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)
- 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)
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.
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.