investment helped make it one of the most prosperous countries in Sub- Sharan Africa. Oil revenues comprise roughly 46% of the government’s budget, 43% of the gross domestic product (GDP), and 81% of exports. As per Doing business report of The World Bank –Gabon ranks 164 for 2017 survey on ease of doing business.

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

Incorporation - Types of Business Entities

The Gabon Commercial Code makes it possible for residents or foreign individuals or clients to set up business in Gabon in one of the following ways:

  • Limited Liability Company (SARL))
  • Fast Solution Limited Liability Company
  • Free-zone Limited Liability Company
  • Public Limited Company
  • Limited Liability Partnership
  • Representative Office
  • Branch Office

Time Frame for Incorporation of Company in Gabon 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 Gabon Company formation process to be completed is 50-52 working days.

Benefits of Registration of a Company

Below are the advantages of company formation in Gabon:

  • Gabon has been a full member of the World Trade Organization since 1995 and thus, enjoys all the trade benefits that membership provides.
  • A Gabon Limited Company (SARL) requires only 2 shareholders and 1 manager. There are no restrictions on the shareholders, so a Gabon SARL may be entirely foreign owned.
  • It is easy to open global corporate bank accounts to support Gabon company formation.
  • Gabon has extensive reserves of oil, timber and manganese.

Tax Registration and Filing

Gabonese companies are taxed on the territoriality principle. As a result, Gabonese companies carrying on a trade or business outside Gabon are not taxed in Gabon on the related profits.

Oil and Mining Companies 35%
Reduced Corporate Income Taxes 25%
Minimum Corporate Tax Payable 1%
Capital gains tax 20% / 30% / 35%
Branch Remittance Tax: Payments to head offices located in tax treaty countries - 10% Payments to head offices located in non-treaty countries - 15%
Value Added Tax Standard Rate - 18% Reduced rate, on certain items such as sugar - 10% Reduced rate on sales of cement, etc. - 5%
Dividends Parent-Subsidiary Regime - 10% Resident and nonresident individuals and legal entities - 20%
Interests and Royalties 10%
Payment for Services 10%
Fiscal Year 1 January to 31 December
Corporate Tax Advance Payment To pay in two installments by 30 November and 30 January

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. Gabon has concluded DTA with the following countries: Belgium, Canada and France.

Trademark registration

The Trademark Registration in Gabon is done according to the Organization Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle (OAPI). The trademark is valid for 10 years and is renewable for another 10 years. The processing period of trademarks is for 4-5 business days.

YourGlobalPro professionals are fully equipped to assist you with the process of trademark registration in Gabon for your business. For assistance or advice in the matter of the trademark registration in Gabon 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 Gabon:

  • Companies are mandated to have a legally registered office in Gabon.
  • Deposit of the required share capital and the articles of association must be notarized with the public notary. Notary public issues a certificate of payment of the initial capital
  • New businesses must publish a notice of their company formation in a legal journal (Journal Officiel or Hebdo-informations)
  • Proper minutes books and records for the Company must be maintained
  • Proper book of accounting records needs to be maintained

Accounting Services

In Gabon, financial statements are prepared in accordance with the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) accounting framework. Bookkeeping for branch and subsidiary should be in French as mandated by OHADA chart of accounts.

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

Auditing service

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

  • An auditor must be appointed if the LLC has a paid capital of over XAF 10 million, an annual turnover of XAF 250 million or with more than 50 employees.
  • Public Limited Company and Branches are mandated to have audited financial statements.

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 for your business as required by your business in Gabon.

Banking

The documentation requirement needed to open a bank account in Gabon differs from bank to bank. The major banks in Gabon are BGFI Bank, Banque Internationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie du Gabon, Union Gabonaise de Banques Citibank, Ecobank and United Bank of Africa. All banks are stable, reliable and offer the same level of services.

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

Legal and Compliance

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

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) requires one shareholder and one director. Both can be from any nationality.
  • A minimum paid up capital of 1 million XAF is required for LLC.
  • If a public limited company has over three shareholders, a Board of Director comprised of at least 3 directors is required.
  • For foreign branches in Gabon, an individual of any nationality must be appointed as a representative in Ethiopia.

YourGlobalPro professionals can assist you with Gabon Legal and compliance requirements.

HR and Employment Law and Immigration / VISA

  • Below are some of the important points in relation to HR & employment law in Gabon:
  • The maximum length of a single fixed-term contract is 2 years. Furthermore, the maximum length of fixed-term contracts including renewals is 4 years.
  • The Company needs to offer 10% of hourly pay for overnight rate.
  • Paid annual leave is 24 days regardless of tenure.
  • Business visa is granted to foreign workers or businesspersons coming into Gabon for a period that does not exceed three months. They are exempt from the entry authorization requirement.
  • For individuals who will stay in Gabon for a period longer than three months for the performance of a remunerated activity, the following actions must be taken:
    • Their employer must apply to the Ministry of Labor for an employment authorization (if the employee is less than 60 years of age) and a foreign worker card.
    • They must apply and submit appropriate documentation to the immigration authorities for an entry authorization for the long term.
    • They must apply to the immigration authorities for a residency card and an exit visa if applicable.
  • Residency cards are required for all foreign nationals over the age of 16 who are staying longer than three months in Gabon.

Country Statistics

Capital Libreville
Largest City Libreville
Total Area 267,667 Sq. Km.
Population 1,475,000
Density 5.5 / Sq. Km.
Currency Central African CFA Franc (XAF)
Government Dominant-Party Presidential Republic
Official Language French
Religion Christian: 73%
Muslim: 12%
Other: 10%
None: 5%
Government Office Hours Mon-Fri (0730-1530 Hrs)
Business Office Hours Mon-Fri (0730-1530 Hrs)
Banks and Exchange Houses Hours: Mon-Fri (07.45 to 17.00 Hrs)

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