Ivory Coast

Company Formation in Ivory Coast

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

About the Country

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is a country on the West Africa. Its bordering countries are Guinea and Liberia in the west, Burkina Faso and Mali in the north, and Ghana in the east. The Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) is located south of Ivory Coast. The below content will explain you in detail about the requirements for the company formation in Ivory coast, know more about the process of trademark registration in Ivory Coast and understand the Ivory Coast Legal and Compliance requirements.

Ivory Coast

Doing Business Introduction

Ivory Coast is the largest economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, constituting 40% of the monetary union’s total GDP. The country is the world’s largest exporter of cocoa beans, and the fourth-largest exporter of goods, in general, in sub-Saharan Africa. As per Doing business report of The World Bank – Ivory Coast have as an overall ranking of 142 for 2017 in terms of ease in doing business.

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

Incorporation - Types of Business Entities

The Government of Ivory Coast makes it possible for residents or foreign individuals or clients to set up business in Ivory Coast in one of the following ways:

  • Limited Company (Société à Responsabilité Limitée – SARL)
  • Public Limited Company (Société Anonyme – SA)
  • Branch of Foreign Companies (Succursale)
  • Foreign Representative Offices (Bureau de Liason)
  • Joint Venture (Association et Participation)

Time Frame for Incorporation of Company in Ivory Coast 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 Ivory Coast Company formation process to be completed is 7-10 working days.

Benefits of Registration of a Company

Below are the advantages of company formation in Ivory Coast:

  • Fast and ease in processing for company incorporation since the Ivory Coast government has established the Centre de Promotion Des Investissements in Cote d’ Ivoire(CEPICI), a one-stop-shop for company registration.
  • Investment by foreigners representing an amount below XOF 1 billion do not need the approval of the Ivory Coast authorities, rather a notification to the Government will just suffice. This made investing by foreigners easier.
  • The country is a member of the CFA Franc Zone and benefits from financial assistance from the French Treasury. This stabilizes prices in the country and provides smaller currency exchange risk for foreign investors.
  • Ivory Coast’s infrastructure is better compared to other sub-Saharan African countries.
  • Lower cost of global trading since the second largest port is in the country.
  • Foreigners investing in Ivory Coast of at least XOF 70 million in certain industries are eligible of up to 8 years of tax holidays and exemptions from social security contributions. Furthermore, tax advantages can be extended for large projects amounting to XOF 120 million.

Tax Registration and Filing

Resident companies are taxed on the territoriality principle. As a result, companies carrying on a trade or business outside Côte d’Ivoire are not taxed in Côte d’Ivoire on the related profits.

Corporate Income Tax Rate 25%
Annual Minimum Tax Payable General - 0.5% of Annual Turnover Oil producing, electric and water-producing companies - 0.1% Banks and financial companies, insurance companies - 0.15%
Capital gains tax 25%
Branch Profits Tax Rate 25%
Branch Remittance Tax 7.5%
Value Added Tax 18%
Dividends From Non-Listed Companies - 15% Dividends from certain types of bonds - 2%
Directorsu2019 fees and Non-deductible expenses 12%
Interest 18%
Royalties from Patents, Know-how 20%
Payments for Services 20%
Fiscal Year 1 January to 31 December
Payment of Corporate Income Tax Three equal installments due on 15 April, 15 June and 15 September

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. Ivory Coast has concluded DTA with Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Italy, United Kingdom, France and Norway. The country has signed the West African Economic and Monetary Union and has tax treaties with Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

Trademark registration

The trademark registration in Ivory Coast will be processed through Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) Treaty.  The trademark in OAPI is valid for ten years from the date of filing. This term is renewable an unlimited number of times for 10-year periods.  The exclusive right to the trademark registration in OAPI can be declared as an extinguished if the trademark is not used for five consecutive years after its registration.

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

  • Directors’ meetings must be held on a regular basis.
  • Public limited company books of accounts must be maintained in French at its registered office.
  • Branches must have a registered office in Ivory Coast.
  • Proper minutes books and records for the Company must be maintained

Accounting Services

Ivory Coast’s accounting system is based on its national Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) by a system which follows the IFRS. Financials must be prepared using the Organization for the Harmonization of business law in Africa (OHADA)

YourGlobalPro professionals can assist you with the entire bookkeeping and accounting services for your Ivory Coast 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

In Ivory Coast, annual statutory audit is required for Limited Liability Company and public limited company.  All types of business entities are required to prepare annual 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 as required by your business in Ivory Coast.


Ivory Coast is the banking hub of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).  The documentation requirement needed to open a bank account in Ivory Coast differs from bank to bank.  The major banks in the country are Ecobank, Societe Generale de Banques en Côte d’Ivoire (SGBI), Atlantic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Banque Internationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie de la Côte d’Ivoire (BICICI) and Citibank.  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 Ivory Coast.

Legal and Compliance

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

  • Limited liability companies must have at least 1 shareholder and 1 director of any nationality.
  • A minimum share capital of XOF 20,000 is required for Limited Liability Corporation.
  • Public limited companies must have at least 1 shareholder and 3 directors of any nationality.
  • A minimum share capital of XOF 200,000 is required for public limited companies.
  • The establishment of a branch of a foreign company is not allowed until it is registered with the Tribunal de Première Instance.
  • Branches of foreign entity are considered as an Ivoirian judicial entity and is legally independent of the company
  • Branches of foreign company must appoint at least 1 director of any nationality as representative of the company in Ivory Coast.
  • Representative offices in Ivory Coast are not allowed to engage in any commercial or profitmaking activities in Ivory Coast.

YourGlobalPro professionals can assist you in Ivory Coast 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 Ivory Coast:

  • A contract of employment for a specified period must be made in written form or confirmed by a letter of employment and must indicate either the date on which the contract expires, or the precise duration for which it is concluded.
  • A written contract is not necessary for temporary, seasonal or for an activity which is not part of normal operations.
  • The maximum length of a fixed labor contracts including renewals is 2 years
  • The Company needs to offer 23.8%of hourly pay for overnight rate and 37.5% for night work.
  • Paid annual leave is 30 days regardless of tenure.
  • Nationals of foreign countries must obtain visas to enter Ivory Coast, except for nationals of CEAO countries and countries that have signed an agreement with Ivory Coast.
  • Short-stay visas (visas on arrival), which are issued by the Ministry of Security, are available for stays in the country for less than three months. Short-stay visas do not grant their bearers the right to work in Ivory Coast.
  • A work permit is required by law if the assignment is for more than three months.
  • The employer should apply for a work permit on behalf of the expatriate at the Ivory Coast Labor Office. Processing time usually is 1 week from the date of submission.
  • A work card must be obtained within three months after the beginning of employment. The employer should apply for a work card on behalf of the expatriate at the Ivory Coast Labor Office.

Country Statistics

Capital Yamoussoukro
Largest City Abidijian
Total Area 322,463 Sq. Km.
Population 23,740,424
Density 63.9 / Sq. Km.
Currency West African Franc (XOF)
Government Unitary Presidential Republic
Official Language French
Religion Muslim: 39%
Christian: 33%
Folk religion: 12%
Other: 16%
Government Office Hours Mon-Fri: (0730-1200 Hrs)
Business office Hours Mon-Fri: (0730-1200 Hrs) Sat: (0800-1200 Hrs)
Banks and Exchange Houses Office Hours Mon-Fri: (0800-1600 Hrs)

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