Nigerian Citizens: How to Register a Sole-proprietor Business in Cameroon

Nigeria has the highest population of foreigners living and doing business in Cameroon. You can find majority of Nigerian citizens in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. There is also a great concentration of Nigerians living and running business in Cameroon’s economic capital Douala [Source: Nigerian Consulate Buea].

In Douala, majority of them are carrying out retail and wholesale businesses. You can find them around the Camp Yabassi neighborhood where they sell car spare parts and in the Mboppi market (biggest in Central Africa). A great number of them are now into real estate building rented apartments in heart of Douala.

Since most of them come in for business, they will need to know what it entails for them to start a legal business in Cameroon. With such a population, it is normal for them to know what it takes to register a business in Cameroon. Most of them carry out import, export, retail and wholesale activities. They usually opt for sole-proprietorship as a form of business, reason I am starting with it.

For every alien wanting to start a business in Cameroon as a natural person (sole-proprietorship), I will recommend you read how to register as a natural person in the Trade and Personal Property Credit Register. As for Nigerian citizens, they will have to furnish the following documents in order to register as a sole-proprietorship with business license:

  • Proof of identity – the documents needed are the the Nigerian passport and a residence permit issued by the competent authorities in Cameroon. Check what is needed by a Nigerian citizen to obtain a resident permit in Cameroon.
  • Marriage certificate – where it is necessary, they will ask you for a copy of your marriage certificate.
  • Criminal record extract – this is an obligatory document which you have to present. This is to clarify if you have served time, had criminal charges against you or not. If this is not available, you will have to provide another document that is similar to this. In Cameroon, such a document is called the certificate of non-conviction.
  • Business location – you have to provide a tenancy agreement or show proof you are the owner by providing a title deed of the location of your business.
  • In case of management lease or purchase of the business – you will have to show a management lease deed or a copy of the purchase certificate respectively.
  • License, authorization or permit – in case it is needed to carry out the business activity.
  • Residence permit – For a Nigerian or any other alien to carry out a business activity in Cameroon, they must first of all show proof of residence in Cameroon. This document can be gotten from the Immigration / Emigration police anywhere in Cameroon. However, many Nigerians may find it is easier getting resident permit in the English-speaking part of Cameroon because of language problem.

You can also read how to obtain a residence permit in Cameroon by Nigerian citizens who wants to reside and do business in Cameroon. Checkout some of the business activities Nigerians carry out in Cameroon.

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