Everything You Need to Know About Company Registration in Zimbabwe: Why Zimbabwe is the Best Choice
Published:2 May, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About Company Registration in Zimbabwe: Why Zimbabwe is the Best Choice


company registration in zimbabwe

company registration in zimbabwe

Are you considering starting a business in Zimbabwe but unsure about the company registration process? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about getting your company registered in Zimbabwe. From the benefits of doing business in this vibrant country to the step-by-step process of registration, we’ve got you covered. Discover why Zimbabwe is the best choice for your new venture and get ready to embark on an exciting entrepreneurial journey!

Introduction to Company Registration in Zimbabwe

Starting a business in any country requires proper planning and following of legal procedures. This is also the case for those looking to establish a company in Zimbabwe. In this section, we will provide you with all the essential information you need to know about company registration in Zimbabwe.

Company registration is the process of legally establishing a business entity and obtaining all necessary documents to operate within a specific country. In Zimbabwe, the principal law governing company registration is the Companies Act which was last amended in 2019. This act provides guidelines and regulations for individuals or businesses seeking to register their companies in Zimbabwe.

The first step towards company registration in Zimbabwe is deciding on the type of company structure that best suits your business needs. There are various types of companies that one can choose from, such as private, public, or foreign-owned companies. Each type has its own set of requirements and advantages, so it’s crucial to carefully consider which structure would be most suitable for your business.

Once you have identified your desired company structure, you need to come up with a unique name for your new venture. The proposed name must not already exist or resemble other existing registered names. The Registrar of Companies usually conducts a thorough search before approving a proposed name.

Next, you will need to prepare all necessary documentation required for submission during the application process. This includes forms provided by the Registrar of Companies, along with certified copies of IDs or passports for all directors and shareholders involved. A Memorandum and Articles of Association outlining the aims and objectives of your company must also be prepared.

It’s important to note that there are fees associated with registering a company in Zimbabwe. These include filing fees payable at different stages during the application process as well as initial licensing fees.

Once all documents have been submitted and approved by the Registrar of Companies, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation which officially recognizes your business as a legal entity under Zimbabwean law.

Company registration in Zimbabwe is a straightforward process that requires proper preparation and adherence to legal guidelines. By following the necessary steps and fulfilling all requirements, you can establish your business in this beautiful country with ease. In the following sections, we will dive deeper into the advantages of choosing Zimbabwe as your preferred location for company registration.

Importance of Registering a Company

The importance of registering a company cannot be stressed enough, especially in a country like Zimbabwe. Company registration is the process by which a business entity officially becomes recognized as a legal and separate entity from its owners. It is a crucial step that every aspiring entrepreneur must take before commencing their operations.

Firstly, registering a company provides it with legal recognition and protection. In Zimbabwe, only registered companies are given the rights and benefits of being an incorporated entity. This includes having limited liability, meaning that the personal assets of the shareholders are protected in the event of any debts or legal issues faced by the company.

Moreover, registering a company also helps to establish credibility and trust in the eyes of customers, suppliers, investors, and potential business partners. Having an official registration number adds legitimacy to your business and creates an impression of professionalism. This can be beneficial when seeking partnerships or applying for contracts.

Furthermore, registering a company allows for easier access to funding opportunities through loans or investments. Most financial institutions require businesses to be registered before considering them for loans or other forms of investment. By having proper documentation and proof of registration, you increase your chances of obtaining financial support for your business endeavors.

Another significant advantage of registering a company is tax benefits. Registered companies in Zimbabwe benefit from various tax incentives provided by the government to promote economic growth. These incentives include lower tax rates on profits and exemptions from certain taxes until after they have turned profitable.

Additionally, registering a company also opens up opportunities for government tenders and contracts which are exclusively reserved for registered companies only. This can provide a significant boost to your business’s growth and stability.

Apart from these practical advantages, there are also intangible factors at play when it comes to registering your company in Zimbabwe. By making your business official through formal registration processes, you show commitment towards achieving success as an entrepreneur. It also demonstrates compliance with laws and regulations set by governing bodies- something that is highly valued in the business world.

