Sierra Leone, also known as Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of Africa. This economically booming country has a population of around 7 million. The official language is English, and the currency Sierra Leonean leone - SLL. Most foreign investors are drawn to the fast-growing market and the plethora of new business opportunities that come with it. Even though most of these are centered around the country’s capital - Freetown, there are numerous decentralization projects active in the entire country. All in all, Sierra Leone seems like a good place to set up as a sole trader.
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.
What does it mean to be a sole trader in Sierra Leone?
A sole trader is a person trading on their own. The sole trade in Sierra Leone:
- Has sole ownership of the company
- Has full control over business management
- Is personally (and unlimitedly) liable for all the business’s debts and taxes
- Is entitled to all the profits from the business
- Can employ other people to help with the business
The registration process can take from one to three days for a sole proprietorship. Every business must be registered, under the Registration of Business Act, 2007, with the office of the Administrator & Registrar General (OARG) at Roxy Building, Walpole Street, Freetown.
Additionally, all changes in the ownership, business name, and/or address must be reported to OARG.
Conduct a business name search
A sole trader can use their own name as the name for their business. Not only will it be easier to find a unique name for a company, but it will also make some of the future processes easier.
However, a sole trader can also choose to name their business differently from their legal name. If this is the case, the trader will have to search for a business name as each one must be unique.
Fill out a business application form
A person establishing their sole proprietorship will need to fill out a government-issued form for becoming a sole proprietor.
The form will contain your personal and business information, and attached to the form should be:
- Certificate of Registration (received as part of the previous step)
- Copy of Passport
- Residence Permit (obtained from the Immigration Department with a valid Passport and two passport-size pictures)