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How Can A Foreign Investor Start A Business In Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe is a country that has a lot of potential and a lot of foreign investors are looking to make big investments in the country. Starting a business in Zimbabwe for foreign investors isn’t as difficult as it is in some countries. We will be discussing with you the important steps that are to be taken by a foreign investor in order to set up a new business in Zimbabwe. Let’s get started:

Register A Property

The first thing that you will have to do in order to start a business of any kind, whether it is a real-estate business, a shop, or a website where you feature tools like Scrabble Word Finder, is purchase or rent property because a new business in Zimbabwe requires to have an address that will be used for incorporation purposes in the country. It is required for a business to purchase or rent a property, which will be used for the registration of the company and it will be considered the company’s address.

Appoint A Zimbabwean Resident As A Director

Although foreign investors can start a company in Zimbabwe and it may be fully owned by foreign investors but according to the laws, there is a requirement for at least one of the company’s directors to be a resident of Zimbabwe. Many investors may not like this requirement but this needs to be fulfilled. Most people make one of their attorneys as the company’s director to fulfill this requirement.

Company Registration/Incorporation

There is also the need to incorporate the company. This incorporation is done at the Department of Deeds, Companies, and Intellectual Property which is located in Harare. 

Apply For An Investment License

Along with other things, foreign investors need to apply for an investment license. All new foreign investments in Zimbabwe, be it in a product like Words With Friends, in a service like Android Development, or in real estate, require an investment license. A foreign investment license is obtained from the Zimbabwe Investment Authority, which is also located in Harare.

Obtain A Tax Advice Letter From ZIMRA

A tax advice letter is also required from ZIMRA (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority) to open a bank account. A bank account is required to register as a taxpayer in Zimbabwe. The advice letter can be obtained from ZIMRA by approaching the offices with the original company registration document. ZIMRA offices are located at different locations in Harare.

Open A Bank Account

Once you receive the advice letter from ZIMRA, you need to open a bank account. A bank account is also required to register as a taxpayer at ZIMRA. A bank account can be opened in any local bank by approaching any branch of a local bank.

Register The Company At ZIMRA

After opening the bank account and getting registered as a taxpayer, the next step is to register the company at ZIMRA and obtain a Business Partner number. A business partner number is important for the company’s identification and is used for taxation purposes. The company can also be registered online as a taxpayer.

Register Employees For Tax

After the company starts hiring employees, you will have to register the company as an employer at ZIMRA while registering the employees for tax which is Pay–As–You–Earn tax. If you want to employ foreign employees at the company then you will have to approach the Department of Immigration Control for the provision and processing of work permits and visas.

Register With The NSSA

Every business that has employees has to register itself with the NSSA. The company has to be registered with the NSSA as an employer and then the employer has to submit the payroll schedule of all the employees so that they can be registered and issued with an SSN or social security number. 

The NSSA has an office in every region of the country but the tax returns are prepared and submitted where the payroll is administered by the employer.

Register As a VAT Vendor

If a company has a revenue of US$60,000 or greater per annum then the company is required to be registered as a VAT vendor in the country. If a company wants to register itself as a VAT vendor before it meets the threshold then the company has to present in front of ZIMRA a signed and confirmed contract(s) that shows revenue of US$60,000 or greater per annum.

Similarly, a company can also register itself for VAT after 6 months if it is able to show to ZIMRA that its revenue was US$30,000 or greater in the 6 months and it will be able to make US$60,000 or more in the year.

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