Zambian Resource Center (ZRC)

Information for the Diaspora in the US

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Doing Business in Zambia

There are several resources available to you that provide information on how to invest in or do business with Zambia. It is my hope that the information provided here will provide you with a strong foundation as you embark on your money making venture.

As with any market, there are some key areas that one needs to explore. I have attempted to provide access to those sites where you can get the required information.

Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (

Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission is a body corporate established by the government of the republic of Zambia to promote the economic empowerment of its citizens. Loan Application available at

Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) (

ZACCI is one of the leading private sector organization and the umbrella organization for the private sector in Zambia. Our chamber is an independent organization serving and promoting the commercial and industrial interests of our members. source: ZACCI

The Zambian International Trade and Investment Center (ZITIC)

The Zambian International Trade and Investment Centre (ZITIC) is a private Business Consulting firm, whose main objective is to provide efficient and cost effective services to investors and trading organizations.


How to set up a company

1. Check for name availability with the Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO) –
2. Open a bank account
3. Register your company with the Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO) –
4. Register your company with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) –
5. File VAT registration form with ZRA to obtain a VAT tax number
6. Register with National Pension Scheme Authority for Social Security –

Getting Started in Business
source: Zambia Revenue Authority ( Introduction
The aim of this leaflet is to explain registration procedures for TPIN, VAT, Income Tax and PAYE.TPIN Registration
TPIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) is a unique 13-digit number given to each taxpayer. The TPIN is a pre-requisite to all procedures of tax registration under VAT, direct Taxes and Customs & Excise Divisions. The TPIN was introduced because Zambia Revenue Authority is working towards integrating the operations of the three Divisions (Customs & Excise, Direct Taxes and Value Added Tax) in order to simplify the tax administration and to consequently reduce on the administration costs.What is a TPIN?
Taxpayer Identification number is a unique thirteen-digit computer generated number allocated to a taxpayer under any of the following types of business:
• Limited company
• Partnership
• Sole trader/proprietor
• OtherWhen this number is generated, it is presented for collection as a certificate.Who registers for TPIN?
• Companies or Partnership Businesses
• Individuals
• Non-Governmental Organizations, Clubs, Associations, Missionary bodies & other similar organizations registered with Registrar of Societies
• EntitiesGovernment ministries/institutions, including foreign Governments and agencies/missions How to apply for TPIN RegistrationApplication form TPIN 1 which can be obtained from the ZRA Advice Centre in Lusaka or any local ZRA office, has to be completed and submitted to the same office, accompanied by copies of the following documents:
Limited company under the companies Act
Required documents:
• Certificate of incorporation
• Certificate of share capital
• Articles of Association

Foreign company registration under the Companies Act
Required document:
• Certificate of registration copy

Partnership Firm registered under the Business Names Act
Required document:
• Certificate of Registration
• Statement of Particulars-approved by the Registrar
• Completed form TPIN 2
4. Individual (without registration under any Act)
Required document:
• National Registration Card (NRC) copy

Firm registered under the Co-operative Societies Act
Required document:
• Certificate of Registration copy

NGO, Club, Association, Ministry body, etc
Required Document:
• Certificate of Registration or Certificate of Exemption from Registrar of societies copy

GRZ Ministry/institution, foreign Government and agency
Required Document:
• Documentary evidence to show legal existence in Zambia

Completion of a TPIN Application Form
Applicants are advised to fill in; each provided space as it relates to them and ignore inapplicable provisions.

Part A
Field 1 – Applicable to Individuals or sole proprietors only. Enter Surname in Block Letters.
Field 2. – This field is also applicable to Individuals only. Enter Forenames/or Other legally given names
Field 3. – Tick the appropriate title designating the applicant.
Field 4. – Tick the appropriate citizen status.
Field 5. – For non-Zambian residents indicate the country of normal domicile.
Field 6. – Enter the Zambian Issued National Registration Card No.
Field 7. – Applicable only if applicant is not in NRC, then enter the country code followed by Passport number.
Fields 1 to 7 (Part A) are only applicable to individual applicants.

Part B.
Field 8.
This field is for Registered Partnerships, registered Limited companies both foreign and local, or any other legal entity requiring registration. Enter the name as on the legal documents e.g. Certificate of Incorporation, registration/exemption certificate from registrar or societies etc.

This can also be used by individual applicable who is registered with the registrar of business name to indicate the business name assigned to him. This should be supported by a business registration certificate copy.

Field 9.
This field is for incorporated limited companies wishing to registrar their trading as approved by the registrar of business names. Proof of ownership of the trade name in form of certified business registration certificate is required.

