Business Registration

Procedure for Business Registration

What do I have to know before I register my business?

  • Business Registration is 100% an online process and free of charge
  • Company name must be approved prior to incorporation.
  • Applicant is free to have as many shareholders as she/he wishes and they can be Rwandan nationals, Foreigners or Legal entities; 100% non-local shareholding is allowed.
  • After registration, amendment of company details (change of company name and address, business activities, change of director or board members, share issue and share transfer as well as de-registration ) is allowed anytime at shareholder’s discretion through a notarized resolution
  • Registered share capital (unlimited) can be increased any time after incorporation
  • Applicant needs to provide a local, physical address as the registered address of the company.
  • Business registration is done within six working hours and completed upon delivery of a certificate of incorporation

What are the main categories under business registration?

Any incorporated company belongs to any of the following 2 categories:

  1. Private company

A Private limited company is formed by physical or moral persons, limited to their shares; it does not require any minimum initial share capital. Minimum shareholder is 1 and a maximum of 100 shareholders. It can be limited by shares, limited by guarantee, by both or unlimited. A company limited by shares and by guarantee may be public or private. However, a company limited by guarantee or an unlimited company cannot be a public.

Private Companies cannot engage in the business of banking, insurance, and finance. Investors wishing to participate in these sectors are required to set up public companies.

  1. Public company

A Public Limited Company is formed by physical or moral persons; liabilities are limited to their shares and minimum initial share capital is set by Regulators. A Public Limited Company has no limitations on the type of business in which it may engage in, on the number of shareholders and on listing its shares on a stock exchange. Minimum shareholders is 1 and there is no set maximum number.

What documents are required to register a company?

  • An active email address, ID card or passport
  • Company name
  • Provision of business activities
  • Shareholders’ particulars
  • Director’s particulars
  • Board members’ particulars
  • Office address
  • Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of association (foreign companies) for corporate entity shareholder(s); a foreign company registration necessitatesa shareholder/board resolution to open up a branch and appointment of branch representative residing in Rwanda
  • If the applicant is an NGO , Association or a Cooperative, they will be requested evidence of registration at Rwanda Governance Board or Rwanda Cooperatives Agency as well as Board resolution to open up a business
  • Defense and Investigation activities are registered upon presentation of official authorization from the National Police

Approval of company name

The Registrar General shall not reserve a name:

  • Which, or the use of which, would contravene any Law
  • Which is misleading
  • Which goes against good morals
  • Which is identical or almost identical to a name that the Registrar General has already reserved for another company;
  • Which is identical with that of an existing company, or statutory corporation, or so nearly resembles that name as to be likely to mislead, except where the existing company or statutory corporation is in the course of being dissolved and signifies its consent in such manner as the Registrar General requires

After registration…

  • After successful registration, a certificate for business registration is downloadable from the account created by applicant in our registry, and displays all provided company details.
  • The new business owner needs to register with the Tax Administration within a period of seven (7) days from the beginning of the business.
  • If the projected annual revenue of newly registered company exceeds Rwf 20,000,000, business owner needs to register for the Value Added Tax (VAT)Read more
  • Work permit formalities for eligible new companies can be handled at the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration Head offices or at the RDB One Stop Centre. Read more\

Filing Annual Returns

Domestic companies with a turnover of less than 400,000,000

  • Income statements and statement of financial position
  • Resolutions for amendment , if any

Domestic companies with a turn over 400,000,000 and above

  • Income statements
  • Statement of financial position
  • Statement of cash flow
  • Statement of change in equity
  • Financial statement notes
  • Auditors and/or directors report
  • Resolutions for amendment if any

Holding Companies

  • Consolidated Income statements
  • Consolidated Statement of financial position
  • Consolidated Statement of cash flow
  • Consolidated Statement of change in equity
  • Financial statements notes
  • Auditors report
  • Resolutions for amendment if any

Foreign Companies

  • Income statements
  • Statement of financial position
  • Statement of cash flow
  • Statement of change in equity
  • Financial statements notes
  • Notice on the business particulars of the applying branch
  • Auditors report

Application for Good Standing Certificate


Provide income statements and statement of financial position for the last 2 previous years and provision for the current year.


  • File all annual returns, if applicant has never filed any
  • Income statement (profit and loss account) and statements of financial position (balance sheet) for current year, signed by company director or two directors (if applicable)

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