To operate a hotel in Ghana, there are registration and permit requirements one needs to meet before commencing operations. All businesses are first registered or incorporated at the Registrar General’s Department. Depending on the nature of business, there are other regulatory compliances that must be adhered to after incorporation of the company. For example, a hotel establishment requires additional licensing from the Ghana Tourism Authority before commencement of operations. A Ghanaian may incorporate a hotel as a sole proprietor business or a company limited by shares. Foreigners however, can incorporate a hotel as a company limited by shares only.
To operate a hotel in Ghana, you are required to register with the following mandatory bodies;
- Registrar General’s Department
- Ghana National Fire Service
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Metropolitan Assembly (from the district location of business)
- Ghana Tourism Authority
- Ghana Revenue Authority.
Procedure for starting a hotel business in Ghana
Step 1: Registration at the Registrar General’s Department
The first step in starting a hotel business in Ghana is to incorporate your business. Follow the below procedures to register your hotel in Ghana;
A: Conduct a name search at the Registrar General’s Department
B: Apply for a Taxpayer Identification Number for the Shareholder(s), Director(s) and Secretary
C: The next step is to download the following forms from the Registrar General’s Department’s website or purchase them from the in -house bank at the Registrar General’s Department.
- Form 3
- Form 26(A)- Consent to Act as a Director
- Form 26 (B) Consent to Act as a Secretary
- Form 26 (C) –Statutory Declaration
- BO1-Beneficial Ownership Form- Overarching BO
- BO2- Beneficial Ownership Form- Natural Person
Information required to complete the form includes;
- Company Name
- Nature of Business (Give a brief description of the company’s business activities)
- Registered Office Address (Postal Address, Digital Address, House Number/Building or flat Name, Street Name, City, District, Region)
- Particulars of Directors, Shareholders, Secretary and Auditor (Postal Address, Digital Address, House Number/Building or flat Name, Street Name, City, District, Region)
- Tax Identification Numbers of the Directors, Shareholders, Secretary and Auditor
- Auditor’s Consent Letter.
D: Pay Stamp duty, business incorporation and filing fees.
There are two main statutory fees to be paid at the Registrar General’s Department during company registration; these are stamp duty, incorporation and filing fees.
- Stamp duty cost is 1% of the stated capital.
- The minimum amount of stated capital is given below;
- 100% Ghanaian Owned limited liability is at least GH¢500.
- Wholly Foreign Owned -US$500,000.
- Joint Venture (foreigner & Ghanaian – at least 10% shareholding) -US$200,000
- Incorporation fees of GHC450
- The minimum amount of stated capital is given below;
Alternatively, for a Ghanaian establishing a hotel business in Ghana, you may consider to register the business as a sole proprietorship business. This option is only for Ghanaians. Click here to read more on the procedure for registering a sole proprietorship business in Ghana; Registering a Sole Proprietorship Business
Step 2: Registering with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
It is mandatory for every hotel to be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency after incorporation of the business. Registration with EPA helps in the assessment of the environment in which the hotel is situated to ensure its suitability. To register with EPA, you are required to purchase the appropriate (depending on the size of the establishment) Environmental Assessment Form from the EPA office. Complete the forms with the required information and submit at the EPA office. After inspection of the hotel by officials from EPA, an invoice for payment of processing fees will be issued. If there are queries after inspection, applicants will need to make amendments for a second inspection. Registration with Environmental Protection Agency is usually done after completion of the establishment.
Step 3: Acquiring Suitability Health Certificate from your Metropolitan or Municipal Assembly.
Applicants must apply for Environmental Health Certificate from the District, Municipal or Metropolitan Assembly where the hotel is located.
According to the Local Governance Act 2016, ACT 936; A person shall not designate a place as a hotel, motel, pub, guest house, restaurant, chop bar or food joint, unless the place has been approved and issued with Suitability Health Certificate by the Assembly for that purpose.
NOTE: The cost ranges from GH₵1,000 – GH₵2,000 depending on the size of the hotel. It takes approximately 2 weeks to complete the process.
Step 4: Acquiring Fire Certificate from Ghana National Fire Service
The following are the steps involved in obtaining a fire certificate for the hotel establishment;
- Submit the following to the Fire Department; and request for inspection of the hotel facility;
- Site Plan
- Block Plan
- Floor Plan
- Present Fire Engineering drawings to the Fire Department.
- Apply for Fire Certificate/Permit from the Fire Department.
The Fire Department operates a Risk based system. Categorized as:
- Low Risk Projects
- Medium Risk Projects
- High Risk Projects
Step 5: Additional documents required for registration with the Ghana Tourism Authority
After obtaining the above documents, you need to add the following;
- Building permit for the construction of the hotel
- Site plan and basic building plan for the hotel facility
- Development or change of use permit from Town and Country Planning Department, if the site of the hotel was earmarked as residential.
- Report from Ghana Police (CID) on the security of the premises and criminal record checks on Proprietor/Manager and key personnel of the hotel
- Business Plan
- Tenancy Agreement if the property is rented/ leased or indentured
Step 6: Licensing your Hotel with Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA)
Ghana Tourism is the licensing Authority for all hotels, restaurants and recreational facilities in Ghana and hence before you commence operations, you need to have your hotel facility licensed. To register your hotel with Ghana Tourism Authority, you visit any of the GTA offices in your region. Also, you will need to complete a GTA form and attach with mandatory documents which are given below;
Information to complete GTA form;
- Name of Applicant
- Postal Address, Telephone Number and Email Address
- Particulars of Shareholders
- Particulars of Directors
- Name of Establishment/Location/Street Name/District/Type of Accommodation
Required documents for Licensing Hotels
- Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of Registration and Form A (if it is a sole proprietor business)
- Form 3
- Beneficial Ownership Profile
- Company’s constitution
- Site Plan and Basic Building Drawings
- Evidence of Ownership of Premises (Indenture/Lease/Tenancy Agreement)
- Building Permit
- Development or change of use permit from Town and Country Planning Department
- Report from the Police (CID) on the security of premises and criminal records Proprietor/Manager and Key personnel of unit.
- Suitability report from the Ghana National Fire Service
- Environmental Health Suitability Report from the District/Municipal/Metropolitan Assemblies
- Suitability Report from the Environmental Protection Agency (if 40 rooms or located in eco sensitive area).
- Feasibility Report/Business Pan (3-5 Stars).
What is the registration and licensing fee for a hotel?
|BUDGET/MOTEL (11-20 rooms)
|GUEST HOUSE (20-50 rooms)
|1 STAR (10-20 rooms)
|2 STAR (11-50 rooms)
|3 STAR (20-50 rooms)
|4 STAR (50-100 rooms)
|5 STAR (100-200 rooms)
When should I apply for GTA license?
It is important to involve the GTA during the design and construction phase. This is because the GTA is able to advise on the layout and general set-up. Once the construction and set-up is completed and you apply for the license, GTA officials will undertake a final visit to inspect the facility. During the visit, all the facilities at the hotel will be checked. The purpose of the visit is to ensure compliance and standardization.
What is the duration for licensing a hotel at Ghana Tourism Authority?
It takes averagely 4 weeks for the Ghana Tourism Authority to process all registrations.