Investment Opportunities in Malawi;How to register a business in Malawi as a foreigner

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Following the publication of the post How to register a business in Malawi on this blog, people asked me also to share  information on how to register a business in Malawi as foreigners. As such I went around seeking information on how the process is done for foreigners to register businesses in Malawi. Investment opportunities in Malawi exist in several sectors and conditions for doing business in  Malawi are favorable  for both local and foreign investors.

Read: What Small Business to Start in Malawi

In this article I will share with you some of what I have gathered so far. I hope by reading through this post foreign investors interested to invest in Malawi will have somewhere to start.

Categorically businesses fall under three forms, namely, solo proprietor, partnership and Limited Liability Company.

Solo Proprietor

A person may register a sole proprietor business. In this kind of business the person owns everything about the business, he is responsible to finance the company as well as run the day to-day affairs of business.  It is the quickest business to register.

Partnership   

Another type of business that can be registered in Malawi is partnership. In this kind of business at least two people co-own the business. Business owners join resources together to run the business.

Limited Liability Company 

Yet another type of business that people can register in Malawi is a limited liability company.  This type of business has the highest potential for growth.  So if you want to register a limited liability company in Malawi as a foreigner you’re on the right page.

Read: How to Register a Business in Malawi

Investment process

To begin with, to register a company as foreigner authorities in Malawi require that one of the directors of the company be a resident of Malawi.  If none of the directors is a resident then one of the directors should have a business resident permit (BRP).

Getting Business Resident Permit

A business resident permit is a document that allows foreign investors to carry business processes in Malawi.  Foreign investment can get the BRP upon arrival at the airport or at immigration offices. Foreign investors pay $100 fee to get the BRP.

A temporary business permit is given which is valid for a few months, with possible extension of years. The business permit allows none-resident business people to go through all required process to start a business in the country.

Minimum capital

The minimum capital for investors who wants to start business in Malawi is $50 000.

Article of association

A person interested to start a business in Malawi is supposed to submit an article of association. This is the document that has all the details for the company. Some of the information provided in the article of association includes

(i)            Full names and contact address of the applicant

(ii)           The nurture of the business

(iii)          Capital structure of the business

(iv)         Project proposal and business plan

(v)          Employment levels and structures

An article of association together with BRP is used to open business bank accounts with Malawian commercial banks.

Open a bank account with Malawi commercial bank of Malawi

Opening a business account with local commercial bank is another import step in registering a business in Malawi. The main required documents to open business bank accounts in Malawi are BRP and an approved article of association.

Commissioner of tax

Register the business with the commissioner of tax so that you should be able to pay taxes to the government.

Investment opportunities in Malawi

Investment opportunities in Malawi  exist in all sectors of the economy. However, the government of Malawi has set priority areas that offer the optimum return to investors.  The five key priority areas are listed below.

Agriculture and agro-processing

Tourism development

Mining

Manufacturing

Energy development

Read: Where is Malawi Located

Summary How to register a business in Malawi

  1. Apply for a certificate of incorporation at the register general. Registration is done within five working days. The cost for application to register a company requires a payment of K50 000.
  2. Register for income tax at Malawi Revenue authority (MRA). It is done within a day without no companying charges.
  3. Apply for a license from the city assembly
  4. Apply for registration of workplace
  5. Register for PAYE and fringe benefit tax at MRA



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