There are several ways of doing business in Cameroon, the most common being the creation of a limited liability company

Society Constitution
offshore in Cameroon

Country analysis: legal structures

Everything you need to know to set up an operating company with a bank account.

1. Exchange of banking information

β€’ Banks are not at all subject to strict customer due diligence regulations (old FATF recommendation 5 / new FATF recommendation 10).

β€’ Banks are largely required to maintain sufficient records of their customer and transaction data for law enforcement (old FATF recommendation 10 / new FATF recommendation 11).

β€’ Banks and / or other covered entities must report large transactions in currency or other monetary instruments to designated authorities.

β€’ There are undue notification and recourse rights against the exchange of banking information upon request.

β€’ The national administration has sufficient powers to obtain and provide bank information

2. Legal forms

HThere are several ways of doing business in Cameroon, the most common being the creation of a limited liability company (SARL). Investors can also establish a public limited company (SA). Alternatively, foreign companies have the option of establishing a branch or representative office.

The Cameroon Limited Liability Company (SARL):

The Cameroon SARL is the legal entity most used by entrepreneurs to establish SMEs in Cameroon. A SARL must appoint at least 1 resident director and 1 shareholder of any nationality. The shareholder can be a natural or legal person. A minimum paid-up share capital of US $ 1.900 is also required to complete the incorporation process.

This entity must appoint a statutory auditor to verify its accounts only if:

  1. i) the capital stock exceeds US $ 19.000.
  2. ii) the annual turnover exceeds US $ 477.000 or:
  3. iii) the company employs more than 50 people.

The Corporation of Cameroon (SA):

Cameroon SA requires the incorporation of at least 1 shareholder and 1 resident director of any nationality.

The shareholder can be a natural or legal person and can be a resident of any country. A minimum paid-up share capital of US $ 19.000 is required to complete the business setup in Cameroon. However, a higher share capital of US $ 190.000 is required after company creation in Cameroon, if the company intends to go public.

A Cameroon joint-stock company must also appoint 2 auditors in order to verify the company's accounts. If listed on the Douala Stock Exchange market, an SA must appoint 2 additional auditors.

The Cameroon branch (succursale)

Foreign companies can open branches of their foreign legal entities in Cameroon. The branch can enter all business lines in Cameroon, although its scope of action must be previously defined by its parent company. The branch must appoint at least one resident director, of any nationality, to oversee the company's operations in Cameroon.

A branch can only be operational for a maximum period of 2 years, after which it must be fully incorporated as a limited company in Cameroon. However, operations as a branch can only be renewed every two years, provided that the approval has been granted by the Ministry of Commerce and Commerce.

The Cameroon Representative Office (Liaison Office):

Although 100% foreign ownership of a representative office is allowed, it is not considered a legal entity and it is not allowed to make direct sales in Cameroon. This entity is only authorized to carry out:

  1. i) Market studies
  2. ii) Promote the activities of the parent company.

REMEMBER

En Cameroon A resident Director is NOT required for all business entities. HOLDING COMPANIES are not available in Cameroon.

OFFICES

Foster Swiss helps our Clients secure offices or we provide an office address. Most emerging markets require our Clients to have a 12-month office lease before company registration is approved.

We help our Clients overcome this challenge in the following ways:

Virtual office service

DDepending on the country and city, the rates range from US $ 900 to US $ 2000 and the annual active virtual office services range from US $ 1500 to US $ 4000).

Shared office space

LThe one-time fee is US $ 850. Thereafter, our Client pays the monthly rent directly to the owner).

Permanent office space

D Depending on the country and the city, the rates range from US $ 5.000 to US $ 8.000).

Legal accounting and taxes

Corporate income tax in Cameroon is applied at a standard rate of 33%. Legal persons must register for taxation with the Ministry of Finance and must file annual tax returns before March 15 following the end of the fiscal year.

The value added tax (VAT) in Cameroon is applied at a standard rate of 19,25%. Companies with a taxable annual turnover must register for VAT and file returns before the 15th of each month.

A withholding of 16,5% is applied on:

  1. i) dividends paid to resident and non-resident companies
  2. ii) interest paid to non-resident companies; however, this may be reduced when a double tax treaty applies.

A reduced corporate tax of 10% is charged on dividends remitted to companies provided that

  1. i) the company is based in Cameroon or in the CEMAC region
  2. ii) the beneficiary owns at least 25% of the shares of the company
  3. iii) the shares remain in the name of the beneficiary for a period of at least 2 years.

A 15% withholding is applied to royalties paid to non-resident companies. However, the rate may be reduced when a double tax treaty is applied. The capital tax is applied based on the capital stock of the company at a regressive rate of 2% and 0,25%.

Employers must submit monthly:

  1. i) a contribution to social security of 11,2% of the basic salary of its employees
  2. ii) a 2,5% payroll tax that is applied on the total salaries and benefits of their
    employees.

Other taxes in Cameroon include

  1. i) 15% transfer tax applicable to the sale of businesses
  2. ii) 15% excise tax withholding on payments made to suppliers not located in Cameroon.