Registering a company in Zimbabwe is not just a legal requirement but also an essential step towards building a successful and sustainable business. It provides numerous benefits such as legal protection, credibility, access to funding, tax incentives, and more significant growth opportunities. Therefore, it is crucial for all entrepreneurs to prioritize this process and ensure that their businesses are registered before commencing operations.

Why Choose Zimbabwe for Company Registration?

Zimbabwe is a country known for its diverse economy, rich culture, and natural resources. It has become an increasingly popular destination for investors looking to establish their businesses in Africa. In this section, we will explore the reasons why Zimbabwe is the best choice for company registration and why you should consider setting up your business here.

Ease of Doing Business

Zimbabwe has made significant improvements in its business environment over the years, making it easier to conduct business activities within the country. The government has implemented various reforms, such as streamlining procedures and reducing bureaucratic barriers, to facilitate a more conducive climate for foreign investment. As a result, Zimbabwe was ranked 140 out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index for 2020.

Political Stability

Unlike some other African countries that have experienced political instability and unrest, Zimbabwe has maintained a relatively stable political climate. This stability has been crucial in creating a favorable environment for doing business and attracting foreign investments.

Strategic Location

Located in southern Africa, Zimbabwe enjoys a strategic position with easy access to neighboring countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, and Botswana. This geographical advantage makes it an ideal location for businesses looking to expand their operations into other African markets.

Low Start-up Costs

The cost of starting and running a business in Zimbabwe is significantly lower than many other countries in Southern Africa. Land rentals rates are competitive compared to neighboring countries like South Africa while labor costs are also attractively low.

Abundance of Natural Resources

Zimbabwe boasts abundant mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, platinum among others which present lucrative investment opportunities particularly in extractive industries like mining. Apart from minerals there is also immense potential within sectors such as agriculture tourism that can be tapped by investors looking to register companies in these areas.

Supportive Government Policies

The government of Zimbabwe continually introduces new incentives and policies aimed at promoting foreign investment and improving the ease of doing business. These include tax incentives, duty-free import of capital equipment and raw materials, investment guarantees, and protection against expropriation.

Investor-Friendly Environment

Zimbabwe has a young and educated workforce that is highly skilled, motivated, and willing to embrace change. Additionally, the country has a robust telecommunications infrastructure with high internet penetration rates making it easier for businesses to operate efficiently.

Zimbabwe has a lot to offer for businesses looking to register in Africa. With its ease of doing business, political stability, strategic location, low start-up costs, natural resources abundance coupled with supportive government policies and an investor-friendly environment; there is no doubt that it is an excellent choice for company registration. Investing in Zimbabwe will not only open up opportunities within the country but also give you access to other African markets making it a wise decision for any entrepreneur or business owner.

Types of Companies in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a rapidly growing economy in Africa, with numerous opportunities for businesses to thrive. As such, it is important for entrepreneurs and investors to understand the different types of companies that they can register in Zimbabwe. In this section, we will discuss the various company structures available in Zimbabwe.

Private Limited Companies:

Private limited companies are by far the most popular type of company registered in Zimbabwe. This structure limits its shareholders’ liability to their investment in the company, providing them with limited protection against any legal actions or financial losses incurred by the company. Private limited companies have a minimum requirement of one director and one shareholder, with no upper limit on either.

Public Limited Companies:

Public Limited Companies (PLCs) are similar to private limited companies but differ in that they can offer shares to the general public through an initial public offering (IPO). This type of structure is suited for larger businesses seeking substantial capital from a wide range of investors. PLCs require at least three directors and seven shareholders, with no maximum limit.


Foreign companies looking to establish a presence and conduct business in Zimbabwe can register as branches rather than creating a new entity altogether. A branch must be registered within 28 days from commencing operations in order to conduct business legally within the country.


Partnerships are another option for conducting business in Zimbabwe, where two or more people come together and pool resources towards running a business without creating a separate legal entity. Partnerships provide flexibility and shared profits among partners; however, partners also share unlimited liability for debts incurred by the partnership.

