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).
angle-left Cancellation of commercial registration

Cancellation of commercial registration

According to article 11 of the proclamation, the registering office may cancel a commercial registration without any precondition, where:

  1. the business person abandons his business activity for any reason;
  2. an administrative measure is taken or court decision is passed on the business person not to continue with his business;
  3. the business person was registered by submitting false information or document; the business person is found to have violated this Proclamation or regulations and directives issued for the implementation of this Proclamation;

During cancellation;

  • Cancellation of registration of business organizations shall only be valid a month after the registering authority made it public by means of accessible communication and information technology. Where the cancellation involves sole proprietorships it shall be valid from the date of such cancellation.
  • If a business license of a business person is cancelled, his/her commercial registration shall also be cancelled, unless other additional business licenses are issued based on the same commercial registration