How to Start a PLC (Private Limited Company) in Ethiopia (particularly in Addis Ababa)

Private Limited Company is a popular incorporated business form in Ethiopia that can be established by a minimum of 2 and maximum of 50 persons. We give a brief account of what one needs to do to start a PLC in Addis Ababa. We focus on Addis Ababa, as the bulk of commercial activity in Ethiopia is done here.

Step 1: Preparing memorandum of association and articles of Association

Prepare a memorandum of association and articles of association. This can be done in Amharic or English. One can get samples from the Ministry of Trade and Industry or from the business centres located around the Documents Authentication and Registration Office.

Step 2: Checking the proposed name of the PLC

Take the draft copies of the memorandum of association and articles of association to the Ministry of Trade. They have an office on the ground floor of their building where they can check names. (Ministry of Trade's main office is located near Hilton Hotel besides Casanchis Super Market). The proposed name as shown on the documents will be checked and if it’s not taken, you will be given a letter addressed to the Documents Authentication and Registration Office. If it’s taken, you will be advised to change it.

Step 3: Process at the Documents Authentication and Registration Office

The Office is located on the second floor of Chelelek ALSAM Tower (the twin tower of the building where Ethiopian Commodity Exchange is located). It’s a one minute drive from Mexico Square on the way to Lideta.

You will submit the draft copies at office no. 201. You can get more information from there too. You will be sent to the appropriate desk and at this desk, the officer will go thorugh your drafts. The drafts will either be approved or you will be asked to correct them. Finally, if the officer is satisfied with your documents and all the shareholders are present with their ids or passports, you will be asked to sign the paper. (You have to have copies of your identity cards and passports along with the documents). Then you will be asked to pay. After payment, you have your PLC!

Cost: the total cost you have to pay at the Ministry of Trade is Br. Twenty Seven (ETB 27.00) and Br. Five hundred and fifty two (ETB 552) at the Documents Authentication and Registration Office. Of course, you may have to pay some money at the business centers and at the copy shop. That may take anything between Br. 10 to Br. 200.

Additional points:

You can mention as many types of business as possible in the documents as your intended areas of business. You may not immediately get registration and license for these businesses. You can get registration and license for the types of businesses you want to engage immediately (provided you have fulfilled the requirements). For further info on business registration and license regulation and procedures, pls check this page.

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