Sole Proprietorships:

A sole proprietorship is similar to partnerships except that it has only one owner responsible for all aspects of running the business. It does not create a separate legal entity and provides minimal liability protection since there is no distinction between personal assets and those of the business.


Co-operatives are non-profit organizations owned and operated by a group of individuals with similar interests. Co-operatives are particular popular in the agricultural sector, where farmers come together to collectively sell their produce or purchase supplies at a lower cost.

There are various types of companies that can be registered in Zimbabwe, each with its own unique structure and benefits. It is essential for entrepreneurs and investors to thoroughly understand these structures before registering their company in order to make an informed decision on which type best suits their business goals. Consider seeking professional advice when choosing a company structure to ensure compliance with all legal requirements and maximize success in this vibrant economy.

Private Limited Companies (Pvt. Ltd)

Private Limited Companies, also known as Pvt. Ltd companies, are one of the most popular forms of business structures in Zimbabwe. As the name suggests, these companies have limited liability and operate privately within the country.

To register a Pvt. Ltd company in Zimbabwe, you need at least two directors and two shareholders who can be individuals or corporate bodies. This requirement ensures that there is a balance of power and decision making within the company.

One of the main benefits of registering a Pvt. Ltd company is the concept of limited liability. This means that the personal assets of shareholders are protected in case the company faces financial difficulties or is sued by creditors. The shareholders’ liability is only limited to their shareholding in the company, providing a sense of security for investors.

Moreover, Pvt. Ltd companies enjoy perpetual existence, meaning that they continue to exist even after changes in ownership or management occur. This gives them stability and helps build trust with clients and partners.

In terms of taxation, Pvt. Ltd companies are subject to corporate tax rates which currently stand at 25%. However, they also qualify for various tax incentives and deductions offered by the government to promote business growth and development.

Another advantage of establishing a Pvt.Ltd company is its ability to raise capital through share offerings without diluting ownership control among existing shareholders. This makes it an attractive option for entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses through investments from outside sources.

Furthermore, Pty Limited companies have fewer compliance requirements compared to public listed companies which must adhere to strict regulations imposed by regulatory bodies such as stock exchanges. This reduces administrative burden on small businesses trying to establish themselves in the market.

However, there are certain limitations when it comes to operating a private limited company in Zimbabwe. For instance, Pty Limited companies cannot publicly trade their shares on any stock exchange or offer initial public offerings (IPO). They also cannot have more than fifty shareholders at any given time according to Zimbabwean laws.

Registering a Pvt. Ltd company in Zimbabwe provides numerous benefits and incentives for entrepreneurs. From limited liability to perpetual existence and ease of capital raising, it is no surprise that this form of business structure remains a popular choice among aspiring business owners in the country.

Public Limited Companies (PLC)

Public limited companies (PLC) are one of the most common forms of business structures in Zimbabwe. They are also known as publicly traded companies, meaning they have issued shares that can be bought and sold by members of the public on a stock exchange. PLCs offer many benefits to entrepreneurs and investors, making them an attractive choice for company registration in Zimbabwe.

One major advantage of PLCs is the ability to raise capital from a large number of shareholders. As a public company, a PLC has access to the public stock market where it can issue shares to raise funds for growth and expansion. This makes it easier for PLCs to raise significant amounts of capital compared to other business structures such as sole proprietorships or partnerships.

Another benefit is that PLCs have a separate legal identity from its owners or shareholders. This means that the company is responsible for its debts and liabilities and not its individual shareholders. In case of any financial difficulties or legal issues, the personal assets of shareholders remain protected.

PLCs also have greater credibility and visibility in the eyes of potential customers, suppliers, and partners. The fact that they are listed on a stock exchange indicates that they meet certain requirements set by regulatory authorities, which gives stakeholders confidence in their operations and financial stability.

Moreover, being a public company provides access to highly skilled professionals who may be willing to serve on the board or management team due to better remuneration packages offered by these larger organizations. This allows PLCs to attract top talent and expertise necessary for their growth.