Field 10.
This field is mandatory incorporated limited companies. Enter certificate of Incorporation Number spaced by 0s to the left.
If applicant is individual requesting recognition of the business name enter business registration certificate number spaced by 0s to the left.

Field 11.

This field is mandatory or all applicants. Enter main Business /activity line.

Field 12.

To be completed by accepting officer.

Part C.
Field 13.

Mandatory for all types of applicants. Enter the Physical address and other required information.

Fields 14 to 17.
Correspondence /contact details.

Field 18.
If applicant is not an individual then the designated person to handle official enquiries in the company or other entity should be provided.
For individual this be the applicant or if so desired an appointed agent.

Fields 19 to 22.
Correspondence contacts for the designated /authorized person for official enquiries.

Field 23.
Applicable to Limited companied.
State name of any related business entity.

Part D.
This is to be completed by the person making the application. The person completing the application must be well conversant with the business nature of the applicant and should have the applicant’s mandate.

Income Tax Registration.
Having registered for TPIN, a taxpayer will be required to register for Income Tax. Taxpayers whose turnover is below K200, 000,000 in a charge year, will register for Turnover Tax.

Those Taxpayers whose turnover is above K200, 000,000 will register for normal Income Tax. This is applicable to individuals and Limited Companies.

Partnerships and Consultancy businesses do not fall under Turnover Tax regardless of their turnover being below K200, 000,000.

Partnerships will register for Income Tax to facilitate for the receipt of Partnership annual returns on ITAS at the end of the charge year. Partners will register for Income Tax separately as they will be taxed according to their profit sharing ratios.

It is extremely important for every person who registers for TPIN to register for Income Tax because the Income Tax account number is the one they shall be using to remit income tax.

Submission of Tax Returns
All self employed individuals in receipt of income are required to submit Tax Returns not later than 30th September following the end of the charge year. Where an individual submits a Tax Return late, a penalty of 1,000 units (K180, 000) per month or part thereof is charged.

All companies in receipt of income tax are required to submit Tax Returns not later than 30th September following the end of the charge year. Where the company submits a Tax Return late, a penalty of 340 penalty units (K360, 000) per month or part thereof is charged.

Accounting Date
This refers to the date on which the accounts are made up. The Income Tax Act provides that all businesses should make up their accounts to 31st March. Where it is not possible to prepare accounts to 31st March, businesses are required to seek permission from the Commissioner General to adopt an accounting date other than 31st March.

PAYE Registration
This will apply to individuals, companies, partnerships, etc who have employees. Upon registration for PAYE, they will be given a PAYE account number, which they will use to remit PAYE deducted from their employees’ salaries every month.

VAT Registration
Businesses intending to register for VAT must ensure that they are registered for TPIN before submitting their application Form.

Businesses are required by law to apply for VAT registration if they deal in taxable goods and services and their taxable turnover exceeds registration threshold of K200 million per annum.

Applications for VAT is made using VAT 1 form. Copies of your certificate of incorporation or registration must be attached to the application form and also the form 42 (Directors details) from Registrar of companies. The following requirements must also be attached to the application form:

• Taxpayer Identification number
• Sketch map of location
• Latest Bank Statement
• Business Plan
• Certified copy of certificate of registration or incorporation
• Evidence of records like cashbook, purchases daybook, sales daybook, invoice books & set of accounts confirmed orders/contracts signed.

Businesses may also register for VAT on voluntary basis provided they fulfill the conditions set out in Gazette notice No.80 of 2007.

Procedure for VAT registration
All VAT registration applications should be made using the official application form VAT 1 obtained from VAT advice Centre or you’re nearest ZRA office. VAT registration like any other registrations is free.
The application will be processed and a VAT number allocated within 7working days from the date your application form reaches the VAT Registration Unit, and a VAT certificate will be issued within five working days from the date the VAT registration number is allocated.

Effective Date of registration (EDR)
This is the time when a business will be considered as having started charging VAT and it is prescribed by law as:
• New business: – the date of commencement of trading
• Continuing business: – If a business submitted an application within one month of becoming liable, the effective date of VAT registration is the date when the VAT 1 is submitted. But if an application is not made within a month of becoming liable, the effective date of registration will be the first day the business’ taxable turnover exceeds the registration threshold limits. A business will be given an extended tax period to submit the first return depending on when they reached the threshold

VAT Obligations
• Display the VAT registration certificate
• Submit VAT returns and make payments
• Maintain sufficient records and retain them for a minimum of 5 years
• Advise ZRA of any business changes
• Allow officers of ZRA to enter the business premises and examine goods/records
• For businesses registered on Voluntary basis, notice must be given to the Commissioner General 30 days before expiry of 12 months of the intention to renew registration failure to which de-registration will be effected immediately.

