A person or group of persons desiring to set up a new business or to register an existing one has a number of business structure options available to them. Each business structure has its own merits and demerits as well as its legal and economic implications.


The majority of business operations in Ghana are unincorporated sole proprietorships. They normally deal in a wide range of productive and commercial activities, including agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, commerce and other services. Many of these unincorporated businesses are located in homes, market stalls, or operated by mobile vendors.

In principle, every person in Ghana is free to engage in any kind of lawful business activity. Ghana law does not require the registration of merchants or classes of businessmen. Commercial law is a part of the general law of the country and not as the law of a particular class of persons. There is no special body of rules regulating sole proprietorships; the general commercial law principles apply. The conflict between ownership and management, which is a feature of company law, does not arise and there is no need for special rules to protect creditors because the trader is fully liable for the debts of his business.




  • The sole proprietor business is the most common for micro and small enterprises in Ghana. The registration procedure for a sole proprietor business is less complicated And less costly than for a company limited by shares or by guarantee. The sole proprietor must register at the Registrar-General’s Department and must complete 5 copies of Form A with the following details:
  • Tax Identification Number (Tin)
  • Name
  • Birth Information (Date, Town, Region, Sex)
  • Nationality
  • Civil status
  • Business name
  • General nature of business
  • Full address Principal place of business
  • All other place at which business is carried out
  • Date of commencement of the business

The business must have commenced before registration is effected. Each proprietor is required under the Registration of Business names Act to renew the registration of their business once every year. If the name consists merely of the sole proprietor’s surname without any additions apart from all of his true personal name or names or his initial.