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Doing Business in The Gambia


Businesses in The Gambia may be registered as a company, a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or other forms of business (namely co-operatives, subsidiaries of other companies). Investors wishing to seek GIPFZA assistance must first register their business ventures as legal entities operating in The Gambia. GIPFZA is the national agency responsible for the promotion of The Gambia as an ideal overseas investment destination, co-ordination and facilitation of such investments and regulation of designated free zones in The Gambia.

The certificate of registration or a certified copy must be prominently exhibited in a conspicuous position at the principal place of business. A certificate is valid for a period of 12 months from the date issued and must be renewed at the end of such period.

There are various permits & licences required in establishing a business in The Gambia depending on the type of project. For instance, projects in the fisheries, tourism, Information Technology and mineral exploration require licenses to operate. However GIPFZA serves as the link between the investor and the responsible institutions and the Agency provides all the necessary facilitation and support to secure the required approvals and licences.

Environmental Clearance issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA) is required of all projects that could have a negative impact on the environment. There are guidelines set out by the NEA as per the Environment Act 1994.

Investors wishing to employ expatriates whose skills are not available in The Gambia are required to obtain Residence and Work permits for each expatriate staff. The process is very simply and completed application forms can be sent direct to the Department of State for Interior or to GIPFZA for processing.

Company Law

Company legislation is contained in the Companies Act, 1955. The Act provides for three types of companies:

a company limited by shares – the liabilities of its members are limited to the amount payable on the shares held by them;

a company limited by guarantee – the liabilities of the members are limited to such an amount as each may undertake to contribute to the assets of the company in the event of it being wound up;

an unlimited company – company not having any limit to the liabilities of its members.

The company may be a private company or a public company. Under the company legislation a private company restricts the transfer of its shares, limits the number of its members to a maximum of 50, and prohibits any invitation to the public to subscribe to any shares or debentures of the company.

No restriction is placed on the minimum or maximum share capital of a company.

Every registered business must have a certificate of incorporation from the Registrar General, entitling the investor to operate a business entity in the Gambia.

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