How to Register Your Company in Uganda in 10 Easy Steps

Scope – This article provides a detailed step-by-step guide on registering a new company in Uganda. It outlines the requirements and procedures involved in the incorporation process. The registration process requires government agencies such as URSB, UIA, URA, KCCA, NSSF, Posta Uganda, PPDA, PAU, and other relevant bodies.

Entrepreneurs worldwide are increasingly viewing Uganda as an attractive destination to start a business. It is one of the top destinations in East Africa due to its strong incentives, good weather, a fast-growing population, quality facilities, and fair business rules and regulations.

To help you register a company in Uganda, I have conducted thorough research and prepared a comprehensive guide consisting of 10 easy-to-follow steps. This guide will come in handy as you go through the process, ensuring you get your registration right on the first attempt.

The following are the 10 Steps for Company Registration Process in Uganda:

  1. Register Your Company with URSB

How do you Register a Company or Business at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)?

The initial step is to search for the desired business name to register your Company or business name with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).

You need to identify at least three name options that you would like to use to identify your business.  Fill in a Name Reservation form online or in hard copy from the One Stop Centre (OSC) at the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) offices, or the Uganda Bookshop.

Obtain a Certificate of Incorporation

The Bureau is mandated under the Uganda Registration Services Bureau Act Cap 210 to register all business entities in Uganda. The Following Are the Requirements for Registration of a Local Company in Uganda:

  • Name Search and Reservation
  • Assessment and payment of statutory fees
  • Submit application form
  • Form A22 – Full address of the registered or principal office of the Company
  • Copies of Articles and Memorandum of Association, if any, may also be filed.
  • Passport/ National ID (3 copies)

Other Forms Include:

Form A1 – Statement of Nominal Share Capital of the Company

Form A2 – Declaration of Compliance with the requirements of the Companies Act

How Can You Register a Foreign Company in Uganda?

Some companies already exist in other countries and have already been incorporated in the country of origin.

Suppose a company wishes to conduct business in Uganda. You must register it with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB). The following documents are required To register a foreign company in Uganda:

  1. Certified copies of the Memorandum of Articles of Association/Charter/ Constitution and Certificate from the country of origin duly witnessed.
  2. Registration forms:
  3. Form 24 – Particulars of Directors and Secretary
  4. Form 13 – Statement of all subsisting charges
  5. Form 25 – List of Names and Address of Persons Resident in Uganda authorized to accept service on behalf of the Company.
  6. Form 26 – Address and Principal Office of Company.
  7. Payment of at least $ 470 to have the exact name registered in Uganda

Always arrange your documents, do self-assessment, or pick assessment forms from the URSB office and pay the necessary fees. Upon registration, the Registrar of Companies at URSB will issue a certificate of registration at least within two working days.

  1. Register with Posta Uganda

How do you Register with Posta Uganda?

The second step is registering with Posta Uganda to obtain a postal address. You have two options: register online at http://www.eposta.ug or visit a nearby post office. When registering online, the system may require you to provide a phone number for notifications, and you will need to select your preferred Post Office.

Once you have completed the registration process, you will receive a prompt on your phone to enter your MM PIN for payment to finalize your postal address acquisition.

How Much Does a Postal Address Cost Per Year?

– Company: UGX 90,000

– Upcountry (Company) UGX 60,000

– Individuals: UGX 20,000

– Business Names: UGX 20,000

– Shops: UGX 20,000

To obtain Company Form 18 at URSB, you must follow this step. You must indicate that the Company has a registered postal address. Company Form 18 falls under the Companies Act 2012, which gives notice of the situation of the registered office and the registered postal address (Section 116 of the Act).

Form 18 is only authentic if it is certified by the URSB while bearing a stamp from Posta Uganda. A Postal Address is also essential to make identification easier and aid in mail routing.

  1. Obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)

The third step is to obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This unique identifying number is assigned to every taxpayer by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for tax administration purposes. Your Company will need one for tax compliance purposes.

One can acquire a TIN as an individual or non-individual (a company). Application for a TIN is made online via URA’s website, www.ura.go.ug

You must use the Uganda Revenue Authority online portal to make a TIN application. You will need a computer with an internet connection, a Microsoft Excel Office Program installed on your computer, a functioning email address, a printer, and a referee (a person who has an active TIN of the new type).

What Are the Requirements for An Individual TIN?

  1. Passport, Employee ID, Voter’s Card, National ID, Driving Permit
  2. Email Address
  3. Mothers Name
  4. Telephone Contacts
  5. Referee Who Already Has TIN

For non-Ugandans, you need Identification Documents like a Passport, Visa, Driving permit, Letter from the current respective Head of Mission, Letter from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or a Diplomatic ID.

What Are the Requirements for Non-Individual TIN Registration in Uganda?

  1. Company Form 20, Certificate of Incorporation from Uganda Registration Services Bureau
  2. Contact Person
  3. Company Email Address, Phone Number
  4. Bank Account Details
  5. Company Director (s) Individual TIN Number (s)
  1. Obtain an Investment License (Optional)

How Do You Obtain an Investment License from The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA)?

