As a foreign investor, you will need to register your company as either local or external company as a limited liability company through company incorporation process.
A local company is defined as a company incorporated under the Malawi Companies Act. For all intents and purposes this means and relates to a local company that is formed or becomes a body corporate under the Companies Act, Cap. 46: 03 of the laws of Malawi.
A local company registration requires submission to the Registrar of Companies the following:
Government fees: Registration fees for Local Company Registration is MWK50, 000 and Registration for Foreign Company is MWK100, 000.
An External Company is defined as a body corporate formed outside Malawi which establishes or maintains an established place of business in Malawi. ‘Established place of business’ entails any fixed place of business except an agency unless the Agent has general authority to negotiate and conclude contracts on behalf of that body corporate or maintains a stock of its goods from which the Agent regularly fulfils orders on its behalf.
An external company registration requires the following:
Malawi Investment and Trade Centre has got section called the One Stop Service Centre (OSSC) which hosts a specialist from the Registrar of Companies who will be in a position to facilitate this process for you.
All investors are required to obtain an Investment Certificate before they establish their business in Malawi. Prospective investors are required to put up investments of not less than US$ 50,000 as minimum investment capital to be able to obtain an investment certificate from the Malawi Investment and Trade Center (MITC). To obtain this certificate the following should be submitted to MITC:
The application fee for the certificate is US $200 and issuance fee is US$ 800. The application fee of US$200 is paid to MITC at the time that the application pack is being submitted. The issuance fee of US$ 800 is payable upon the approval and collection of the Investment Certificate.
The Internal Approval Committee (IAC) hosted within MITC appraises the projects for approval or rejection. All applications submitted to MITC are processed by the committee. Issuance period of the certificate is within 5 working days. Once the certificate is approved, MITC assists investors to get any additional licenses and permits that the investors might need to start their operations.
Once an investor obtains an investment certificate, one is required to get a Business Resident Permit that allows him/her to be based in the country to carry out his/her operations. The following documents should be submitted in duplicates for the application:
For all key and time posts there is need to obtain Temporary Employment Permits. The key post permits are valid for 2 years and renewable whilst time post can be renewed up to three times. The following documents have to be submitted in duplicates to MITC;
All those on time posts need to have an understudy who has to take over the post. This has to be done after 6 years because TEPs cannot be renewed for more than 6 years.
The applications are then submitted to MITC then forwarded to Department of Immigration with a recommendation for approval.
The investor is required to pay a non-refundable processing fee of US$100. When applications are approved, the investor can proceed to open a bank account with the Malawian commercial banks and can also register with the Reserve Bank of Malawi.
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