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LLC Free Zone Company Simplified JSC PLC Branch Office Rep Office
Local Name SARL Societe en zone economique speciale SAS SA Succursale Bureau de liaison
Company Setup Time 3 months 3 months 3 months 4 months 4 months 4 months
Bank Account Opening 20 days 20 days 20 days 20 days 20 days 20 days
Government Grants Available Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Government Contracts Bidding Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Legal Liability Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Client Required to Travel No No No No No No
Inquiry Inquiry Inquiry Inquiry Inquiry Inquiry

Corporate Structure Explained

DRC Limited Liability Company (Société a Responsabilité Limité or SARL)

  • An LLC requires a single shareholder, a minimum share capital of USD 1 and a director who must be a local resident. The capital amount associated with the entity must be included in all corporate documents including invoices and brochures, higher capital investments are recommended.
  • It is necessary to open a capital account in a local bank before the incorporation process. Once the company numbers have been issued, the entity must be registered with the tax, social and labor authorities.
  • The registered company must submit annual financial statements and annual tax returns.

DRC Simplified Joint Stock Company or JSC (Société par Action Simplifiée or SAS)

  • This entity offers flexibility in the governance of the company, such as easy transfer of shares. A simplified joint stock company is registered with one shareholder and a minimum capital of USD 1. Appointing a director is mandatory, but the director does not need to be a resident of the DRC.
  • This entity is a good corporate vehicle when multiple investors are seeking to invest in the same business by retaining the “exit” option that allows the transfer of shares without seeking any other shareholder agreement.

DRC Public Limited Company or PLC (Société Anonyme or SA)

  • A PLC can be established with three shareholders resident in any country, a minimum paid-up capital of USD 20,000 and a statutory auditor.

  • PLCs are required to submit audited financial statements and tax return to the local administration.
  • A PLC is a good option if a client plans to set up a business with multiple partners or to finance a business by issuing equity.

Democratic Republic of Congo free zone company (Societe en Zone Economique Speciale)

  • The requirements for establishing an entity in an economic zone can vary significantly depending on the project. One of the criteria is a minimum investment of 200,000 USD with the creation of jobs in the DRC region.
  • International companies can register a company in one of the SEZs of the DRC if they are planning to export most of the products or services manufactured.
  • The top industries for foreign investments are oil exploration, bauxite exploration, hydroelectricity, agribusiness, timber industry, heavy industries with copper and cobalt and maritime manufacturing.

DRC Branch Office (Succursale)

  • There is no minimum capital required for the establishment of a branch. Foreign companies can register a branch for a period of two years, after which the branch must be converted into a subsidiary.
  • A branch is a practical option for a foreign company wishing to set up a business in the Democratic Republic of Congo under the same name and with the same business activity as a parent company.

Democratic Republic of Congo representative office (Bureau de Liaison)

  • Local laws and regulations do not allow foreign entities to run a representative office in the Democratic Republic of Congo for more than two years.
  • These entities can participate in Market Surveys / Research and Promotion of the Business Activity of the parent company and are not allowed to conduct business directly.

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