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Foreign Direct Investment in Cameroon

Foreign investment in Cameroon business sector is comparably the most liberal when compared to other countries. The current position of the law is that foreign direct investment in Cameroon is open to any sector in the country. However, the law prohibit negative businesses like the production of arms and ammunition, production of narcotic drugs, military wears. The guarantee and assurances given to foreigners who invest in Cameroon economy includes:

  1. Repatriation of profits

  2. Free importation of capital into Cameroon economy

  3. Protection against nationalisation and guarantee of prompt and adequate compensation in event of nationalization.

  4. Dispute resolution process by arbitration

  5. Tax incentive

  6. Non-violation of international corporate practice.

Foreign Direct Investment

Foreign direct investment is direct investments by investors in Cameroon under a registered company. They may or may not have an already existing company in their home country. If there is no existing company, a Cameroonian company must be formed and registered in Cameroon and even if there is an existing foreign company, a new Cameroon company must be formed for the foreign company. Foreign direct Investment is the most popular and resourceful mode of foreign participation and it is responsible for great economic growth of Cameroon who has benefited immensely from foreign direct investments in Oil & Gas, Telecommunication, Aviation, Consumables, shipping, agricultural, real estate and Banking services.

Business in Cameroon

In doing business in Cameroon, a foreign investor must take steps to comply with all immigration requirements for foreign investment in Cameroon.

  • Business Permit in Cameroon: An expatriate who intends to do business in Cameroon or take over a company or practice a profession in Cameroon must obtain a business permit or be liable for deportation as a prohibited immigrant. Thus business permit is not required of a company with Nigerian membership but applies to wholly foreign company that intends doing business in Cameroon. The regulatory agency is the Cameroon immigration service.

  • Residence permit Cameroon: Resident permit is required for foreigners who visa stay have expired and as such need to change their status from a visitor to a resident. The Cameroon immigration service is seldom with this responsibility. An application in case of a student resident permit in Cameroon must be supported with an admission letter into the university, lease agreement, passport photograph, international passport or NIC and processing fee receipt.

  • Expatriate Quota & Work permit: Expatriate quota is permission is a permission given to a business concern to employ non-Cameroonians. Failure to obtain the prior permission before doing business in Cameroon is an offense which can lead to summary deportation of the expatriate. Work permit is granted in favour of the Company or for casual expatriate staff engaged to execute specific temporary assignment.

In commencing business in Cameroon, an investor can register a private company limited by shares or a public company limited company. The document required to register a company in Cameroon depends on the type of company. However these are some basic document required are:-

  1. Registered and stamp duty application

  2. Declaration and subscription for shares.

  3. Notarize attestation to deposit share capital in a bank

  4. Criminal record of shareholders from their country

  5. Contract of lease of business premises

  6. CTC of Passport or National Identity card.

  7. Notarized , Registered & Stamp duty Memorandum and Articles of Association

  8. Name of Company to be registered

  9. Name of Directors & shareholder

  10. Share Capital

  11. Memorandum & Article of Association

Post Incorporation activities include: – tax registration, tax payer card, registration with labour department and National Social Insurance fund. The Company upon registration can proceed and open a bank account in any commercial bank and do business in Cameroon. To ensure efficiency in corporate transactions, only legal practitioners are authorized to draft and notarized certain required documents for corporate transaction in Cameroon under SECTION 8(1) OF ORDINANCE No: 74/1 OF 6th JULY 1974.

As our corporate social responsibility, we encourage our clients to do due diligence and verification before embarking on heavy financial projects in Cameroon. The firm’s verification department is manned with very professional & ethical upright legal practitioners.

Article By: Barr Mafany Victor Ngando

Kinsmen Advocates

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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