Business Start-Up and Registration PDF Print E-mail

Meeting of Working GroupThis Working Group deals with Business Start-Up and Licensing procedures implemented at the Office of the Administrator and Registrar General (OARG). It was formed as part of the Reducing Administrative Barriers to Investment (RABI) programme that was designed to improve on the ease of doing business in Sierra Leone. It sought to address reducing costs of starting and doing business, streamlining processes, information storage and dissemination procedures, and publication of regulations and procedures.

In July 2007, Parliament’s adopted the Business Registration Act 2007. This Act reflected the following changes:

  • Elimination of the Business License;
  • Abolishing the mandatory use of a legal practitioner or lawyer in company registration;
  • Elimination of the advance tax payment;
  • Elimination of exchange control permits from the Central Bank;


Following the enactment of the Business Registration Act in 2007 by Parliament, the one-stop shop for registering and licensing new businesses was established at the OARG in 2008. This facility significantly reduced the both the procedures and time for registering new businesses, thereby streamlining the whole process.

In 2009, a new Companies and Bankruptcy Acts were enacted into law by Parliament that whose primary aim is to protect investors’ funds.

Some of the issues raised by the Working Group in the recent past as outstanding issues are presently being implemented:

  • Complete re-design of process in the office of the Administrator General;
  • Full implementation of the new business registration processes;
  • Finalize implementation of the merged work and residence permit procedures;
  • Initiate feasibility of special Small and Medium Enterprises registration regime;
  • Initiate process of merging tax and business registration numbers;
  • Establishing an effective Monitoring and Evaluation system that interfaces with the private sector for performance feedback


Another ongoing reform at the OARG is the automation of records so as to facilitate easy access by users including name searches for companies and other legal documents.

In terms of Sierra Leone’s ranking on the “Ease of Doing business” Report of the World Bank, in the recent World Bank Doing Business 2011 Report, Sierra Leone climbed 5 places to 143 and maintained its lead as the top-reformer in the Mano River Union. In the ECOWAS Region, Sierra Leone was placed 4th in terms of ease of doing business compared to 6th in 2010. Furthermore, Sierra Leone has been a consistent reformer since 2007 and was among the top thirty reformers in the world over the last five years, according to the DB 2011 Report. In the Doing Business 2010 Report, Sierra Leone improved its overall ranking by climbing 8 spots to 148 (from 156 in 2009) among 183 economies on the overall ease of doing business. Overall, Sierra Leone emerged ahead of its neighbours: Liberia (149), Cote D’Ivoire (168) and Guinea (173) in the Mano River Union.


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