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Obtaining an Investment License in Uganda

An investment license in Uganda is required for all foreign Investors before any of their investments become operational. An investment License once obtained authorizes the holder to make the arrangements necessary for establishing the business enterprise.


An investor according to the Uganda Investment Authority(UIA) is an individual or a legal entity duly engaged in the business of value adding, manufacturing and like activities which create jobs, introduce new technology and pay due taxes when he makes a profit.

For the purpose of investing in Uganda, an investor can either be a domestic or foreign investor.  To qualify as a domestic investor, such individual has to be a citizen of an East African Community            Partner State or if a company, the controlling interest must be owned by a person who is a citizen of an East African Community Partner State. Citizens of other countries will be regarded as a foreign investors.

After a company has been incorporated/ registered (foreign company) in Uganda, it is eligible for an investment license in Uganda provided its capital investment exceeds US$ 250,000 (Foreign firms) and US$ 50,000 (Local/domestic firms). Apart from the difference in the minimum investment capital requirement, both domestic and foreign investors are able to benefit from the various incentives available to investors in Uganda.


The license gives added confidence to the holder to engage third parties when making arrangements necessary for establishing the business enterprise in the license, other benefits include:

  1. It is a prerequisite for acquiring some secondary licenses.
  2. Licensed investors benefit from support services i.e. recommendations to commercial banks, development partners, private equity funders etc.
  3. It is a requirement for allocation of land in UIA run Industrial Parks and serves as added advantage for approval of leases and linking to private land owners.
  4. Acts as reference when match making domestic investors with inward investor missions for possible Joint Venture Partnerships, raw material suppliers or markets for finished products
  5.  Holder enjoys the benefits of UIA investors’ One Stop Centre by getting firsthand information.
  6. An investment licensee gets priority aftercare services when faced with specific challenges such as tax disagreement, closure due to noncompliance that needs negotiations with other parties i.e. Government Departments and Agencies etc.


Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is the government agency mandated with promoting and facilitating investments in Uganda.  UIA is therefore the first point of contact for any potential investor where they can access various business registration, licensing, facilitation and aftercare services at the dedicated One Stop Center (OSC).

Application for an investment license is made to Uganda Investment Authority. After all required documentation is submitted along with the filled application form, the investment license is issued within one week.


Currently the license is free of charge and can be obtained within 2-5 working days. An application is made to the Executive Director of UIA using Form UIA 1 (obtainable from the UIA offices or online here .  The form is filled and returned to UIA with the following:

Documentation required includes:

  1. Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation;
  2. Copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association;
  3. Company Tax Identification Number (TIN) Certificate from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA);
  4. A brief Business Proposal on the project (Not less than 5 pages, clearly indicating the Company Overview. Executive Summary, Product / Service Description, Market Analysis, Human Resource Plan and financial plan) Submitted Documents should be in English;
  5. Evidence of availability of financing for the project, (which could be a Bank statement for the company / Directors OR any other evidence of financing. For Domestic Investors – Minimum threshold is USD 50,000 For Foreign Investors – Minimum threshold is USD 250,000;
  6. Proof of location for the Project (Attach a copy of the land title or a tenancy agreement to confirm location of the project); and
  7. Electronic copy of Passport / National ID for Shareholders.

Other additional documents:

  • Bill of lading to confirm importation of machinery (exceptional cases);
  • Copy of the Regulatory License issued by the relevant Government Ministry/Department or Agency;
  1. Environmental Impact Assessment Report/ Certificate of Approval by NEMA

There are some sectors that require regulatory approvals from the relevant entities and these include: energy generation, mining, banking, air transport, pharmaceuticals production, education and health. In most cases, the regulatory approvals/permits/or licenses must be acquired before applying for the Investment License.


The Uganda class D work permit for investors is designed for investors and business people who wish to invest into a business in Uganda. It is not a requirement for the applicant of the Uganda Class D work permit for investors to have a Ugandan partner and their family may be included on the application subject to certain requirements. The purpose of the Uganda Class D work permit is to encourage investors who will add to the Ugandan economy. Various sectors have been identified as priority investment areas:

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