A capital gains tax of 11% is levied on income from the sale of shares. Cameroonian companies can carry forward their business losses for a period of 4 years, but carryover is not allowed. Cameroon has so far signed 4 double tax treaties with Canada, the United Kingdom, Tunisia and France.

Country problems

Phe corporate income tax is high in Cameroon, with a standard rate of 33% and an alternative minimum tax of up to 5,5% of the company's turnover.

Companies that send interest and dividends abroad are also subject to a 16,5% withholding tax rate, unless reduced by a double taxation treaty.

Cameroon has signed only eight treaties to avoid double taxation, namely with

  1. i) Canada
  2. ii) Central African Republic
  3. iii) Chad
  4. iv) Republic of the Congo
  5. v) Equatorial Guinea
  6. vi) France
  7. vii) Gabon and
  8. viii) Tunisia.

The Cameroonian government is notorious for its widespread bribery, nepotism and corruption in all sectors of its economy.

MORE CONFIGURATION SERVICES SOLUTIONS

  • Shareholders and Agents
  • Office permits
  • Protection of trademarks and copyrights. - Market study.
  • Legal support
  • Proportion of details of temporary unions or associations
  • Fusions and acquisitions.
  • Internal control.
  • Group restructuring.
  • Financial management consulting.
  • Buy a business.
  • Valuation of companies.
  • Credit recovery
  • Job solutions
  • Due diligence search on existing companies and individuals

3. Commercial register

β€’ The national business registry does not include the identity information of the legal owner.

β€’ Information on legal partners / owners is not always available online (up to 10 EUR / GBP / USD).

4. Transparency of society

β€’ Available companies where only some legal owners are registered.

β€’ Updating the information on the identity of the legal owners is not mandatory.

5. Shareholders publications

β€’ Companies available without registered information on beneficial owners.

6. Publication of the company account

β€’ There is an obligation to maintain accounting data.

β€’ It is not always necessary to present the annual accounts to a public authority

7. Country-by-country financial reports

β€’ No country-by-country public reporting at all.

8. Corporate tax return

β€’ There is NO requirement for local submission of a global country-by-country reporting file (in accordance with OECD BEPS Action 13) by large corporate groups (with a worldwide turnover of more than 750 million euros) and subsidiaries premises of foreign groups.

β€’ Unilateral cross-border tax rulings (eg advance tax rulings, advance tax rulings) are NOT available in laws or regulations, or administrative practice.

9. Identifier of legal entities

β€’ The use of an annually updated Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), developed under the guidance of the Financial Stability Board, FSB, is not mandatory.

β€’ The use of an annually updated Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), developed under the guidance of the Financial Stability Board, FSB, is not mandatory for some financial market operators.

β€’ The use of an annually updated LEI for the identification of reporting financial institutions (in accordance with the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is not mandatory.

10. Measures to avoid tax evasion

β€’ There is no unilateral exemption from double taxation.

11. Tax matters judicial secrecy

β€’ None or restricted access to CRIMINAL AND CIVIL TAX PROCEDURES.

β€’ None or restricted access to both criminal and civil tax judgments / verdicts

12. Opaque structures

β€’ The jurisdiction does not accept the circulation of large bills / cash notes of your own currency (value over 200 EUR / GBP / USD).

β€’ Bearer shares are not available.

β€’ Series LLC / Shielded Cell Companies are not available.

β€’ Trusts with escape clauses are NOT prohibited.

13. Anti-money laundering legislation

Cameroon it is not on the FATF List of countries that have been identified with strategic AML deficiencies. The last Mutual Evaluation Report regarding the implementation of the regulations to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in Cameroon was carried out in 2008. According to this Evaluation, Cameroon was considered Compliant by 0 and largely Compliant by 10 of the 40 + 9 FATF Recommendations.

14. Automatic exchange of information

Cameroon is not a signatory to the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA), which provides the multilateral legal framework to engage in Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) in accordance with the OECD Common Information Standard (CRS).

What type of private banking exists in Cameroon?

International Banking
Local banking

Central bank security ⭐⭐⭐

The international and digital banks They're available.

CRS: NO.

Real bank operations: 90%.

Visa type: XAF Fr, US $, €.

Joint accounts: SI.

Remote management account: To consult.

Asset management Depending on the rating of the company.

Rates: It depends on the type of account.

Credit / debit cards in local currency

Crypto-friendly banks: Depends on the correspondent bank.

Portfolio availability: No or depends on the correspondent bank.

Ability to issue letters of credit: SI

Why with Foster Swiss?

Foster Swiss is an international company registered in Switzerland aimed at providing financial and compliance advice on a variety of topics related to company formation
and commercial banking internationally. We are specialized in the implementation of businesses in different jurisdictions, which means that we offer value-added services helping our clients in their expansion abroad.

Some of these services include:
Advice and consultancy,
visas, offices, nominated director / shareholder / secretary,
accommodation if necessary… to name a few.
Check with your assigned consultant for more information.

All rights reserved Foster Swiss