How to Start a Business in Botswana

start a business in botswana

Starting a business can seem daunting but the process is relatively straightforward. If you have a strong idea and you’ve carried out essential market research and planning, your business should thrive in Botswana.

To start a business in Botswana, you’ll need financing. At lamna Botswana, we offer asset-based business loans to new and existing businesses. Contact us for more information or apply online.

Economic climate for new businesses in Botswana

Like the rest of the world, Botswana is still recovering from the effects of lockdown and the ongoing pandemic. The economy contracted by an estimated 8.9% in 2020.

However, real GDP growth is projected to recover to 7.5% in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022. The situation isn’t ideal but it’s not all doom and gloom.

Is now the right time to start a business in Botswana?

It’s a challenging time to start a business in Botswana but there are opportunities if you know where to look.

Online shopping, for example, saw enormous growth throughout the lockdown. In some industries, the pandemic has resulted in less competition.

How to start a business in Botswana

Our step-by-step guide will help you with the basics of how to start a business in Botswana.

Step 1: Write a business plan

A comprehensive business plan outlines your business model and where you hope to take the business during its first few years.

A business plan is generally required in order to secure a business loan. Even if you’re self-funded, a business plan is an essential first step in establishing your business.

Step 2: Secure finance

If you don’t have the money to start your business, as the majority of entrepreneurs don’t, you’ll need to secure a business loan.

This can take the form of a bank loan, investment from a financier or business partner, government funding or alternative loan option, such as an asset-based loan.

Step 3: Register your business

All businesses must be registered with the Botswana Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA). Reserving your company name and registering your business is now a single process.

Business registrations can be done remotely. Visit the CIPA website to register your business. There’s no need to visit its offices.

This is what you need to submit when registering your business:

  • three potential names
  • declaration of compliance with statutory requirements
  • company registration form
  • consent to act as shareholders, directors, auditors and company secretary
  • proof of IDs and/or passports for these people.

Step 4: Secure your premises

To get your trading licence, you must have premises secured. This is because you’ll be required to submit proof that you have the right to trade on those premises.

This can take the form of an occupation permit, title deed or lease agreement. The premises must comply with public and environmental health standards.

Step 5: Obtain your licence

A business must get a trading licence from the local city council before it can trade goods and services. The licence fee depends on the type of business.

Processing the licence can take up to three weeks. You must submit a health inspection report on your business premises.

Step 6: Enrol as a taxable entity

All businesses must be registered for taxation with the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) and must have a tax identification number (TIN).

Businesses that make taxable goods valued at more than P500,000 per annum must register for VAT. Financial, medical, educational, some accommodation services and certain goods are exempt.

Step 7: Open a business banking account

The final step before you start trading is to open a business bank account.

There are eight commercial banks in Botswana that offer business accounts: BancABC, Bank Gaborone, Bank of Baroda, Barclays Bank, Capital Bank, First National Bank, Stanbic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Asset-based business loans from lamna

At lamna Botswana, we offer short-term business loans against the value of a wide range of assets. With an asset-based loan, only the value of the asset is important, so you won’t be required to submit financial statements or business plans when applying.

The benefits of using this type of loan from lamna to finance your business include:

  • loan is usually paid within 24 hours
  • process is confidential and transparent
  • loans are fully compliant with the NBFIRA
  • competitive interest rates
  • no hidden fees
  • no impact on your credit rating
  • won’t affect your ownership of the asset.

Your asset will be stored securely by lamna for the loan period. It will be returned once the loan and interest have been repaid.

lamna Botswana

At lamna Botswana, we offer fast, discreet loans against the value of a wide range of assets, from luxury watches and jewellery to vehicles or valuable works of art.

For more information about using an asset to secure a short-term loan to help start a business in Botswana, contact us on 71 388 088 or simply complete and submit our online application form.

Complete our Online Application Form