However, registering a PLC involves meeting stricter compliance requirements compared to other business structures in Zimbabwe such as private limited companies (Pty Ltd). These include mandatory audits, disclosures, reporting standards, and strict corporate governance regulations set by bodies such as Securities Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ). Compliance with these regulations helps create more transparency and accountability within the organization.

Public Limited Companies offer many advantages including easy access to capital, separate legal identity, credibility, and access to top talent. However, these benefits come with greater responsibilities in terms of compliance. Therefore, entrepreneurs considering company registration in Zimbabwe should carefully weigh the pros and cons of setting up a PLC and ensure they are ready to meet the regulatory requirements.

Sole Proprietorship

Sole Proprietorship is the simplest and most common form of business structure in Zimbabwe. It refers to a one-person ownership of a business, where the owner has complete control and responsibility for all aspects of the business. This individual is known as the sole proprietor or sole trader.

Registering a sole proprietorship in Zimbabwe is relatively easy and straightforward. The requirements include completing an application form, providing proof of identity such as a national ID or passport, proof of residence, and payment of registration fees. There are no share capital requirements for this type of business structure.

One of the main benefits of registering a sole proprietorship in Zimbabwe is the ease and speed with which it can be done. It takes only 48 hours to complete the registration process, making it an attractive option for entrepreneurs who want to start their businesses quickly.

Another advantage is that as a sole proprietor, you have full control over your business decisions without having to consult with other shareholders or directors. This allows for quick decision-making and flexibility in operations.

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider when choosing a sole proprietorship as your preferred business structure. For instance, there is no legal distinction between your personal assets and those of your business. In other words, if your business incurs any debts or legal liabilities, you will be personally responsible for settling them. This could potentially put your personal assets at risk.

Additionally, operating as a sole proprietor may limit your access to financing options compared to other company structures such as partnerships and corporations. Banks may view these types of businesses as less stable due to their reliance on one individual’s resources and skills.

Sole proprietors also miss out on some tax advantages that corporations enjoy; however, they have fewer filing requirements which can save time and costs associated with compliance.

Registering a sole proprietorship in Zimbabwe offers simplicity and speed in terms of set up but comes with its limitations such as personal liability and reduced access to financing options. It is an ideal business structure for micro or small businesses with low-risk profiles. However, if your goal is to grow your business into a larger enterprise, it may be wise to consider other company structures that offer more protection and potential for expansion.

Steps for Registering a Company in Zimbabwe

Registering a company in Zimbabwe may seem like a daunting task, but with the right guidance and understanding of the process, it can be straightforward and hassle-free. In this section, we will break down the steps for registering a company in Zimbabwe, ensuring that you have all the necessary information to successfully register your business.

Step 1: Choose your company name

The first step in registering a company in Zimbabwe is choosing a unique name for your business. The chosen name should not already exist or be similar to any existing companies registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). It is also important to ensure that your chosen company name does not violate any trademark or copyright laws.

Step 2: Reserve your company name

Once you have decided on a suitable name for your business, you must reserve it with CIPC. This reservation ensures that no one else can use your chosen name while you complete the registration process. The reservation process typically takes around 21 days and can be done online through the CIPC website.

Step 3: Prepare necessary documents

After reserving your company name, you will need to prepare documents required for registration. These include a memorandum of incorporation (MOI), identity documents of directors and shareholders, proof of address, and audited financial statements if applicable.

Step 4: Appointing Directors

Every company registered in Zimbabwe needs at least two directors who are natural persons above the age of 18. One director must be a resident in Zimbabwe.

Step 5: Open bank account

Before completing the registration process, companies are required to open a corporate bank account with a reputable Zimbabwean bank. This is where all funds related to the operations of your business will be deposited.

Step 6: Submitting application form

After preparing all necessary documents mentioned above, an application form must be submitted to CIPC along with proof of payment for registration fees. The current fee for registering a company in Zimbabwe is USD $100.

Step 7: Wait for approval

After submitting your application, you will need to wait for the CIPC to approve your registration. This process can take anywhere from five days to four weeks, depending on any potential issues that may arise during the review of your application.

