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All companies in Malawi are required to register with the Registrar General’s office and comply with the regulations outlined in the Malawi Companies Act 2013. Companies are also required to register for taxes with the Malawi Revenue Authority and submit annual tax returns.
Common questions answered in today’s post are.
- How to register a company in Malawi
- How much is it to register a company in Malawi?
- Can a foreigner start a business in Malawi?
- What are the types of business registration in Malawi?
- How do I get a business certificate in Malawi?
- What are the requirements for opening a company in Malawi?
- How long does it take to register a business in Malawi?
What are the types of business registration in Malawi?
In Malawi, a company is a legal entity that is registered under the Companies Act of 2013. A company can be incorporated as a Private Limited Company (PLC), a Public Limited Company (PLC), or a company limited by guarantee.
Private Limited Company (PLC) is a type of company that has limited liability, meaning that the shareholders’ personal assets are not at risk if the company faces financial difficulties. This type of company is typically owned and managed by a small group of individuals.
Public Limited Company (PLC) is a type of company that can raise capital from the public by selling shares on the stock exchange. This type of company has more complex governance requirements than a PLC.
A company limited by guarantee is a type of company that is typically used for non-profit organizations. This type of company does not have shareholders, but rather members who act as guarantors and agree to pay a certain amount of money if the company faces financial difficulties.
How long does it take to register a business in Malawi online?
The online registration process for a business in Malawi typically takes between 1 to 5 business days, depending on the workload of the Registrar General’s office and the completeness of the application.
Once you have completed the online registration process and submitted all the required documents, the Registrar General’s office will review your application to ensure that it complies with the Companies Act and other relevant regulations. If there are any issues with your application, the Registrar General’s office may request additional information or clarification before approving your application.
Once your application has been approved, you will receive a registration certificate, which confirms that your business is now registered and legally recognized in Malawi. It is important to note that the process may take longer if you choose to register your business through a physical application process rather than online.
What are the requirements for opening a company in Malawi?
To open a company in Malawi, several requirements must be met. These include:
You will need to choose a unique name for your company that is not already registered in Malawi. You can check the availability of the name online through the Malawi Government Online Services Portal.
You will need to decide on the business structure for your company, such as a Private Limited Company (PLC), Public Limited Company (PLC), or company limited by guarantee.
Shareholders and directors:
You will need to have at least one shareholder and one director for your company. The shareholder(s) own the company, while the director(s) manage the day-to-day operations.
Memorandum of Association and Article of Association.
You will need to draft a Memorandum of Association and Article of Association for your company, which outlines the rules and regulations for how the company will operate. Such documents are prepared by private lawyers. Legal fees for lawyers range widely from MK150,000 to MK500,000.
You will need to have a registered office address in Malawi where official correspondence and notices can be sent.
You will need to pay a registration fee at the Registrar General’s office or online through the Malawi Government Online Services Portal.
You will need to register your company for taxes with the Malawi Revenue Authority, including Value Added Tax (VAT), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), and Withholding Tax.
It is important to note that the requirements for opening a company in Malawi may vary depending on the business structure you choose and the nature of your business activities. It is recommended that you consult a professional, such as a lawyer or accountant, for guidance throughout the registration process.
How much is it to register a company in Malawi?
The cost of registering a company in Malawi depends on the type of company you want to register. Here is a breakdown of the registration fees for different types of companies and related services:
Can a foreigner start a business in Malawi?
Yes, foreigners can start a business in Malawi. The Companies Act of Malawi (2013) allows foreign investors to establish and operate businesses in the country. However, foreign investors may need to comply with certain requirements, such as obtaining a work permit, and a business visa, and registering their business with the Registrar General’s office.
Foreigners can register their business in Malawi as a foreign-owned company or by partnering with a local company. If a foreigner wishes to register a foreign-owned company, they will need to comply with the same registration requirements as a local company.
External Company Incorporation (registration of a foreign company in Malawi)
An External Company is defined as a body corporate formed outside Malawi which establishes or maintains an established place of business in Malawi.
Requirements for registration of an external company
- Power of Attorney by an agent to represent the company for registration.
- A duly authenticated (notarized) copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Also, a notarized Certificate of Incorporation issued by the registration Authority in the country of origin/incorporation.
- Notarized shareholder resolution authorizing the opening of a branch or subsidiary in Malawi.
- Authenticated copies of passport copies of shareholders
- List of directors resident in Malawi
- Company registration in Malawi normally takes 10 working days.
How to register a company in Malawi Online step-step.
Lists of documents required for the process.
- National ID (for Malawian residents)
- Identification documents and applicable permits (for foreigners)
- Consent and certificate of a director or directors of a proposed company
- The consent of a shareholder or shareholders of the proposed company
- Memorandum of association of a company limited by shares.
- Articles of a private company limited by shares.
Step 1: Signup or create an account on https://www.mbrs.gov.mw/
There are three possible ways to create an account as shown below. Choose one that applies to you. In this scenario, we choose to create a local company.
Proceed by choosing company incorporation for Limited businesses. For sole proprietorship and partnership go on business registration. Or choose any other services you need.
Step 2: Choose type of company
Step 3: Provide the proposed business name
-Step 4: Provide applicant details
Step 5: Particulars of shareholders and directors
-Step 6: Upload memorandum and articles of association
Step 7 : Declarations and submit.
Pay registration fees before completing the process.
When you have uploaded all required documents submit your application. Then, relax and wait for feedback. If the application is successful you will receive the company incorporation certificate through email.
Benefits of Registering A business in Malawi
Malawi business registration online process is a convenient way to register your company in Malawi. Online company registration in Malawi is convenient and faster than registering offline. The offline company registration in Malawi process requires submission of a completed Malawi business registration form to the registrar generals office by hand or mail.
- You will get the Business registration certificate (BRC).
- Be able to open a business bank account.
- Acquire land for your business.
- Qualify to apply to government assistance programs.
- Acquire export license to export goods to other countries from Malawi.
- Access business loans from lending institutions like banks.
- Business registration helps the government to know that a business or company exists.