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INVESTMENT LAW IN CAMEROON [2023]

Company Registration in Cameroon

This highlights on investment law in Cameroon and the legal framework of investing in Cameroon.

Globalization is not just a word or a trend. At present, it is the surname of the economy. The ability to spot the best place to invest and to negotiate aggressively and sharply with local authorities is a must for globetrotter investors. To play this game, governmental bodies, at a central or regional level, are competing directly to maintain their investments and to attract new investors. The new boundaries of investment are far beyond the limits of the western world. Africa and Asia are feeling the pulse of globalization.

Formal Discussions

Lawyers at Prime Time Law offices have a unique experience in this area as they mainly advise foreign investors in the various jurisdictions where established.
In some African jurisdictions, Prime Time Law office has led the way by advising the first and more significant foreign investment projects. A deep knowledge of the legal framework of each country and a vast experience in representing foreign investors´ interests before the governments and local Authorities are part of our firm’s track record.

From highly and complex regulated markets, like the energy, finance, and insurance markets, to agricultural and tourism projects, our team of lawyers has been providing for years top legal support to foreign investors.

Why should I invest in Cameroon as a foreigner?

Cameroon legal systems have setup incentives that act like pull factors to attract investors in Cameroon to wit,

The Investment Code:

  1. The investment code is governed by ordinance № 90/7 of 8 November 1990 and its subsequent amendments. The code aims at encouraging and promoting investments in Cameroon. It also guarantees free transfer for foreign investors of any proceeds from their invested capital including the funds remaining after liquidation.
    Furthermore, companies whose finished or semi-finished products are processed in Cameroon are exempted from export duties, insurance, and transportation charges when exporting these products. These companies are also granted export facilities in the form of a deduction from their taxable income.
  2. The Free Zone Regime.

  3. The Free Zone Regime otherwise known as Industrial Free Trade Zones aims at promoting new investments, facilitating export developments, and creating new jobs. The Free Trade or Free Zone Regime is to the effect that any investor wishing to invest in Cameroon is exempted from customs duties and from paying taxes for 10 years if that investor decides to trade under this regime. Furthermore, Industrial Free Zone companies are free
    to undertake any kind of industrial and commercial activity as well as render any kind of services therewith.
    A company seeking establishment within an Industrial Free Zone must submit a complete application to the National Office for Industrial Free Zone (NOIFZ) which shall be later forwarded to the Ministry of Commercial and Industrial Development assuring that the products to be manufactured are legal. A certificate of compliance is granted or rejected within 30 days by the Minister. If after these days there is no response, then a certificate of compliance is presumed to have been granted.
    As already mentioned above, the 1st ten (10) years after the incorporation of the company are all free. It is only as of the 11th (11) year that the company is subject to taxation. However, taxes are very minimal.
    Taxes shall be levied concerning their turnover profits. Companies shall be taxed 15% only of their turnover profit.
  4. Financial Policy:

  5. The financial policy for the year 2007 instituted a two (2) years tax exoneration program for those wishing to incorporate a business in Cameroon. Note that all stamp duties involved in the registration process are not free. It is only after registration and upon proof of an incorporation certificate at the taxation office that a company begins to enjoy these two years of tax holiday. This policy tends to encourage foreign investors to invest within the country.
    Furthermore, many structures have been put in place to promote transparency in finances by fighting against corruption. For example, the National Anti-Corruption Commission better known by its French acronym CONAC has been instituted to ensure that States’ revenue is well managed. Also, we have a regulatory body within the banking sector known by its French acronym COBAC which acts as a regulatory body for financial institutions within the CEMAC Sub-region. Cameroon is part of the Central African region and as such a member of the commission. In addition, Cameroon has several banks of international repute.
  6. The Labour Code:

  7. The Labour Code encourages investment in the country: Section 23(2) of the said code states that contracts of employment shall be freely negotiated. There shall be free negotiation of salaries between employers and employees. There is no stereotyped amount stipulated by the code which is supposed to be paid by the employer to his employees. However, the Prime Ministerial text of June 25th, 2008 stipulates a Guaranteed Minimum Wage (GMW) of about 28.215FCFA which is supposed to be given as remuneration by the employer to his employees.
    In addition, work permits likewise residence permits take a very short period to be issued upon application. Prime Time Law offices are ever ready to assist you in the process of obtaining your work and residence permits within the shortest possible time.
  8. The Harmonized Criminal Procedure Code:

  9. The Cameroon Criminal Procedure Code is referred to as the “Harmonized Criminal Procedure Code” because both the Common Law and the Civil Law which used to apply separately have now been harmonized into one unique law. The law enshrined in the code protects many future investors and encourages them to come and invest in the country.
    Investors will be encouraged to invest in such a country where there are no limitations or restrictions on basic human rights and liberties and also where their interests and security are guaranteed.
  10. International Treaties.

  11. Cameroon is a signatory to many international treaties and conventions, which are mutually beneficial. For example, the Extradition Treaty deals with the extradition of citizens from Cameroon. Any investor investing in Cameroon is sure not to be extradited anyhow from Cameroon. His stay in the country is guaranteed.
    Cameroon is also a signatory to INTERPOL which is an international police force that seeks to curb international crime. This, therefore, means that any investor investing in Cameroon is sure of making use of INTERPOL to track down any criminal wherever in the world that is a threat to his success.

The foreign investment lawyers at Prime Time law offices advise clients from all over the world on Foreign Direct Investments in Cameroon. Over the years, Prime Time law offices have advised foreign investors on the requirements for doing business in Cameroon, incorporating a Cameroonian company as well as establishing a representative office in Cameroon. The Cameroonian foreign investment attorneys negotiate complex joint venture agreements on their client’s behalf regularly.

This article is brought to you by PRIME TIME LAW OFFICES. We offer comprehensive legal advice and services regarding all aspects of foreign investment in Cameroon.

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