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Setting Up a Sole Proprietorship in Uganda: Comprehensive Guide

Uganda is strategically located in the heart of East Africa, making it a gateway to the wider East African Community (EAC) market of over 160 million people. The country also has access to several international markets through its membership in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

With such a large population and unique prospects for development, Uganda is an ideal location for setting up businesses. One of the simplest ways to enter the Ugandan market is to establish a sole proprietorship in Uganda. If you want to establish a business as a sole proprietor in Uganda, remain hooked to this article until the end! 

Do You Have to Register Your Sole Proprietorship in Uganda?

A sole proprietorship in Uganda is a business structure in which a single individual owns the business. The owner is also responsible for operations, management, finances, and business decision-making. 

These types of businesses are usually run by individuals who wish to operate independently while also seeking opportunities for growth through partnerships, investments, and credit that formalization provides.

To legally operate in Uganda, sole proprietors must register their business entity there. It should be registered with Uganda Registration Services Bureau. 

Benefits of Sole Proprietorship in Uganda

There are several benefits of having a sole proprietorship in Uganda, which are as follows:

  • Having a sole proprietorship business in Uganda is affordable and simple. The registration process is relatively straightforward and low-cost, requiring minimal documentation and formalities.
  • As a sole proprietor, you will never have to wait for the other business members to approve your decisions. The decision-making capacity will be vested in your hands.
  • As a sole proprietor, you will have immense chances of personal profits. You will be entitled to all the profits generated by the business.
  • It is a pass-through entity, meaning the business income is taxed only once as the owner’s income. Hence the sole proprietorship tax in Uganda is also much lesser.

Documents Required for Registering Your Business in Uganda

As per sole proprietorship law in Uganda, various documents are required to register a sole proprietorship business in Uganda. Here is the list for the same:

  • During the registration process, valid and unexpired identification proof, such as a national identity card or passport, must be provided for each director. 
  • Foreigners who are legally residing in Uganda must provide a foreign national registration certificate, while non-resident aliens need to provide an international passport.
  • A clear and recent passport photo must be provided for each director and officer of the company. 
  • All directors, whether resident or non-resident, must have a Tax Identification Number (TIN) certificate copy from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to prove registration with the tax authority.
  • Along with all the aforementioned criteria, foreign citizens must obtain an investment license in Uganda. It is also important to obtain a trade license. 

Other Criteria for Registering a Sole Proprietorship in Uganda

Another criterion for registering a sole proprietorship business and selling goods and services is obtaining a trade license. A trading license is an authorization given by a governing body of Uganda that allows an individual to engage in a particular trading activity in a prescribed manner. 

The sole proprietorship law in Uganda needs the following documents to obtain a trade license in Uganda:

  • The passport, driver’s license, employment permit, or financial card of the individual applying for the trade license. 
  • URSB Registration Certificate of the individual
  • The Tax Identification Number or TIN
  • Rent receipt and tenancy agreement of where the business operates. 

Non-citizens must obtain clearance from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives for Non-East Africans. On the other hand, refugees require clearance from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

How to Register a Sole Proprietorship Company in Uganda

To have a sole proprietorship in Uganda, there are several steps you need to take to register your company or business fully. Here is what the sole proprietorship law in Uganda states:

Company name registration

  • First step in sole proprietorship registration is deciding on the business name. 
  • It should represent you and the service you are providing through the company. 
  • By default, when you start a sole proprietorship, your legal name is considered a business name. 
  • However, you can apply for a separate business name (also known as doing business as).

Apply for TIN

  • Register your business with the Uganda Revenue Authority to get Tax Identification Number (TIN). 
  • This will help you obtain a formal business name or brand logo and a tax identification number recognized by the government. 

Company registration

  • Business owners must complete an online application form to register a company with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB). 
  • Pay the one-time registration fee of 24,000 UGX.
  • Submit all necessary documents, such as a copy of your national identity card or passport and a completed individual application form.
  • Once the registration is complete, you will obtain a business certificate.

Open a business bank account

  • Starting a separate bank account for business transactions is not mandatory for sole proprietors. 
  • However, a business bank account allows companies to manage expenses and file taxes.


Multiplier can assist you in setting up a sole proprietorship in Uganda seamlessly. We offer various solutions, including payroll services and managing freelancers. Companies can take advantage of the one-click payroll service to manage and pay freelancers all across the globe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Companies can apply for TIN via URA E-Service.

A standard corporate income tax of 30% is levied on businesses in Uganda.

Yes, a foreigner can own a company in Uganda, as there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of businesses in the country. Uganda encourages foreign investment and allows foreigners to operate businesses with minimal regulatory requirements.

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