Business Licensing Act, 2012, Business Licensing Regulations, 2014
Updated on : 02-12-2016
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism wishes to inform the general public and the business community that the Government is implementing the Business Licensing Act of 2012. The new Business Licensing Regulations were gazetted on 14th November, 2014. The Act is part of the reforms to economic laws that Government is carrying out to facilitate the implementation of its overriding strategy, the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) II.
Accordingly, the Ministry wishes to inform the general public and the business community of the following pertinent issues under the Act and its Regulations:
All local councils under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development are Business Licensing Centres for Malawian-owned businesses pursuant to Section 3 sub-regulation 1 of the Business Licensing Regulations.
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism remains the licensing authority for all businesses operated by non-Malawians in the country pursuant to Section 3 sub-regulation 2 of the Business Licensing Regulations. This includes all limited companies. Local Councils are not mandated to issue business licences for all foreign owned and limited companies.
The minimum capital requirement for new business licensing applications is US$250,000 as per Section 30 sub-section 2 and 5 read together with section 37subsection 2 (I) of the Act.
Pursuant to Part III, Section 10 of the Act, all Business Licensing Centres in Local Government Authorities are hereby requested to establish business registries that shall be managed by Business Licensing Officers, kept and maintained using modern technology and skills, wherever possible.
Since 1st July, 2015 all Business Licensing Centres are required to submit quarterly reports to the Chief Business Licensing officer, who is the Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, within one month after the end of each quarter and publish, once in a year, the current register of all businesses licensed in the area of the Centre's jurisdiction as provided for in Section 9 subsection 3 c and d of the Act.
A person, who is not a citizen of Malawi, and intends to carry out business whose core activity is retail, shall operate in Blantyre City, Zomba City, Lilongwe City, Mzuzu City, Kasungu Municipality and Luchenza Municipality within the areas designated for that purpose as provided for in Regulation 9 sub-regulation 1 of Business Licensing Regulations and the Second Column of the Third Schedule. However, a person, who is not a citizen of Malawi, and intends to carry out business whose core activity is retail, may carry on business outside the areas designated above upon approval of the Chief Business Licensing Officer.
All applicants for renewal of a licence should remember to submit to the Business Licensing Centre or Chief Business Licensing Officer, as the case may be, an annual return in the prescribed form (contained in Form 5 of the Regulations) showing inter alia; annual turnover per business activity, changes in ownership and outstanding credit obligations as provided for in Section 18 of the Act.
The Act and the regulations can be downloaded from the Ministry's website http://www.moit.gov.mw
It should also be noted that contravention of the Act will lead to prosecution in accordance with the provisions of the Act. In this regard, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and relevant institutions will re-enforce their monitoring and inspection exercises to ensure adherence to the provisions of the new Act.
For more information please contact Mrs. Charity Musonzo, Mr. Wiskes nkombezi or Ezron Chirambo on 01 770 244, 01 773 689 or 01 774 085.
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