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Doing Business in Senegal


Prior to any investment decision, economic operators have to think over the legal form to be given to their structure. The fiscal system applicable to their activity will depend on their legal form.

In Senegal, legal structures can be divided into two major categories: the individual form and the member form in the framework of business firms; to which should also be added the branch.

Individual firm is the most widely used form and it can be very easily created. You only have to present yourself before the law-clerk's office of the court of your residence with certain documents (ID papers, extract from police records) to be registered at the trade registrar.

Furthermore, the creation cost of the individual enterprise is not expensive: a CFA2,000 stamp together with CFA10,000 or CFA25,000 according to whether you operate in your own name or under a commercial name. Due to its cost and its rapidity of creation, the individual firm may be quite appealing to smaller economic operators.

However, it has a major drawback: the lack of distinction between private estate and professional estate of its operator. From this angle, he/she indefinitely and severally commits his/her patrimony into the activity. Then, in case of seizure, creditors (including taxes) will be in a position to seize all the investor's properties. In this regard the individual firm does not secure any security for investors.

Member firms operate in the form of business companies. The creation cost of a company depends on its capital amount. Generally, if the capital amounts to CFA1,000,000 (the minimum required for private limited companies), the cost is about CFA300,000, exclusive of the fees of the counsel assisting in the selecting process. If the capital amounts to CFA10,000,000 (the minimum required for a public limited company), costs will amount to about CFA700,000, exclusive of the counsel.

Forms of Organisation

Public Limited Company

In this form, shareholders are liable for social liabilities only within the limit of their contribution. Thus, in case of seizure, the shareholders are not theoretically, privately concerned. Creditors will restrict themselves to which has been invested in the company. Furthermore, the company's shares can usually be freely transferred without the approval of other shareholders. It is thus a capitalistic company, whose shareholders' personality is meaningless. Only contributions are considered and the minimum capital is CFA10,000,000.

Private Limited Company

To a certain extent, the private Limited company can be compared to the Public Limited Company: partners' liability is limited to their contribution. However, Private Limited Company shares cannot be freely transferred but must be submitted to other partners' consent. The minimum capital is CFA1,000,000.

Sole Owner Public Limited Company & Sole Owner Private Limited Company

These are the same types as Public Limited Companies and Private Limited companies except that in Sole Owner companies there is only one partner or shareholder.

Today, a single person can create his/her own Private Limited Company or Public Limited Company.

Economic Interest Grouping (Groupement d'Intérêt Economique – GIE)

The GIE is a structure which allows several operators already operating in the economic circuit to jointly extend their activities. Theoretically, the GIE is an additional activity to the main activity of its members. As far as liability is concerned, GIE members personally commit their personal patrimony. In case of seizure, the creditor can choose the most financially sound member and sue him for the whole GIE debt. There is no minimum capital required.

General Partnership (GP) & Limited Partnership (LP)

They are partnerships. In these companies, partners (except for limited partners) are jointly and severally liable. They have the same system as individual entrepreneurs or GIE members. They must all be tradesmen and must be individually registered to the "Trade Register". There is no minimum required capital.

Establishing a Branch

The opening of a liaison or representation office is legally admitted and formalities of creation are relatively simple: formalities of publication, filing, registration to the Trade Register and to the Crédit Mobilier (Movable Credit), to the National Index of Enterprises and Associations and to the Fiscal Services (Taxpayer Account Number of Indirect Taxes).





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