Laws & Regulations

Doing Business and Applicable Laws in Ghana

Laws applicable to the operation of business in Ghana conform to international standards and best practice. These laws are based on a framework of legislation relating to business activity, copyrights, patents, trademarks, disputes and labour relations.

Ghana subscribes to a number of International Conventions on Industrial and Intellectual property such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). There are also numerous Public sector Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as private legal, business consulting and accounting firms, which provide expert guidance on doing business in Ghana.

Sanctity of contracts ensures respect for commercial rights and obligations. Damages are compensatory, not punitive, and an Independent Court system ensures equitable protection of rights.

Mediation, arbitration and other alternative forms of dispute resolution are readily available and routinely used.

Key Investment related legislation in Ghana includes the following:

  1. Ghana Investment Promotion Centre  Act 2013, (Act 865)
  2. Technology Transfer Regulations, 1992, (LI 1547)
  3. Transfer Pricing Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2188)

 

Legislation that apply to Business Operations in Ghana

  • The Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179)
  • Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896)
  • Fisheries Act, 2002 ( Act 625)
  • Petroleum (Exploration And Production) Law 2016, (Act 919)
  • Forestry Commission Act, 1999 ( Act 571)
  • The Minerals Commission Act, 1993 (Act 450)
  • Minerals And Mining Act 2006, Act 703
  • Free Zone Act, 1995 (Act 503)
  • The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651)
  • Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723)
  • Ghana Revenue Authority Act 2009, (Act 791)
  • National Communications Authority Act, 2008, (Act 769)
  • Banks And Specialized Deposit Taking Institutions Act, 2016, (Act 930)
  • Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1994 ( Act 490)
  • Copyright Act, 2005 (Act 690)
  • Trade Marks Act, 2004 (Act 664)
  • Patents Act, 2003 (Act 657)

 

Investment Guarantees Under Act 865

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013 (Act 865), provides guarantees including prohibition against discrimination and expropriation to all enterprises.

Subject to the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723) and the Regulations and Notices issued under the Foreign Exchange Act, an enterprise is guaranteed unconditional transferability through any authorized dealer bank in freely convertible currency of the following:

  1. dividends or net profits attributable to the investment made in the enterprise;
  2. payments in respect of loan servicing where a foreign loan has been obtained;
  3. fees and charges in respect of a technology transfer agreement registered under this Act;
  4. the remittance of proceeds (net of all taxes and other obligations) in the event of sale or liquidation of the enterprise or any interest attributable to the investment in the enterprise.  

 

MIGA, IPPAs and DTAs

Ghana is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank, which provides investment guarantees against non-commercial risks for investments in developing countries.

Additionally, the Government of Ghana has entered into Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs), as well as Double Taxation Agreements with a number of countries to further enhance the protection and security of the investment regime. The details are indicated in the following tables. 

 

Ghana’s Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs)

A. Executed And Ratified BITs (Between The Republic Of Ghana And Other Countries)

Other Country to the Agreement

Date of Signature

Date of Entry into Force

1.      

The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland

22-March-1989

25-October-1991

2.      

The Kingdom of the Netherlands

31-March-1989

1-July-1991

3.      

The  People’s Republic of China

12-October -1989

12-November- 1991

4.      

 The Kingdom of Denmark

13-January- 1992

6-January- 1995

5.      

 The Swiss Confederation

8-October-1991

16-January-1993

6.      

 The Federal Republic of Germany

24-February-1995

23-November-1998

7.      

The Federation of Malaysia

8-November-1996

18-April-1997

 

B. Executed And Unratified BITs (Between The Republic of Ghana and Other Countries)

Other Country  to the Agreement

Date of Signature

1.      

Republic  of France

26-March-1999

2.      

Republic of Cuba

3-November-1999

3.      

Socialist Republic of Romania

14- September 1989

4.      

Republic of Mauritius

18-May-2001

5.      

Egypt

11-March- 1998

6.      

La Cote d’Ivoire

4-November -1997

7.      

Republic of Botswana

17-July-2007

8.      

Republic of Barbados

28 -April 2008

9.      

Republic of Burkina Faso

18-May -2001

10.   

Republic of Benin

18- May -2001

11.   

Republic of Guinea

18-May- 2001

12.   

The Kingdom of Spain

6-October – 2006

13.   

Republic of Zambia

18-May -  2001

14.   

People’s Republic of Bulgaria

20 – October – 1989

15.   

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

25-April- 2000

16.   

Republic of Turkey

1-March- 2016

 

List of Ghana’s Agreements for the Avoidance of Double Taxation

A. Executed And Ratified DTAs (Between The Republic of Ghana and Other Countries)

Other Country to the Agreement

Date of Entry into  force

1.      

Belgium

17th October, 2008

2.      

Denmark

10th November, 2015

3.      

France

1st April, 1997

4.      

Germany

14th December, 2007

5.      

Italy

5th July, 2006

6.      

Netherlands

12th November, 2008

7.      

South Africa

23rd April, 2007

8.      

Switzerland

30th December, 2009

9.      

United Kingdom

10th August, 1994

 

B. Executed And Unratified DTAs (Between The Republic of Ghana and Other Countries)

Other Country to the Agreement

Signed (Not Entered Into Force)

1.      

Mauritius

11th March, 2017

2.      

Morocco

7th February, 2017

3.      

Singapore

31st March 2017

Government Policy

The vision and policy direction of the new government is one of hope, jobs, wealth creation, and a robust economy that supports a thriving private sector.

This vision is crystalized in a comprehensive set of initiatives and critical interventions outlined in the maiden budget statement and economic policy of the government for the medium to long term toward achieving the industrial transformation of Ghana’s economy.

While addressing key challenges like stability of the macro economy, monetary and fiscal discipline and reliability of power for businesses, new initiatives like the stimulus package to improve the competitiveness of existing Ghanaian industries, reduction in the tax burden on enterprises and reform of the regulatory environment will lead to a more business friendly economy.

Other initiatives include the establishment of one multi-purpose industrial park in each administrative region, One District, One Factory, Planting for Food and Jobs as well as the development of strategic anchor industries as new pillars of growth for the Ghanaian economy.

The successful implementation of these several initiatives will create an industrialized economy that creates jobs; a modernized agricultural sector that emphasizes value addition and an integrated business infrastructure that truly cranks up the private sector as the engine of growth.

In the words of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana “There could not be a better opportunity to “Make in Ghana” and to make it in Ghana. Ghana is open for business again!”