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The Investment Process in South Sudan
ImageRepresentatives of USAID, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) released the report on the first ever complete appraisal and assessment of business regulations in Juba, South Sudan which became Africa’s newest nation.
The Doing Business in Juba 2011 report funded by USAID purposefully focused on nine areas that currently affect business operations namely; starting a business; dealing with construction permits; registering property; getting credit; protecting investors; paying taxes; trading across borders; enforcing contracts; and closing a business.
The current procedure of registering a limited liability company as endorsed by the World Bank, International Finance Corporation and the Government of South Sudan is outlined below;

Step 1
Reserve the company name at the Business Registry (Government of South Sudan) and pay the fee.
Time: 1 day
Cost: 15 SDG
Legislative comments:  Article 10.1 of the Registration of Business Names Act (2008) regulates the registration of business names. It is noted that the Business Registry applies it extensively.

Step 2
Prepare the company documents before an advocate
Time: 2 days
Cost: 2500 SDG
Legislative Comments: The use of an Advocate is optional by law (Article 17.2 Companies Act 2003 requires a statutory declaration regarding the particulars of the company by an advocate or the director or the secretary of the company. However the business registry in practice requires it to be done by an advocate (registered lawyer).

Step 3
 Apply for approval of the company registration at the Business Registry (Government of South Sudan) and pay the fee.
Legislative comments: Article 15-17 Companies Act 2003 establishes registration requirements for companies and contains statutory Memorandum and Articles of Association

Step 4
Pay the registration fees and obtain the Certificate of Incorporation from the Business Registry (Government of South Sudan).
Time: 1 day
Cost: 821 SDG
Comments: on completion of the application and approval, the entrepreneur pays the fee to obtain the Certificate of Incorporation.

Step 5
Obtain an Operating License from the Directorate of Trade and Supplies (State Government of Central Equatoria).
Time: 2 days
Cost: 2000 SDG
Legislative Comments: there appears to be no specific regulation concerning this procedure however the Directorate of Trade establishes the fees through appropriation bills i.e the Appropriation Bill (2009) Article 85 of the central Equatoria State Constitution (2006 as amended in 2008) provides the principle allowing the state to collect fees.

Step 6
Obtain a Trading License from the payam (County Authority).
Time: 2 days
Cost: 300 SDG
Legislative Comments: There is no specific regulation covering this procedure but Article 85 of the central Equatoria State Constitution (2006 as amended in 2008) provides the principle allowing the state to collect fees.

Step 7
Obtain a tax ID card and a Tax Clearance Certificate from the Revenue Authority (State Government of Central Equatoria).
Time: 1 day
Cost: 1050 SDG (800 SDG State Development Tax 150 SDG fee for Tax Clearance Certificate+90 SDG for Tax ID card 10 SDG Stamp Duty).
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KCB Bank in Juba
Legislative Comments: There is no specific regulation covering this procedure, but the Revenue Authority of Central Equatoria establishes the fees through the appropriation bills. In this case the Appropriation Bill 2009 Article 85 of the Central Equatoria State Constitution(2006 as amended in 2008) and the State Revenue Authority Act (2007, amended 2008), provide the general principles governing the Revenue Authority to collect fees.

Step 8
Register with the Ministry of Finance (Government of South Sudan) and obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN).
Time: 1 day
Cost: no cost
Legislative Comments: this was introduced with the enactment of the Taxation Act in 2009. Chapter III section 17 which establishes registration requirements.

Step 9
Register with the Ministry of Labour (Government of South Sudan)
Time: 1 day
Cost: no cost
Legislative Comments: Part X of the Labour Act of Sudan (1997) as amended establishes that the company must deposit and penalties regulations with the competent Labour Office.

Step 10
Open a separate bank account for social security payments.
Time: 1 day
Cost: no cost
Comments: At this time there is no social security fund administration or institution operating in South Sudan, in the interim the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development issued circular (Circular J/5/21, March 22, 2010) instructing companies to open a separate bank account to deposit social security payments until a new mechanism is formulated.

Step 11
Obtain a Company Seal
Time: 1 day
Cost: 90 SDG
Legislative Comments: Article 108.b Companies Act 2003 requires companies to obtain a company seal.
The Doing Business in Juba report, recommends reform in the procedure namely to improve access to information/publishing and regulation, streamlining procedures, and reducing the cost of starting a business.

According to the report US $ 3077 is required for business registration in Juba and 36.8% of monies paid account for advocate fees. Though the use of an advocate is optional by law, the Business Registry requires it. A proposed alternative is for the business Registry to encourage small and less complex companies to register without an advocate if they choose to, relying instead on standardized formats for the memorandum and Articles of association contained in the law.
Much still needs to be done to enact, harmonize and clarify all laws to enable for a conducive business environment for all entrepreneurs and to increase the capacity of institutions to provide and respond efficiently and competently to business needs in service provision.
The Doing a Business Report in Juba 2011 can be found at http://www.doingbusiness.org
 
 
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