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 Commercial registration procedure and requirements

Commercial registration procedure and requirements

The requirements for commercial registration including the following: 

 For sole proprietors:

  1. Taxpayer’s Identification Number
  2. No objection is lodged after publication of the commercial register
  3. An application for commercial registration must be submitted before the commencement date of commercial activity by filling a prescribed form and attaching documents specified under the regulations and directives issued for the implementation of the Proclamation; and
  4. Requirements stipulated under Article 94-108 of the 1960’s Commercial Code of Ethiopia

For commercial registration:

  1. Passport size photographs of the applicant taken within last six months’ 
  2. Photo copies of the District  Identification Card or copies of valid passport of the applicant
  3. Investment permit (where the applicant is a foreign investor)
  4. Where the applicant is a foreigner considered as a domestic investor, a document issued by Ethiopian Investment Agency to testify this,
  5. A document which testifies that the applicant has attained the age of 18,
  6. the exact address of the head office and branch offices of the business if any, and
  7. A title deed (if the office of the business owned). If office is a leased one an authenticated contract of lease and a verification issued by kebele administration as to the address of the office.
  8. Certificate of Tax Identification Number [TIN]