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How to Register as a Sole Proprietor (Private Company) in Burkina Faso

February 20, 2021
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Burkina Faso is a country in West Africa that covers about 106,000 square miles. It is home to over 21 million people, the majority of which are Mossi. As per 2020 estimates, the country had a purchasing power of $2,207 per capita and a nominal GDP of $792 per capita. Burkina Faso encourages out-of-country investment to support its development and insists that foreign investors are treated the same as local ones. This makes for great business opportunities. The country is the leading exporter of cotton and gold in the region and an influential exporter of those goods on the international market.

Disclaimer: Be aware that this article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.

Sole proprietorship in Burkina Faso

A sole proprietorship is also called a private company in Burkina Faso. Being a sole proprietor entails full liability for your company. This means that should your business be ordered by the court to pay a client, your personal assets could be seized if your business doesn't have the funds to cover the expenses.

Registration process of a sole proprietor in Burkina Faso

When registering your individual enterprise, you can register as a trader or entrepreneur. The process takes about 25 days.

Here are the steps you'll need to do before becoming a trader in Burkina Faso:

  • Get the residence tax assessment notice - you can request and pick up the forms at the Regional Tax Directorate of the Center. The submission process takes only ten minutes. The residence tax cost will vary depending on where you live and averages around CFA 6,250. You will receive a receipt once you've paid it.
  • Get a certified copy of the ID - you will need to purchase three stamps in the total value of CFA 11,100, which amounts to slightly over $20. The process is conducted in the Town Hall of the district you're in.
  • Obtain a certificate of identity and residence - also conducted at the Town Hall. If you've already purchased all three stamps, this step will cost you nothing.
  • Request an extract from the criminal record - associated costs are CFA 600 for two extracts you will need, and they are obtained at Ouagadougou Court of appeal.
  • Obtain a business license - The forMer you'll need to fill out costs CFA 1,210, and you can pick it up at the Maison de l'Entreprise du Burkina Faso. Applicants can wait up to 15 days to get the approval of the business license.
  • Merchant registration - You will need to provide proof of payment of merchant fees of CFA 40,500 for all formalities of the registration process. Bring all the original documents and stamps you've already obtained, as well as proof of payment of all residence and identity certificate taxes.
  • Pick up your merchant registration document - After a period of up to three days, go to the business formalities center (CEFORE) at the Maison de l'Entreprise du Burkina Faso, bring a receipt for filing the registration and some form of ID. Picking up the form shouldn't cost any money.

Congratulations! You are now a registered trader in Burkina Faso! Good luck in your future business endeavors.

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Taxation system in Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, the Value Added Tax is 18%. When it comes to other taxes, there are two types for sole traders:

  • Corporate tax - the rate is 27.5%. 
  • Individual tax - the rate varies from income and ranges from 0% to 25%.

There are certain exemptions from taxation, and some goods and tools are exempt from taxation.

In addition to all this, Burkina Faso has a double taxation agreement with Spain, so any goods or services that have already been taxed in Spain cannot be taxed again in Burkina Faso, and vice versa.

For more information about the process of becoming a trader in Burkina Faso, or documentation needed, visit the Maison de l'Entreprise's administrative information website.

Registering Société en Commandite Simple

This is an alternative means of opening an unlimited liability. In this case, it is in the form of a partnership.

There is a minimum of two partners, one with limited liability (who cannot participate in management) and one with unlimited liability (who runs the company). Unlimited liability partners are also called active partners.

If there are more than two partners, only the active partners can participate in the company management, and they have unlimited liability. The rest are liable only for their investment in the partnership.

There is no minimum or maximum of capital your partnership can make annually.