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How to Start a Business in Zimbabwe from Scratch


Zimbabwe is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa. It’s also a great place for entrepreneurs to start a business, especially if they’re willing to deal with some unique challenges. In this article we’ll take a look at what it takes to launch your startup in Harare or Bulawayo and give you tips on how to avoid common mistakes new Zimbabwean entrepreneurs make when trying to set up shop.

Find the right business idea

Once you have identified a gap in the market, it is important that you choose a business idea that is profitable. There are many ways to determine whether or not your business will be profitable:

  • Ask yourself if others are willing to pay for this product or service? How much would they pay?
  • Can I make more money from selling my product than what it costs me to make?

If the answer to both questions above is yes, then chances are good that your idea could work!

Licensing and Permits

  • Licenses and Permits
  • The first step in starting a business in Zimbabwe is to ensure that you have all the necessary licenses and permits. This includes:

o A certificate of incorporation for your company (see below)

o A trade license from the Registrar of Companies, which can be obtained through a lawyer or accountant.

o An exemption from paying taxes on profits earned by small businesses with turnover less than US$500,000 per year if they apply for it at least six months before their first financial year begins.

o If selling goods, then an Occupational License issued by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA). This requires applicants to produce evidence that they have been operating continuously for at least one year straight without any problems regarding compliance issues with ZIMRA regulations; otherwise they will have to wait until such time as this requirement has been met before being granted an Occupational Licence Application Form which can be downloaded here: http://www.zimraonline/forms/occupational_licence_application_form_.pdf

Business Registration

You can register your business with the Registrar General’s Office in Zimbabwe. You need to register your business name, address and tax clearance certificate before you can apply for a license or registration certificate. You will also need to submit some documents such as proof of citizenship, identification documents and proof of residence if you are not a citizen of Zimbabwe. Once all these steps are done, go ahead and open an account at one of the following banks:

  • CBZ Bank Limited
  • Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited

Dealing With Taxes

As a business owner, it is important for you to understand the importance of paying taxes. You do not want to end up in trouble with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) by not knowing how much tax you should be paying and what types of taxes there are.

There are two main types of taxes: direct and indirect. Direct taxes include income tax, corporate income tax, property transfer duty and estate duty among others while indirect ones include VAT (Value Added Tax), sales tax on services and import duties on goods imported into Zimbabwe by private individuals or companies. It is important that when calculating how much money goes into government coffers each month as part of your total revenue stream as well as any deductions made against this figure so that you know exactly how much money should be paid back into government coffers through these various means each year during filing season which runs from 1 October until 31 March every year!

Financing Your Business in Zimbabwe

The first step to starting a business in Zimbabwe is getting the right advice. You need to know what you’re doing and how you can get started, so take the time to talk with other people who have already done what you want to do. If there are any banks in your area that specialize in helping start-ups or small businesses get off the ground, go talk with them!

Paying Employees

As you begin your business, it is important to keep in mind the following:

  • How to pay employees. You must pay your employees on time, as this is a legal requirement under Zimbabwean law and also demonstrates good faith towards them. Failure to do so may result in penalties being imposed by the Labour Commissioner’s Office (LCO). To ensure that you meet this obligation, it is advisable for you to set aside a portion of your monthly revenue for this purpose and make sure that there are enough funds available at all times. You should issue payslips every month so that workers can keep track of their earnings and identify any errors made by management if they exist–this will help avoid disputes over payment later down the line.
  • Tax certificates issued by LCOs must be given directly by employers so long as they meet certain criteria; these include having no outstanding debts with other agencies such as Social Security Agency (SSA) or National Insurance Fund (NIF). Your employees should also be Zimbabwean citizens living locally; if not then they may need additional documentation before working legally within our borders.”

Opening a Bank Account in Zimbabwe

Opening a bank account is essential for any business. Banks in Zimbabwe have different requirements for opening a business account, so you need to know what type of bank accounts are available and how they are opened.

  • You will need to provide proof of your identity and residence, such as a passport or driver’s license.
  • You will also be required by law (Section 10(9) of the Banking Act) to provide information about your business such as its name, address and type of activity/industry it operates in.

Starting a business in Zimbabwe can be tough but it’s worth it.

You’ve probably heard about the opportunities in Zimbabwe, but what are they?

As an entrepreneur, you can start a business with very little capital. This means that you don’t have to have millions of dollars in order to make your dream come true. It’s also a great way for people who want to create jobs and make a difference in their communities.


We hope this guide has helped you get a better understanding of what it takes to start a business in Zimbabwe. While it may seem like there are many steps involved, they all boil down to one thing: making sure your company is legally compliant. If you want to be successful, then you need to make sure that every piece of paperwork is filed correctly and on time–and if there’s anything we’ve learned from our years as entrepreneurs ourselves, it’s that nothing gets done unless someone makes it happen!


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