Includes steps involved in establishing a local office.

Establishing an office in the DRC is a complex and time-consuming undertaking.  Residency permit requirements, domestic labor regulations, and tax regulations change with little advance notice or without official notification or announcement.  Seeking out an attorney with local and commercial legal experience is critical.
Additionally, joining a local business or commercial association may ease the burden of remaining in compliance with national and local regulations and provide valuable connections. 


To reduce the burden of opening a business, the GDRC signed a decree on November 1, 2012 creating a “Guichet Unique,” a single point (“one-stop shop”) for business creation.  The Guichet Unique launched in April 2013, becoming the only authority to perform essential formalities for business creation with the aim of approving business applications within three business days from receipt.  The National Agency for Investment Promotion (ANAPI) provides assistance to investors who are interested in doing business in the DRC.  In order to benefit from incentives under the DRC’s Investment Code (which include customs duty and tax exemptions), investors need to submit a business plan and a $ 1,000 fee to ANAPI to assess eligibility; businesses investing less than $ 200,000 pay a $ 500 fee for the assessment.  According to current regulations, the ANAPI has 30 days to decide on an investment project.

Steps to establish a business in the DRC:

  • Complete the application form at the Guichet Unique or online Guichet Unique
  • Submit the application with other required documentation at the Guichet Unique or register online;
  • Seek a receipt from the Guichet Unique and pay required fees at a designated bank;
  • Request a registration certificate from the Trade and Personal Property Credit Register.
Required application information:
  • For corporations: Completed application form, four copies of the company’s charter, a Statement of Subscription (document showing shareholding structure), proof of available capital, the signature of the manager, and copies of identity documents of the business manager and shareholders;
  • For sole proprietors: A copy of the applicant’s identity document, criminal record, proof of residence, and signature.

Note: Corporations pay the Guichet Unique fee of $110 to certify the company’s charter, register at the Trade and Personal Property Credit Register, publish the company’s charter in the Official Journal, and obtain authorization and a business license.  Sole proprietorships pay $ 40 to receive a National Identification Number, business registration, and authorization to open business.  There is no minimum capital requirement for corporations. Limited liability companies must provide capital of at least $20,000.

In addition to the aforementioned application requirements, some sectors have additional requirements for starting and conducting commercial activities. 


Mining

A. To open a mining trading post, one must concurrently apply at the Ministry of Mines and the Mining Service Department. The application should have the following elements:
For sole proprietorships:
  • A copy of the applicant’s identity card or the resident card
  • Three copies of the applicant’s passport biographic data page
  • Certified copy of the Trade and Personal Credit Register (RCCM)
  • A valid fiscal attestation showing tax records
  • Banking references
  • $ 50,000 deposit for diamond trading, $ 25,000 for gold trading
  • Evidence of the ability to pay the DRC Treasury an annual royalty of $ 200,000 for diamond trading and $ 50,000 for gold
  • Criminal record from country of residence


Corporations:

  • RCCM certification
  • Notarized statutes with proof of deposit
  • National identification number
  • Fiscal attestation
  • Banking references
  • Evidence of a deposit of $ 50,000 for diamond trading post and $ 25,000 for gold one
  • Evidence of the ability to pay the DRC Treasury an annual royalty of $ 200,000 for diamond trading and $ 50,000 for gold


Conditions for Diamond and Gold trading:

  • Trading post may only operate in Kinshasa or the immediate zone of the mine
  • The agreement is valid for one year and is renewable
  • All buyers must have official ID cards issued by the Ministry of Mines
  • Diamond and gold exporters must pay taxes at 1.25 percent of the export value
  • The minimum purchase for a gold trading post is 25 kilograms per month
  • The minimum purchase for a diamond trading post is:
    •  First quarter: $ 10,500,000
    •  Second quarter: $ 12,000,000
    •  Third quarter: $ 15,000,000
    •  Fourth quarter: $ 10,500,000


Forestry & Logging

  1. Forest operations: 
  • Obtain operational authorization from the Ministry of Environment’s Direction of Forest Management
  • Official fees:    
    • For royalty on forest concession: $ 0.50 per hectare for industrial logging
    • For cutting down timber:  1.25 percent ex-works value per cubic meter of rough timber
    • For license of traditional cutting down of timber:  $50 per hectare.         
  1. Lumber exportation:
  • Obtain a purchasing contract from the Ministry of Environment’s Forest Management Department. Official Fee:
    • $2,500 per contract for artisanal lumber with official permit from the Ministry of Environment
    • $3,000 per contract for concessionaires with official forest title from the Ministry of Environment
    • $10,000 per contract for other business people/non-official loggers.
C. Reforestation: Obtain a concession contract from the Ministry of Environment. Official Fee for the reforestation tax:
  • 4 percent  ex-works value per cubic meter of rough timber
  • 2 percent ex-works value per cubic meter of exported rough timber
  • Official fee for the wood-cutting tax: $2 per hectare


Banking

Starting September 2017, the Central Bank of Congo (BCC) requires shareholders to have minimum capital of $30 million to start a commercial bank.  Those seeking to launch commercial banks in the DRC must also obtain a Presidential authorization through the BCC.
 
Official Fees:
  • Initial Agreement Fee (Governor of BCC acceptance of the project):  $2,195
  • Obtain final agreement from BCC:  $300,000 (which represents 1 percent of minimum capital required prior to opening a bank


Transportation

A.  Air transport:
  • Import aircraft: Authorization from the Ministry of Transport’s Civil Aviation Division
  • Evaluation: $10,600 to $12,600
  • Official Fee: From  $2,000 to $6,000
  • Aircraft registration: Authorization from the Ministry of Transport’s Civil Aviation Division
  • Official fee: From $300 to $6,000
  • Operating License: Authorization from Ministry of Transport’s Civil
  • Aviation Division
  • Evaluation: $5,000
  • Official Fee: $ 5,000
  • Additional fees: $30,000 to $3,000,000 (based on the number of passengers and weight of the aircraft).
  • The civil aviation authority is planning to issue Air Operator Certificates (AOC) to all DRC airlines in 2017.  Those without an AOC will not be allowed to operate.
B. Road Transport:
  • Authorization to transport passengers: Obtain from the Ministry of Transport’s Office for Road Transport (ORT)
  • Official Fee: Ranges from $20 to 50 annually
  • Authorization to transport goods: Obtain from the ORT
  • Official Fee: Ranges from $35 to 100 annually
  • Authorization for international transport: Obtain from the ORT
  • Official Fee: Up to $100 annually
  • Travel warrant of international transport: Obtain from the ORT
  • Official Fee: $10 annually
  • Toll for foreign vehicles at border crossings
  • Official Fee paid per turnpike:
    • Car:                       $20
    • Small Truck:                   $30
    • Truck:                             $30
    • Tractor:                 $50
  • Technical control certificate: Obtain from the ORT
  • Official Fee: Ranges from $7 to 15 annually
  • Driving license for roadways and railways: Obtain from the ORT
  • Official Fee: Ranges from $20 to 75 annually


Telecommunication

The Authority of Regulation of Posts and Telecommunications (ARPTC) prepares the license and specifications, which are then approved and signed by the Ministry of Post, Telephone and Telecommunication and published in the official journal.
The main procedures to operate in the telecommunication industry under the public service concession are as follows:
  • Obtain a license specifying frequency
  • Create business as a limited liability company
Internet Service Providers
The following steps are required to operate an Internet network:
  • Submit an application to the ARTC
  • Meet the ARTC licensing requirements

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Congo Kinshasa Business Registration