Company Registration in Uganda

Are you a local or foreign business owner looking to start up or expand your business to Uganda? Would you like to know what it takes to start up a business as an entrepreneur or investor in Uganda? This article highlights all you need to know for your company registration in Uganda.

Uganda enjoys a unique location in Sub-Saharan Africa within the East African region. The country is surrounded by Sudan in the north, Kenya in the east, the United Republic of Tanzania in the south, Rwanda in the southwest and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. This land linked position, gives the country a strategic commanding base to be a regional hub for trade and investment. Uganda enjoys pivotal trade partnerships that create a viable market for business.

REGISTRATION OF A FOREIGN COMPANY IN UGANDA

A potential investor considering investing in Uganda will find a well regulated highly liberalized economy in which all sectors are open for investment and there is a free movement of capital to and from the country. Uganda's economy raises because of the implementation of structural development programs. Uganda Investment Authority a One Stop Centre, offers free services where investors can register their businesses and get all relevant licenses related to their business under one roof.

The foremost step for a business owner intending to operate in Uganda will be company registration in Uganda with the business registration authority, after which application to specific agencies will be made to obtain necessary licenses and permits depending on the type of business to be operated. The Uganda Registration Services Bureau is in charge of registering 

UGANDA REGISTRATION SERVICES BUREAU

The Uganda Registration Service Bureau is mandated to register all business entities in Uganda which are required by law to be registered. This body is responsible for the registration of:

  • Public/Private companies

  • Foreign companies

  • Legal documents (e.g Constitutions, agreements, deeds, powers of attorney, etc)

  • Security documents (e.g mortgages, chattels, debentures, etc)



REGISTERING WITH THE UGANDA REGISTRATION SERVICES BUREAU.

Registration with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau gives the business owner the following advantages over other businesses in the country. Below are the advantages of registering with the Bureau:

  • Registration gives the business a legal Identity/status.

  • Registering with the Bureau safeguards the business name by acquiring a trade name.

  • Company registration enables the business to access opportunities like loans, tenders, financing etc.

  • Business formalization creates more employment opportunities through business expansion.

  • It enables registration for licenses e.g Investment, trading and taxation licenses.

  • Registration helps the business to be better positioned for marketing and advertising opportunities which will lead to increased clientele

  • Registration improves competitiveness in the regional market

TYPES OF COMPANIES IN UGANDA

A potential local business owner or foreign investor may register any of the following forms of businesses in Uganda:

  1. Business name;

  2. Partnership; and

  3. Company (local or foreign).

  4. Joint Venture

  5. Branch Office

Foreign Companies looking to set up business in Uganda either incorporate a new company or create a branch office. For the purpose of this article, we shall address the registration of local and foreign companies in Uganda.

  • Company Registration Information and Procedure in Uganda

All investors who intend to register companies in Uganda are required to register their companies either as a local entity or as a branch of a foreign company. Registration as a local entity is open to Ugandan nationals while registration as a foreign company is carried out by a company that is already incorporated in another country and wishes to have a branch in Uganda.

  1. Registration as a Local Company in Uganda can either be done as a company limited by shares or a company limited by guarantee.

To register a local private company limited by Shares, the applicant is required to provide the following information and documents:

  • Three preferred names of the proposed company;

  • A description of the activities of the Business/ Company;

  • Copies of travel passport of all the directors and shareholders for foreigners and other means of identification for locals;

  • Passport size photographs of all the directors and shareholders;

  • Postal, physical and e-mail address, telephone number and occupation of all shareholders/directors of the proposed company; 

  • Shareholding structure;

  • Completely filled Company registration form;

  • Signed Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Click here to find out more about registering a company limited by guarantee in Uganda


  1. To register as a branch of a foreign company, the following documents are required for submission by the Bureau:

  1. Certified copies of Memorandum of Articles of Association/Charter/ Constitution and Certificate from the country of origin duly witnessed.

  2. Registration forms:

  • Form 24 – Particulars of Directors and Secretary;

  • Form 13 – Statement of all subsisting charges;

  • Form 25 – List of Names and Address of Persons Resident in Uganda authorized to accept service on behalf of the company;

  • Form 26 – Address and Principle Office of Company.

Click here to find out more about registering a branch office in Uganda

Upon registration, Registrar will issue a certificate of registration within two working days.

CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION UGANDA

Upon incorporating a company and meeting all the necessary preconditions. The registered company is issued a certificate of Incorporation. This serves as  prove the company is duly registered under the laws of Uganda.

COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE IN UGANDA

Registration as a local company can either be done as a company limited by shares or a company limited by guarantee. Find out more here.

After the company has been registered, the following forms must be filed with the Bureau. These filings are referred to as Company Returns.

  1. Company Form 20 – Particulars of Directors and Secretaries (Within 14 days);

  2. Company Form 18 – Notice of Situation of Registered Office & Postal Address (within 14 days);

  3. Company Form 10 – Return of allotment (within 60 days); and

  4. Form of Annual Return for a company limited by shares (to be filed once every year).

 

 

SIDEBRIEF

We are a private one-stop shop that helps businesses and start-ups manage statutory and regulatory compliance, engage with regulators and stakeholders and automate recurrent compliance process. We understand that ease of doing business in Africa can be an illusion, but we are helping to change the narrative by letting businesses focus on their customers, whilst we focus on their compliance in Uganda and Africa. 

 

We are happy to discuss how we may help your business: – Email: hello@sidebrief.com



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