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How to Register a Sole Proprietorship in Benin

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January 13, 2021
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The Republic of Benin is located in West Africa. The Benin economy is based on agriculture, regional trade, and cotton production. Benin's GDP growth is estimated at 5,%1. Economic growth was mainly stimulated by Benin's cotton industry and other cash crops, the Port of Cotonou, and telecommunications. 

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 Benin

An individual running a commercial business on their own responsibility is considered as a sole proprietor. That person is considered the sole manager of a business, responsible for all its profits and debts. There is also no minimum capital required to start a sole trading business in Benin.

How to register a sole proprietorship in Benin

The procedure of registering a sole proprietorship in Benin is very simple and straightforward. If you are a woman, you need to obtain a marriage certificate for a national ID. You can obtain it at the Municipality (Mairie de Cotonou). This procedure takes no longer than a day.

Register a trade name

The next important step is to register a unique trade name. To check the availability of the names, use this website. When you decide on the name, head to One-Stop-Shop (Agence de Promotion des Investissements et des Exportations - APIEX) to register it.

Opening a bank account

You would need to open a dedicated bank account for all the business transactions and to deposit the proprietorship's capital. That is necessary for APIEX formalities. 


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Obtaining a business license

You will need to go to APIEX once more to register your business. By law, registering at APIEX has the credibility of commercial and tax registration all in one place. When you register your business, you will obtain a business license. The registration fee is XOF 12,000 for the commercial registry (cout de greffier), and XOF 5,000 for the business license.

Tax registration in Benin

All new businesses must declare their operation to the tax authorities (Direction Nationale des Impots et des Domaines) within twenty days of starting the business activity. This is required for the update of records of the Direction Nationale des Impots et des Domaines (DNID) to ensure taxpayers' compliance. The required documentation for the tax registration is:

  • Fiscal number (IFU)
  • Number of employees
  • Business license (carte du commerçant)

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