Scope – This article outlines the process and requirements for registering a new company in Uganda with various government agencies such as URSB, UIA, URA, KCCA, NSSF, Posta Uganda, PPDA, PAU, and others. It provides a step-by-step guide to the company incorporation process in Uganda, including important business registration and company formation procedures that you shouldn’t miss.
I have provided you with a comprehensive guide consisting of 10 easy-to-follow steps, which will help you register a company in Uganda. This guide will come in handy as you go through the process, ensuring that you get your registration right on the first attempt.
Step 1: Register Your Company with URSB
How do you Register a Company or Business at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)?
The process to register a company and or a business name starts with “Search for Business Name” at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).
You need to Identify at least 3 name options that you would like to identify your business. Fill in a Name Reservation form online or in hard copy from the One Stop Centre (OSC) at Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) offices; or at 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 be filed as well
- 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.
If such a company wishes to carry out business in Uganda, it must also be registered with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB). To register a foreign company, the following documents are required:
1. Certified copies of the Memorandum of Articles of Association/Charter/ Constitution and Certificate from the country of origin duly witnessed.
2. Registration forms:
Form 24 – Particulars of Directors and Secretary
Form 13 – Statement of all subsisting charges
Form 25 – List of Names and Address of Persons Resident in Uganda authorized to accept service on behalf of the company.
Form 26 – Address and Principal Office of Company.
Payment of at least $ 470 to have the exact name registered in Uganda
Always arrange your documents and, 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.
Step 2: Register with Posta Uganda
How do you Register with Posta Uganda?
To obtain a postal address, you need to either register online at http://www.eposta.ug or visit a nearby Post Office. During online registration, you will be prompted to provide a phone number for notifications and to select a 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
This is a compulsory step for you to obtain Company Form 18 at URSB. You have to indicate that you have a registered postal address of the company. Company Form 18 I 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 important to make identification easier and aid in the routing of mail.
Step 3: Obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
This is a unique identifying number assigned to every taxpayer by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for tax administration purposes.
One can acquire a TIN either as an individual or non-individual (a company). Application for a TIN is done online via URA’s website www.ura.go.ug
A TIN application can be done on the Uganda Revenue Authority online portal. 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?
- Passport, Employee ID, Voter’s Card, National ID, Driving Permit
- Email Address
- Mothers Name
- Telephone Contacts
- Referee Who Already Has TIN
For individuals that are non-Ugandans, you need Identification Documents like any one of the following; Passport, Visa, Driving permit, Letter from the current respective Head of Mission, Letter from the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or a Diplomatic ID
What Are the Requirements for Non-Individual TIN Registration in Uganda?
- Company Form 20, Certificate of Incorporation from Uganda Registration Services Bureau
- Contact Person
- Company Email Address, Phone Number
- Bank Account Details
- Company Director (s) Individual TIN Number (s)
Step 4: Obtain an Investment License (Optional)
How Do You Obtain an Investment License from The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA)?
The Following Documents Are Required 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 suitably a Bank statement for the company / Directors OR any other evidence 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/
Step 5: Get A Trading License from KCCA or The Local Government Authorities
How Do You Get a Trading License from Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)?
As an investor, you have to apply for a trade license at the Municipal Authority/Council Authority where the company premises are located. This is a requirement for all companies, including service companies.
In the year 2015, KCCA improved its systems and you can now download and print the standard forms online through the City Operator Identification Number (COIN) system.
A standard form A can be completed online and then submitted 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 mostly by the licensing officer who then has to issue the assessment forms for the fees payable, which vary with the location of the office. These fees are regulated by the Trade Licensing (Amendment of Schedule) Instrument, 2011.
At this stage, you will pay the license fee at the bank as advised by the licensing officer. Once the fees are paid, the Municipal Authority issues the Trading License.
KCCA also reserves the right to revoke and cancel the trading license if deemed necessary by municipal inspections (health and building).
Step 6: Register with National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
How Do You Register with NSSF?
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has released instructional videos to guide companies and their staff on how to register and make monthly contributions in OctoPas seamlessly.
With this new development, employers and members can easily access the information they need in just a few clicks. The videos are concise and straightforward, making 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 administered by the laws of the Republic of Uganda, plus the NSSF Act Cap 222.
The National Social Security Fund is a compulsory saving scheme for private-sector employees between the age of 16-35 years, non-profit organizations, and government parastatal bodies that are not covered by the government pension scheme.
Under the Act, all employers who have a workforce of more than 5 employees must pay an NSSF contribution of 10% to their employees. This is in addition to the 5% contributed by an employee. The registration process can take between 1-3 working days.
Step 7: Make a Company Seal
The company seal, sometimes called a corporate seal, is a tool used to stamp or emboss your company’s important documents to show the document is certified by, and agreed upon by, the Board of Directors of the company.
In Uganda, a company seal is mandatory. This is well laid down in Section 117 (b) of the Companies Act 2012 which 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.
Step 8: Register Powers of Attorney
How Do I Get and Register Powers of Attorney in Uganda?
For companies, Powers of Attorney are governed by special law and they have to be registered by the registrar of business at URSB.
A power of attorney is an instrument conferring authority of the principal to the agent where such authority is required to be conferred by a deed, or where, in any other circumstances, it is desired formally 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 affairs of the business and do any other transactions as may be specified.
This document must be authenticated with the company seal/stamp and registered with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).
Step 9: Register with PPDA
How do you Register with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA)?
You can only do business with the government if you are on the Register of Providers (RoP) at the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA).
Access the electronic government procurement portal via https://www.egpuganda.go.ug to access the general home page.
To register as a Provider, Click the [Register as Supplier] link to open a user account creation page. The process of first-time registration requires one to create a user account on the portal before creating a company profile.
- Internet access
- Valid Trading license
- Valid Business Registration Number
- Valid URA TIN
- Valid email address
- Valid NIN (For Individual providers)
- 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.
Step 10: Register Your Workplace on OSHMIS
This complies with Section 40 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act which requires that every person shall, not less than one month before he or she begins to occupy, or use any premises as, a workplace, serve on the Commissioner for Occupational Safety and Health a written notice containing the particulars set out 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 have to do Workplace Registration at The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD). This is done through an online system at: https://oshmis.mglsd.go.ug/
This is under the Directorate of Labour, Employment, Occupational Safety, and Health. Workplace Registration comes with a certificate of workplace registration, Incident Register, Occupational Safety and Health Inspection Checklist plus a short guide to the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) ACT, NO9, 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
If you are interested in becoming a service provider for the Oil and Gas sector in Uganda, you have to 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:
- Certificate of incorporation or registration
- A URA Tax Clearance Certificate for companies registered or incorporated in Uganda
- National Social Security Clearance Certificate for companies registered or incorporated in Uganda
- Information on the shareholding and management of the company or entity.
- 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
For an entrepreneur to do proper and legally acceptable business in Uganda, it is wise that during business formation, you follow the right procedure to do company registration. 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 key 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.