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Starting a business in Uganda - As a Foreigner

by Sam

I would like to know if a foreigner can start any business in Uganda? Is there any restriction on what can or cannot be done; except of course illegal business like arms or drugs:)




Hi Sam,

Thanks for your questions and for the interest to invest in Uganda.

Uganda is very open to foreign investment and surely quite freely as a foreigner you can do business here. There is information here on starting your own business which should be handy.

You could have an option of starting a partnership venture with a local investor/s or start your own business independently. See the Ugandan business page to tell you more on the business environment here.

As a requirement, you will need an investment license for your business to be operational and which then authorises you to establish your business in Uganda. You can contact the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) for guidance on getting one.

I should warn you however, that as a foreign investor, you will have to show a minimum planned investment of at least US $ 100,000 before a licence is issued – the good news is that the licence is at no cost (free).

On restrictions; you will not find any restrictions on what business you can do as long as it’s a good investment for Ugandan business and the Ugandan economy - unless of course the illegal business like you mentioned; arms and drugs.

Prostitution, human and child trafficking, business that involves child labour and the like, are also gazetted as illegal and breaking the law will carry a heavy sentence in the courts of law.

Not paying tax but also not paying the right tax (evasion) is illegal and will cost heavily on your business once discovered, therefore not even worth thinking about!

I wish you well in your endeavour ... and just to add that you will certainly be making the right decision to invest here in a very vibrant market.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you require further information.


at my-Uganda.com

Comments for Starting a business in Uganda - As a Foreigner

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thanks for sharing
by: Anonymous

Such a nice and informative blog. Thanks for sharing!

True information is shared!
by: Deirdre M. Frank

I will be content to help save this web site in to our folder. Many thanks! The way you express yourself is awesome.Hey, your blog is great.

Filing Tax returns
by: Dodo Mbaziira

Sam, to add on what my brother is saying, its very important for you to note all the laws to do with foreign investment and the requirements needed for you to succeed with your investment here in Uganda.

You should also note that failure to register with the revenue authority is an offence that can lead to you loosing out on your efforts and money invested.

Therefore,file your tax returns, as soon as you decide to invest; it's perfect for you to ensure that you register voluntarily with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) so you get a taxpayer identification number (TIN), file correct tax returns, customs entries and/or fill out any forms relating to taxes and other revenue obligations at the right time - as required by law.

The good thing is; e-services are now available, which makes the entire process easier .

You can also have all this done for you by an agent but at a fee.

If you need any more information/agent on the above, make reference and we could be of help.

Best wishes,


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