How to Start a Business in Botswana

small business Botswana

In an effort to move away from mining as our main source of income, the government is supporting start-ups and small business through a number of government-run initiatives.

Our history of long and continuous multi-party democracy and very little governmental corruption have combined to make Botswana one of the best African countries in which to start a business.

Small businesses and entrepreneurship can also go a long way to solving unemployment issues. In Botswana, we have an unemployment rate of more than 17% among the working age population.

How to start a business in Botswana

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

Step 1: Write a business plan

A comprehensive business plan will outline your business model and where you hope to take the business over its first few years.

A business plan is generally required in order to secure a business loan, but even if you are self-funded, a business plan is still an essential first step in establishing your business properly.

Step 2: Secure finance

If you don’t have the money to start your business, as the majority of entrepreneurs don’t, then you will 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 options such as an asset-based loan.

Step 3: Reserve your company name

To set up a company, you need to reserve your company name with the Registrar of Companies.

Reservation takes up to five days to complete and the reservation is valid for 30 days.

If you don’t register your company using the reserved name in this time frame, you will have to reserve the name again.

Step 4: Register your company

All businesses in Botswana need to be registered with the Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property (ROCIP).

Registration is filed along with the name reservation certificate. The forms you need to submit will depend on the type of company you are registering.

Registration carries a fee of P360.

Step 5: Secure your premises

To get your trading license, you need to 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 will also need to comply with public and environmental health standards.

Step 6: Obtain your license

All businesses need to get a trading license from the local city council before they can trade goods and services.

The fee for the license will depend on the type of business.

Getting the license can take up to three weeks and you will also be required to submit the health inspection report on your business premises.

Step 7: Enrol as a taxable entity

All businesses need to 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 also register for VAT purposes. Financial, medical, educational, some accommodation services and certain goods are exempt.

Step 8: Open a business banking account

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

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 fast, discreet loans against the value of a wide range of assets, from jewellery to vehicles.

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.

Your asset will be stored securely by lamna for the loan period and returned to you once the loan and interest have been repaid. For more information about using an asset to secure a short-term loan, contact us on 71 388 088 or simply complete and submit our online application form.

Complete our Online Application Form