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 Renewal of a business license

Renewal of a business license

  • A business license is renewed in six months period within the fiscal year starting from ‘Hamle 01 to Tahsas 30’ or in the registered budget year. A businessperson wishing to renew a business license should fill the form prepared for the same purpose and submit documents, as required (Article 27)
  • Where a business person has not renewed its business license within the period of renewal under penalty it can renew the license within one year after the end of the period of renewal under penalty upon payment of Birr 20,000.
  • A business license not renewed in accordance with sub-article 6 of this Article shall be deemed cancelled. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the license under review can be issued without any other penalty as new, provided application is submitted a year after the end of the period for the renewal of licenses.
  • The business license of private limited companies where three fourths or above the capital of limited liability business organization are lost, can raise their capital by more than one fourth and get their licenses renewed.