You will need the following documents as Attachments to The Application for An Investment License:

  • Legal status (Copy of Certificate of Incorporation & Articles and Memorandum of Association from URSB
  • Company Tax Identification Number (TIN) Certificate from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)
  • A Brief Business Proposal on The Project (Not Less Than 5 Pages)
  • Evidence of availability of financing for the Project: Sufficiently a bank statement for the company / Directors OR any other proof of financing.
  • For Domestic Investors, the Minimum threshold is $ 50,000, whereas For Foreign Investors, the Minimum threshold is $ 250,000.
  • 5. Proof of location for the Project (copy of land title or a tenancy agreement)
  • An electronic copy of Passport / National ID for Shareholders
  • Filled in the Application Form for an Investment License (Form UIA 1)

Additional documents required may include a bill of landing to confirm machinery importation (in exceptional cases), a copy of the regulatory license issued by the relevant government ministry/department or agency, and an Environmental Impact Assessment report or Certificate of Approval issued by NEMA.

Some business categories must secure regulatory licenses before applying for investment licenses: Energy Generation, Mining, Banking, Air Transport, Sugar Manufacturing, Sports Betting, and Manufacturing of Drugs.

Download the Investment License Requirements Checklist

You can apply for the investment license by following this link: https://www.ebiz.go.ug/

  1. Get A Trading License from KCCA or Local Government Authorities

How Do You Get a Trading License from Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)?

Step 5: Obtain a Trading License from KCCA or Local Government Authorities. As an investor, applying for a trade license at the Municipal or Council Authority where your company premises are is mandatory. This requirement applies to all types of companies, including service companies.

In 2015, KCCA improved its systems, and you can now download and print the standard forms online through the City Operator Identification Number (COIN) system.

You can complete a standard form online and submit it to the Municipality or City Council, along with the relevant company documents. These include the memorandum and articles of association, the name of the directors, the certificate of incorporation, and the lease agreement from the property owner. You will then be issued a payment slip to take to the Bank.

The Officers at KCCA may have to inspect the business premises mainly by the licensing officer, who then has to issue the assessment forms for the fees payable, which vary with the office’s location. The Trade Licensing (Amendment of Schedule) Instrument regulated these fees in 2011.

At this stage, you will pay the license fee at the Bank as advised by the licensing officer. Once you have paid the fees, the Division Authority issues the Trading License.

KCCA also reserves the right to revoke and cancel the trading license if necessary by municipal inspections (health and building).

  1. Register with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF)

How Do You Register with NSSF?

Step 6 involves registering with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). The NSSF has released instructional videos to guide companies and their staff on seamlessly writing and making monthly contributions through OctoPas.

With this new development, employers and members can easily access the information they need in just a few clicks. The concise and straightforward videos make it easy for customers to follow and have a delightful self-service experience while finding the answers they need from the comfort of their homes or offices.

Where Do You Find the NSSF Instructional Videos?

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is under the laws of the Republic of Uganda in conjunction with the NSSF Act Cap 222.

The National Social Security Fund is a mandatory savings program for private-sector employees aged between 16 and 35 years, non-profit organizations, and government parastatal bodies not covered by the government pension plan.

According to the Act, all employers must make an NSSF contribution of 10% to their employees in addition to the 5% contributed by the employee.

  1. Make a Company Seal

The company seal, sometimes called a corporate seal, is a tool used to stamp or emboss your Company’s essential documents to show the document is certified by and agreed upon by the Company’s Board of Directors.

In Uganda, a company seal is mandatory. Section 117 (b) of the Companies Act 2012 provides that every Company shall have its name engraved in legible letters on its seal, which shall take the form of an embossed metal die.

  1. Register Powers of Attorney

How Do I Get and Register Powers of Attorney in Uganda?

 A special law governs powers of Attorney for companies and requires registration with the Business Registrar at URSB.

A power of Attorney is an instrument conferring authority of the principal to the agent where such authority is required to be granted by a deed or where, in any other circumstances, it is a requirement to appoint an agent to act for the principal in one transaction or a series of transactions.

It is mandatory to include powers of Attorney with bid documents for government tenders or proposals with other organizations.

The directors have to appoint individuals on behalf of the Company who will run the business affairs and do any other transactions as may be specified.

You must authenticate all documents with the company seal/stamp and register them with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).

  1. Register with PPDA

How do you Register with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA)?

The 9th step is registering with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority if you want to do business with the government. You must be on the Register of Providers (RoP) at the PPDA to be eligible.

To access the electronic government procurement portal, go to https://www.egpuganda.go.ug.

If you wish to register as a provider, click the “Register as Supplier” link, which will take you to the user account creation page. Please note that the first-time registration requires you to create a user account on the portal before starting a company profile.

