By law, all foreign investors need to obtain an Investment License from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA). However, according to the current investment Code, domestic investors are not obliged. One can apply for an Investment License Online from UIA
Foreign investors require a minimum of US$100,000 in planned investment in order to secure an investment license from the Uganda Investment Authority, whereas for local investments, the minimum planned investment requirement is US$50,000. Local investors, however, may proceed with their investment without licensing with the Uganda Investment Authority. The license is crucial to foreign investors as it is the instrument that legalizes their investment in Uganda. Traders do not require a license from UIA but must demonstrate operating capital of US$100,000 before trading licenses and entry permits are issued by local authorities.
Steps to follow:
Step 1 – Register your company in Uganda
Register your company at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and obtain the Memorandum and Articles of Association, and a Certificate of Incorporation.
Step 2 – Get your investment license
Apply for an investment license using Uganda Investment Authority Form 1 and attach the documents in Step 1 plus a brief Business Plan. Normal processing time for an investment license is 2-5 days.
Required documents for an Investment License
The following documents are required as attachments to the application for an Investment License. All applicants must submit items 1-5 to enable UIA process your application within the set time frame.
- Legal status (Copy of Certificate of Incorporation and Articles & Memorandum of Association from Uganda Registration Services Bureau)
- A brief Business Proposal on the project (more than 5 pages)
- Evidence of availability of funds for the project, (which could be a Bank statement for the company/Directors.)
- Land status for the Project (Attach a copy of the land title or a tenancy agreement to confirm location of the project).
- Passport photo copy of foreign directors
- Filled in Application Form for an Investment License (Form UIA 1)
Other additional documents
- Bill of lading to confirm importation of machinery (exceptional cases)
- Copy of the secondary license issued by the relevant Government Ministry/Department or Agency
- Environmental Impact Assessment Report/Certificate of Approval by National Environment Management Authority
Step 3 – Secure necessary secondary clearances
Certain sectors require secondary licenses e.g. for mining activity, air transport, banking, forestry. Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) will assist you to secure these licenses within reasonable time. UIA shall also assist you in obtaining suitable industrial land and work permits for your expatriate staff. Utilities like telephone, electricity and water can easily be secured from the relevant offices.