Quick info guide

Requirements to obtain a business license

✓ Filled and signed application form
✓ Certificate of Commercial registration
✓ Photocopies of  identification card or valid passport
✓ The passport size photographs of the manager taken in the last six months
✓ Original copies of memorandum and articles of association
✓ Certificate of Competence
✓ The exact address of the head office and branch offices of the business if any
✓ A bank statement showing the capital of the business organization

Estimated time to complete

o For commercial registration: 30 minutes - 1 hour
o For company name registration: 25 minutes
o For business licence: 30 minutes - 1 hour
o (All in one [1] working day) 
*Name clearance may take up to 30 days


o For commercial registration: 102 ETB
o For company name: 27 ETB
o For business licence: 102 ETB

TIN registration

Apply for TIN

Where? Ministry of Revenues

1. Download the Application Form
2. Print the form on a clean white A4 or letter size paper.
3. Complete fields and submit

Obtaining a business license in Ethiopia

The Ministry of Trade and Industry is the main institution responsible for registering a business in Ethiopia. It is prohibited to engage in any commercial activity unless registered in a commercial register; and according to Proclamation No. 980/2016, no person shall engage in business activity without acquiring a business license.

To simplify the procedure of registration, the Ministry of Trade and Industry provides its services through a system called Online Trade Registration and Licensing System (OTRLS).

Step by step guide to registering a business

angle-left Cancellation of a business license

A relevant authority may cancel a business license on the following grounds (Article 30):

  1. Where the businessperson terminates his business activity by his own choice;
  2. Where it is verified that the business license was issued or renewed based on falsified document;
  3. Where the businessperson has utilized the business license for an unauthorized purpose;
  4. Where the businessperson fails to rectify defects that resulted in the suspension of his business license within the time given;
  5. Where the businessperson is declared bankrupt;
  6. Where the businessperson fails to have their licence renewed under the provisions of this Proclamation;
  7. Where the commercial registration of the businessperson is cancelled under the Proclamation.