General Requirements

  • Internet access
  • Valid Trading license

Local Company

  • Valid Business Registration Number
  • Valid URA TIN
  • Valid email address
  • Valid NIN (For Individual providers)

Foreign Company

  • Copy of Company Certificate of incorporation
  • Copy of Tax Identification Number
  • Valid email address
  • Copy of Company ownership
  • Copy of passport (For Individual Provider)

Learn More About How to Register for an e-PPDA Certificate.

Houston Executive Consulting is a Registered provider, and you can read the press release to learn more about how we achieved Registration with PPDA in Uganda – Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority.

  1. Register Your Workplace on OSHMIS

According to Section 40 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, every individual must serve a written notice to the Commissioner for Occupational Safety and Health not less than one month before commencing the use of any premises as a workplace. The statement should include the particulars mentioned in the third schedule to the Act.

How do you Register your Workplace with the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) – OSHMIS?

You must do Workplace Registration at The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD). To complete the task, you need to access an online system. The URL for the system is https://oshmis.mglsd.go.ug/

Workplace registration falls under the purview of the Directorate of Labour, Employment, Occupational Safety, and Health. It entails obtaining a certificate of workplace registration, an incident register, an Occupational Safety and Health Inspection Checklist, and a brief guide to the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, No. 9 of 2006.

Learn More About How to Register Your Workplace

Securing the Necessary Secondary Clearances

Registration with the National Supplier Database (NSD) For the Oil and Gas Sector in Uganda

Suppose you want to become a service provider for Uganda’s Oil and Gas sector. In that case, you must register via the PAU website: https://pau.go.ug and follow the link under NATIONAL CONTENT to apply and register.

The online application requires that you scan and upload the following:

  1. Certificate of incorporation or registration
  2. A URA Tax Clearance Certificate for companies registered or incorporated in Uganda.
  3. National Social Security Clearance Certificate for companies registered or incorporated in Uganda.
  4. Information on the shareholding and management of the Company or entity.
  5. Banker’s Reference Letter

Other Secondary Clearances May Fall Under the Following Regulators: 

  • If You Want to Run a Financial Institution, The Bank of Uganda Regulates Banks
  • For The Telecom Sector, The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Regulates Telecom Companies
  • The Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) Regulates Money Lenders
  • NITA Uganda Regulates ICT Companies
  • National Drug Authority Regulates Pharmacies, Drug Stores, and Manufacturers of Drugs
  • Uganda Tourism Bodies Regulates Tour and Travel Agencies

Conclusion

For an entrepreneur to do proper and legally acceptable business in Uganda, it is wise that you follow the right procedure to do company registration during business formation. You have to create a checklist when you set out to be an entrepreneur who would like to do business with corporate organizations and the government of Uganda.

This checklist should not miss the critical compliance documentation, including a Certificate of Incorporation from URSB, an Investment License from UIA, a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from URA, a Trading License from KCCA, a certificate of registration from PPDA, and Registration with National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

Given that Uganda has the Oil and Gas Sector, You May Have to Register with The National Supplier Database (NSD) at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) To Be a Service Provider for This Sector.

About the Author: Robert Mwesige

Robert Mwesige is a Certified Trainer of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and a Certified Financial Literacy Trainer of the Bank of Uganda (BOU). Robert is also a Certified Digital Marketing Expert by Google, the HubSpot Academy, Accenture, and OpenClassrooms.

Robert Received an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) at Quantic School of Business and Technology in Washington DC USA. He Graduated with an MBA in Marketing at the 14th Convocation of Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune India in August 2023. He also holds a First Class Honors Degree in International Development Studies From KYU, Kampala. 

He is the Senior Manager of HR & Business Services. He is also a Content Designer (Web Editor), and Online Marketing Expert. Robert Has Previously Participated in High-Level Consulting Assignments Including, Strategy Development, Executive Coaching and Training. He is a Writer of Knowledge and Insight Articles in The Field of Human Resources, Financial Literacy, and Business Management at Houston Executive Consulting.

He Spends His Free Time Enjoying Live Band with Ugandan Afro Beat Songs, Gospel Music, South African Oldies, Congolese Soukous & Ballroom Rumba.

  • Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Training

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About the Author: Robert Mwesige

Robert Mwesige is a Certified Trainer of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and a Certified Financial Literacy Trainer of the Bank of Uganda (BOU). Robert is also a Certified Digital Marketing Expert by Google, the HubSpot Academy, Accenture, and OpenClassrooms.

Robert Received an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) at Quantic School of Business and Technology in Washington DC USA. He Graduated with an MBA in Marketing at the 14th Convocation of Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune India in August 2023. He also holds a First Class Honors Degree in International Development Studies From KYU, Kampala. 

He is the Senior Manager of HR & Business Services. He is also a Content Designer (Web Editor), and Online Marketing Expert. Robert Has Previously Participated in High-Level Consulting Assignments Including, Strategy Development, Executive Coaching and Training. He is a Writer of Knowledge and Insight Articles in The Field of Human Resources, Financial Literacy, and Business Management at Houston Executive Consulting.

He Spends His Free Time Enjoying Live Band with Ugandan Afro Beat Songs, Gospel Music, South African Oldies, Congolese Soukous & Ballroom Rumba.