Accra’s Business Operating Permit — An Overview

Whether you are planning to start-up or you are already running a business, access to accurate information on your business’ political/regulatory environment can be very helpful. They help you to know and comply with regulatory requirements, and you avoid costly penalties or other interruptions of your operations for non-compliance.

When you are setting up a business in Accra, one of the first and strong regulators you’ll have to deal with is the Accra Metropolitan Assembly. To help start-ups and existing businesses to deal with the AMA successfully, Labone Express presents an outline of the Assembly’s Business Operating Permit (BOP).

The Business Operating Permit is established by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s Business Operating Permit bye-law of 1995. That bye-law is made in exercise of the powers conferred on the Metropolitan Assembly by section 79 of the Local Government Act, 1993 (Act 462).

  • No person shall carry on any business, in or upon any premises within the area of authority of the AMA, which is Accra, without a Business Permit duly granted by the AMA.
  • A Business Permit granted shall expire on the 31st day of December the year for which it is granted. Businesses must renew their permits at the beginning of each year.
  • A Business permit once granted is not transferable
  • The permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous part of the premises on which the business is operated.
  • A fee is charged in line with nature of business for every Business Permit granted in accordance with the Assembly’s fee fixing resolution.
  • Where an owner of a rateable permanent or temporary property, who is required to pay property rate, runs any business in that property, that owner shall in addition be required to pay for a business permit.
  • Any officer or a person duly authorised by the AMA may, during business hours enter into or upon any building, premises or land within the area of authority of the AMA for the purpose of carrying out any inspection enquiry or any other duties authorised by the AMA.
  • No person shall obstruct or interfere with any officer or person authorised by the AMA in the performance of any duties assigned to him under the bye-law.
  • The AMA may withdraw or revoke any Business permit granted if any condition for granting of the business permit is breached.
  • The AMA may close down any business or suspend its activities until the permit fee is paid for the operation of the business.
  • Where for any reason a company winds up its business entirely or suspends its operations, it shall inform the AMA immediately about such a closure or suspension of business activities.
  • Where a company fails to inform the AMA about closure or suspension of its operations, it shall continue to be billed by the AMA for its fees for Business permit.
  • A person who fails to pay the Business permit fees at the prescribed time shall pay the outstanding fees plus interest at current bank rate with effect from the day of default up to and including the day of the final payment of the fees.
  • A person who contravenes any provision of the BOP bye-laws commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine or in default to a term of imprisonment or both.

That’s it, an overview of Business Operating Permit. We hope you find this information useful. Share your comment or question with us; Write in the comment box below and click submit. Thanks.

49 thoughts on “Accra’s Business Operating Permit — An Overview

  1. I am a Canadian who has owned a company in Accra and held a BOP for the last 5 years. I am now informed that I must submit my Canadian balance sheet in order to pick up my BOP from the AMA, Is this a necessity? Reference # AYW13061001001

    1. Normally it’s not a necessity. But in case you petitioned the AMA for the fees charged on your business, some documents may be demanded to re-assess your fees, however your Canadian balance sheet may not be one of those documents.

    1. 1.How much can a mobile money merchant in a kiosk pay in order to acquire the BOP
      2.if i want to open a shop now which we are left with 1 month to end the year , will i still be required to pay the fee for the whole year ?

  2. In the case where the year has not ended and but you’ve paid half of the amount charged, is is right for the AMA to close your business place?

  3. These fees when paid, what are they used for? Does AMA have any specific plans or activities for which these monies are used? How does a business monitor the use of its money paid to AMA?

  4. Very helpful info. Great job! However I’m wondering if the fee is a flat rate? If not what are the chargeable rates for both those who ran business on their properties and pay property rates and others running business at places where they dont pay any property rate?

  5. Please if i rent a ware house and it contains 7 storage spaces, am i to pay for BOPs for all the seven.? if so why. thanks

  6. What criteria is used to bill the BOP.
    Please is it by discretion or there is a document which States how much should be paid.
    If so what is the name of the document?

    1. First you register your business at the Registrar General’s Department. Then you get business operating permit from the Municipal Assembly where the business is.

  7. At my home and render services like digital art design. but do not have a formal office. So currently want to suspend the business for now… how do i go about suspending the business so that i do not incur any debt?

  8. Hello,please we received an invoice from AMA to make payment of Gh100 for a temporary BOP. Yet someone else came from AYAWASO CENTRAL MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY insisting we pay Gh 560.00 . please where do we pay ,

  9. Exactly how is the fee for a BOP calculated? Is it a flat fee, or does it depend on the amount of your trading capital? What other factors are considered? The business is Commercial/Companies, category F

    1. I’ve observed that the fees are based on the perceptions about the capital requirements and turnover.
      Other considerations include a policy to promote are discouraged certain types of business activities.

  10. hi, i have a business as one, with the same name but yet have about three outlets in the same jurisdiction. The question is since i am applying for a business operating permit for the same business wouldn’t it be prudent if when i apply and given the permit i display in all three outlets? rather than i being charged thrice for all the three outlets??

  11. i have one business with 3 outlets operation in one jurisdiction. is it right for the assembly to charge me a BOP for all three outlets since its the same business i am operating??

    1. The Assemblies I’ve worked with usually rate or charge each branch or outlet of a business separately. I should think many Assemblies do same that’s why your business is being treated so.

  12. Please if I obtain a BOP from the Assembly can “Mr. A” a assembly member for that electoral area come to stop my business or demand the removal of my container ?

  13. 1.Please what is the difference between paying business operating permit and paying for the land by the same assembly..

    2.My assembly collect sanitation fees and the land you operating on every day?

  14. I am trying to find the fixed prices for Ketu South District the cost for sole proprietorship and the type of business is selling internet and document services and computers/accessories sales and also fixing repairing computers.
    I believe this falls under general business type.
    It seems I can’t find out how much the yearly costs is to run this shop in Ketu South District Assembly. Can anyone in area get this information for me? Thanks, much appreciated.

  15. I want to operate a business but the Assembly is requiring that I pay the full year permit when is left with 3 months for the year to end and they are requesting that I pay for an additional business certificate and 1000 for a sign board permit.

    Is it really the case?

    1. Business Operating Permit fees usually are fixed for the year; they’re not charged proportional to the number of months in the year your business is open.
      You have to obtain a permit for the signage. The fee may depend on the size and location of the signage.

  16. Hello Tanx for your answers they are really helpful
    I have 2 shops on the same street and I sell General goods like kettles,blenders ,and furniture do I have to make payments for different shops or it can be summed into one and how much am I supposed to pay

  17. I registered my company this year and received a msg alert from AMA with an Invoice number to obtain my permit… What is the use of the invoice number to

    1. Yes, when you register a business at the Registrar General’s Department, you get an invoice to pay an initial amount for your BOP fee. A copy of the invoice is sent electronically to the Assembly as well. The actual fee you are charged may be higher when the Assembly does an assessment of your business premises. I think the number on the invoice is a reference number.

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