Step 8: Collecting certificate of incorporation

Once your registration is approved, you will receive a certificate of incorporation from the CIPC, officially recognizing your business as a registered entity in Zimbabwe.

Registering a company in Zimbabwe requires careful planning and adherence to regulations set by the government. By following these steps and being thorough in preparing all necessary documents, you can successfully register your company and become part of the thriving business landscape in Zimbabwe.

Choosing a Business Name

One of the most important steps in registering a company in Zimbabwe is choosing the right business name. Your company’s name is not only the first thing that potential customers will see, but it also serves as your brand identity. In this section, we will discuss some key points to consider when choosing a business name for your company in Zimbabwe.

1. Be Unique and Memorable

It is essential to choose a unique and memorable business name that sets you apart from competitors. A generic or common name can easily get lost in a sea of similar businesses and may not leave a lasting impression on potential customers. Avoid using names that are too long or complicated, as they can be challenging for people to remember.

2. Consider Your Target Market

Your business name should resonate with your target market and appeal to them. For example, if your business caters primarily to young professionals, you may want to choose a modern and trendy-sounding name. On the other hand, if you are targeting older adults, you may want to opt for something more traditional.

3. Reflect Your Company’s Purpose

Your business’s purpose should be reflected in its name – this helps convey what products or services your company offers at first glance. It is essential to choose a relevant and meaningful name that aligns with your company’s values.

4. Check Availability

Before finalizing your chosen business name, it is crucial to check its availability through the Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (ZIPO). This step ensures that no other registered companies have a similar or identical business name in Zimbabwe.

5. Trademark Your Business Name

To protect your company’s brand identity further, consider trademarking your chosen business name in addition to registering it with ZIPO during the incorporation process.

6.Professionalism Matters:

Choose a professional-sounding and appropriate business name for your industry; avoid using offensive language or names that could be misinterpreted easily. This will not only help build a positive image for your company but also ensure that your business name does not hinder any potential partnerships or collaborations.

Choosing a business name is one of the initial and crucial steps in registering a company in Zimbabwe. Taking the time to carefully consider various factors can help ensure that you select the best name for your company, setting it up for success in the competitive business landscape of Zimbabwe.

Obtaining a Certificate of Incorporation

Obtaining a Certificate of Incorporation is one of the most important steps in registering a company in Zimbabwe. This document serves as proof that your company has been officially incorporated and is recognized by the government. Without it, your business will not be able to operate legally or enjoy the benefits and protections that come with being a registered entity.

The first step in obtaining a Certificate of Incorporation is choosing a unique name for your company. In Zimbabwe, all companies are required to have unique names that are not already registered or reserved by another entity. You can check for availability of your desired name through the Registrar of Companies or on their online portal.

Once you have confirmed the availability of your chosen name, you must prepare and submit the necessary documents to the Registrar of Companies. These documents include an application form, memorandum and articles of association, notice of registered office address, director’s consent forms, and payment receipts for registration fees.

The memorandum and articles of association outline the rules and regulations by which your company will operate. The notice of registered office address provides information about where your company will be located. It is important to note that this address must be a physical location within Zimbabwe.

After submitting these documents, you must also pay registration fees which vary depending on the proposed share capital of your company. This can range from $100 USD for companies with a share capital below $1,000 USD up to $20,000 USD for companies with share capital above $1 million USD.

Once all documents have been submitted and fees paid, it may take up to 10 working days for the Registrar’s office to process your application and issue a Certificate of Incorporation if everything is deemed satisfactory.

It is important to ensure that all information provided in your application is accurate as any mistakes or omissions may result in delays or rejection of your application. It is also recommended to seek professional legal advice during this process to avoid any potential issues or complications.

Obtaining a Certificate of Incorporation is a crucial step in the company registration process in Zimbabwe. It not only provides legal recognition and authorization to operate, but also opens up opportunities for your business to access financial and government support, enter contracts, and build trust with potential clients and partners. Therefore, it is important to carefully follow all necessary steps and requirements to ensure a smooth and successful incorporation process.

