Registration with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) is the agency of Government responsible for promoting and facilitating investments into all sectors of the Ghanaian economy. The functions of the GIPC mandates it to register and capture data on all foreign investment in Ghana. Following this, the GIPC registers all foreign investment into the various economic sectors of the economy.
According to Section 24 (1), an enterprise in which foreign participation is permitted under the GIPC Act 865, 2013 shall after its incorporation or registration and before commencement of operations be registered with the GIPC. Enterprises which are wholly Ghanaian owned may, after being incorporated, be registered with the GIPC and shall also be entitled to all benefits and incentives. Registration with the GIPC takes 5 working days once all documents are in order.
Section 24(3) of the GIPC Act further indicates that ‘An enterprise in which foreign participation is permitted under the Act shall renew its registration with the GIPC every two years.
With almost a decade of experience in handling new GIPC registration cases and renewals, we would like to share our insights and learnings so that it will help you navigate this process much easier. The top 9 mistakes companies make when renewing their GIPC investor certificates are;
• Inaccurate number of employees; non-compliant with the employment requirements stipulated by the GIPC Act
• PAYE schedule does not tally with the list of Ghanaian workers on SSNIT
• Status report does not truly reflect the current status of the company
• Invalid Tax clearance certificate
• Inaccurate information on GIPC renewal forms
• Persons on Quota but not reflected on the PAYE
• Expatriates on PAYE who are not on quota
• Amendments, changes in company shareholding or objects
• Confirmation of departure
Renewing your GIPC Investor registration
The following documents are required for filing your company’s GIPC renewal every two years;
- Status Report
- Last Audited Accounts
- Evidence of PAYE
- Evidence of SSNIT payment
- Valid Tax clearance certificate
Also note that;
- PAYE Receipt (most recent month)
- SSNIT Receipt (most recent month)
- Completed GIPC registration forms (in duplicate)
- Bank draft of GHs 2,730 in payment of the official fee for renewal
These documents are required to ascertain that the company is in active operation and has fulfilled statutory obligations on tax and social security. The registration renewal process also provides investors and companies, the opportunity to update their records and information at the GIPC. For example the GIPC renewal forms requests for information on current investment level, changes in equity structure, branch locations, business activities, employees and address among others.
All companies that were registered before September 2012 must re-register with the Registrar General’s Department before their GIPC renewal can be processed. Moreover, if your GIPC certificate has expired for more than two years, you will be made to pay double of the official renewal fee.
GIPC registration renewal – 9 must know mistakes to avoid
From our experience in facilitating several investor registration renewals at the GIPC, we have identified, 9 common mistakes companies make which causes delays in processing their applications. We share this information so that you can prepare your documentation accurately and ensure a faster process.
1. Accurate PAYE, in line with employment requirements stipulated by the GIPC Act.
Trading companies have a requirement on the minimum number of Ghanaian employees they are to employ and during the GIPC registration renewal, companies are required to show proof with the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) schedule that they have met this requirement. Trading companies registered under the GIPC Act 478, 1994 are required to meet a minimum Ghanaian employee threshold of 10 workers while trading companies registered under the GIPC Act 865, 2013 have a requirement of 20 Ghanaian workers.
2. PAYE schedule to tally with the list of Ghanaian workers on SSNIT
The PAYE is the monthly return of income taxes deducted from earnings of all employees of the company, both expatriates and Ghanaians. The company, again on a monthly basis, also processes the social security contributions of all the Ghanaian employees and makes this payment at the nearest SSNIT office. In filing your GIPC registration renewal, the GIPC requires that the number of Ghanaians on the PAYE schedule be the same as the number of workers on the SSNIT schedule. There are however, instances where anomalies may arise because of new hires who are yet to register for social security, persons on retirement and casual workers.
3. Detailed Status report
All companies registered with the GIPC are required to submit their half yearly reports highlighting relevant changes in the company including expansion, new investment, business activities, employees, directors and shareholder changes among others. In reality, most companies do not comply with this provision. During the time of GIPC registration renewal, all companies are required to submit a status report detailing all relevant information. It is important that, the report corresponds with the information provided in the GIPC renewal forms as well as the PAYE, SSNIT, Tax and clearance attachments.
4. Valid Tax clearance certificate
Apply to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and obtain a valid tax clearance certificate.
5. Accurate information to complete forms
Companies are to complete their GIPC renewal forms with accurate company information that corresponds with the PAYE, SSNIT, investment levels, amendments, address, contact person and business activity among others.
6. All persons on Quota should be on the PAYE
The GIPC Act 865, allows companies to enjoy automatic quotas for expatriate staff depending on their level of investment. Since quotas are granted to expatriate staff, it is therefore expected that persons on quota are income earners and are liable for payment of income taxes on their earnings. All persons on quota should be reflected on the PAYE, unless of course they have resigned from the company.
7. Expatriate on PAYE who are not on quota
There are instances where the PAYE schedule may have expatriates who are not on the quota list granted by GIPC. In such instances, when filing your GIPC renewal registration, you will be required to add evidence (copy) of the work and residence permit of those persons to the application.
8. Amendments, changes in company shareholding or objects
When your company makes changes and amendment s to your company activities and shareholding or directorship, you have to add copies of the necessary filing forms and documents to it.
9. Confirmation of Departure Letter
Confirmation of departure letters issued by the Ghana Immigration Service, is a requirement by GIPC in the event that an expatriate on quota has resigned from the company and departed from Ghana. To avoid application delays, apply for departure confirmation letters when expatriates leave