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


Fees

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 Registration of business forms other than share company
  1. Founders or members of a business organization should, before signing the memorandum and article of association, apply to the registering office and get verification that another business person has not occupied the name of the business organization.
  2. After getting the verification, the founders or members of a business organization must sign their memorandum and articles of association at the Document Authentication and Registration Agency, according to standardised samples of memorandum and articles of association.
  3. Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  4. An application for commercial registration is then 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, as well as article 219-226 of the Code.

Summary of procedure for commercial registration for other forms of business other than share company

  1. Filled and signed application form
  2. Photocopies of  identification card or valid passport
  3. The passport size photographs of the manager taken within the last six months
  4. Original copies of memorandum and articles of association,
  5. The exact address of the head office and branch offices of the business if any,
  6. A bank statement showing the capital of the business organization

Acceptance/Registration

  • If the application is found acceptable by the registering office, then the office will issue a certificate of registration to the applicant upon the payment of service fee
  • If the application is not acceptable then the office will notify the applicant in writing by stating the reason for rejection
  • Where sole proprietorships or business organizations are established, or registration certificates are issued to any person under this Proclamation, the relevant authority shall, by means of accessible information communication technology make public information relating to their registration and licensing.