Laws & Regulation
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:
- Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act 2013, (Act 865)
- Technology Transfer Regulations, 1992, (LI 1547)
- 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:
- dividends or net profits attributable to the investment made in the enterprise;
- payments in respect of loan servicing where a foreign loan has been obtained;
- fees and charges in respect of a technology transfer agreement registered under this Act;
- 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|
|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|
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!”