Registering for Taxes

When it comes to starting a business in Zimbabwe, one of the most important steps is registering for taxes. This process is not only mandatory but also essential for the smooth operation of your business. In this section, we will discuss everything you need to know about registering for taxes in Zimbabwe.

Firstly, it is important to note that all businesses are required by law to register for taxes with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA). This includes companies, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. The registration process can be done either online or in person at any ZIMRA office across the country.

The first step to registering for taxes is obtaining a tax identification number (TIN) from ZIMRA. This unique number will identify your business and will be used in all tax-related transactions. To obtain a TIN, you will need to provide the following documents:

1. Proof of registration of your company – this can be in the form of a certificate of incorporation or partnership agreement.
2. National identity documents or passports for all directors/partners.
3. Company address and contact details.

Once you have obtained your TIN, you will then need to register for various types of taxes depending on the nature of your business activities. These include Value Added Tax (VAT), Income Tax, Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Capital Gains Tax (CGT), and Withholding Taxes.

To register for VAT, your business must have an annual turnover exceeding ZWL$600 000 while those with an annual turnover below this threshold can choose to voluntarily register for VAT if they wish to claim input tax credits on their expenses.

For income tax registration, companies are required to submit an annual return showing their profits or losses within six months after their financial year-end. Additionally, businesses with employees must register for PAYE which is deducted directly from their employees’ salaries and paid to ZIMRA.

Companies selling assets and properties need to register for CGT while those making payments to non-resident persons or companies are required to register for withholding taxes.

It is important to note that failure to register for taxes or comply with tax obligations in Zimbabwe can result in penalties and even legal action. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your business is registered for all relevant taxes and files its tax returns on time.

Registering for taxes in Zimbabwe is a necessary step when starting a business. It not only ensures compliance with the law but also allows your business to operate smoothly without any interruptions from ZIMRA. Make sure you follow the necessary steps and seek professional guidance if needed to ensure a hassle-free registration process.

Opening a business in Zimbabwe is a promising decision for entrepreneurs looking to expand their operations or enter into a new market. As one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, Zimbabwe offers numerous opportunities for businesses to thrive and succeed. In addition to its strategic location and natural resources, the government has made significant efforts to create a conducive environment for businesses through favorable policies and reforms.

The process of company registration in Zimbabwe is relatively straightforward and efficient, making it an attractive choice for both local and foreign investors. The first step towards opening a business in Zimbabwe is to choose the appropriate legal structure for your company. This can be either as a limited liability company (LLC), private limited company (Pvt Ltd), sole proprietorship, or partnership.

For foreign investors, setting up an LLC or Pvt Ltd is the recommended option as these legal structures provide limited liability protection, meaning personal assets are not at risk if the business fails. Additionally, Pty Ltd companies need a minimum of two directors and shareholders, with at least one director being resident in Zimbabwe.

After choosing the legal structure of your company, the next step is acquiring all necessary documents required for registration. These include a certified copy of passports or national IDs for directors and shareholders, proof of address/lease agreement of registered office premises, memorandum and articles of association signed by all shareholders/directors/partners, tax clearance certificate from relevant authorities,and filling out Form CR14 which provides details such as share capital structure and directors’ information.

Once all necessary documents have been obtained and filled out correctly, they must be submitted along with an application fee to the Companies Office located within Harare’s Central Business District. The Registrar will then verify all information on the forms before issuing a Certificate of Incorporation upon approval.

It is worth noting that registering your company with other relevant statutory bodies such as ZIMRA (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority)and NSSA (National Social Security Authority) may also be required, depending on the nature of your business. These registrations are necessary for tax and social security purposes and must be completed within a specified time after company registration.

Companies looking to operate in Zimbabwe can benefit tremendously from its business-friendly environment and growing economy. With the right legal structure, proper documentation, and adherence to relevant regulations, the process of company registration in Zimbabwe can be relatively smooth and open up a world of opportunities for entrepreneurs. So why wait? Take advantage of what this beautiful country has to offer and start your journey towards success by registering your company in Zimbabwe today!


company registration in zimbabwe

company registration in zimbabwe


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