VAT Returns and payments
You are required to submit returns and pay VAT to ZRA before or on the 21st of the month following the tax period. Either company cheques or bank certified cheques could be used to make payment. Once a company cheque is dishonored cheque, you will need to use bank certified cheques on all subsequent payments.

Late Return Penalty
Late submission of returns and non-payment of tax will attract automatic penalties and interest. For each day that a return is late, a penalty of K180, 000 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is greater is chargeable. Interest is also chargeable on all late payments at the rate of one half per centum of the tax due multiplied by the number of days late.

Late Registration Penalty
The penalty attracts ten thousand fee units for each tax period; the supplier remains unregistered after meeting the registration threshold. In addition, the supplier will not be allowed to claim input tax 3 months prior to registration.

Zambia Development Agency


The Zambia Development Agency is geared towards building Zambia’s economy by supporting businesses and enterprises at all levels.  From our strong understanding of the challenges faced by small businesses and entrepreneurs to our ability to support large-scale corporate investments in the mining sector, Zambia Development Agency is opening doors to Zambian business.  With it’s central location in sub-Saharan Africa, while landlocked, Zambia can act as a regional hub and a powerhouse of agricultural and mineral production.

Zambia Development Agency understands the complex issues surrounding investment. On the one hand, investors need to see clear opportunities with appropriate returns; on the other hand, the local economy needs to directly benefit from the investments made.  ZDA work to make opportunities available – for investors keen to make a small investment in a growing or developing business, or for those looking to create joint ventures or strategic partnerships, or, at the other end of the scale, working closely with those intending to set up large manufacturing, agribusiness or mineral plants.

The import and export of goods to and from Zambia has always been of critical importance to the country.

Zambia’s main major exportable commodities include: copper, cobalt, electricity and tobacco, with her main exports heading to the UK, Switzerland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa. There are also many important importable commodities for the country, including petroleum products, electricity, fertilizer, and machines and transportation equipment. Zambia’s most important imports partners are the UK, the UAE and South Africa.

The Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) Division of the Zambia Development Agency is responsible for the operationalising of government policy on the sector through various focused programmes on MSME development. The ZDA, Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) Division is specifically mandated to establish strategic partnerships with various MSME Development Organisations and build the capacity of these organisations to effectively deliver services to MSMEs. The Division is also responsible for developing, coordinating and monitoring and documenting all MSME development interventions.



Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA)

source: Zambia Revenue Authority (

Zambia Revenue Authority was formed on 1st April 1994 as a corporate body, under the Zambia Revenue Authority Act No. 23 of 1993. The Authority is charged with the responsibility of collecting revenue on behalf of the Government.

The Authority was created to redress the serious shortfall in revenues available to the Government and the increasing dependency on donor funding to support basic necessities.

Zambia Revenue Authority is committed to maintaining the key principles of efficiency in taxation, maintaining equity through a broadened tax base and simplicity of tax administration and compliance processes.

How we achieve our mandate

Zambia Revenue Authority achieves its mandate by promoting Voluntary tax compliance, trade, border legislation and regulations through communication, quality service and enforcement. ZRA also provides efficient tax registration, efficient methods of tax refunds and
trade facilitation.


The Bank of Zambia


Functions of the Bank of Zambia

  • To ensure appropriate monetary policy formulation and implementation
  • To act as the fiscal agent of the Government
  • To license, regulate and supervise banks and financial service institutions registered under the Act to ensure a safe and sound financial system
  • To manage the banking, currency and payment systems operations of the Bank of Zambia to ensure the provision of efficient and effective service to commercial banks, Government and other users.

source: Bank of Zambia


The Lusaka Stock Exchange (

The Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) was established with preparatory technical assistance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank in 1993. The Exchange opened on 21st February 1994. In it’s first two years of operation the LuSE and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are funded by the UNDP and Government of Zambia as a project on financial and capital market development in Zambia under the multi component private sector development programme. The LuSE is made up of stock broking corporate members and is incorporated as a non – profit limited Liability Company.

The formation of the Exchange is part of the government’s economic reform programme aimed at developing the financial and capital market in order to support and enhance private sector initiative. The Lusaka Stock Exchange is also expected to attract foreign portfolio investment through recognition of Zambia and the region as an emerging capital market with potentially high investment returns. Another important role of the Exchange is to facilitate the divestiture of Government ownership in parastatals and realisation of the objectives of creating a broad and wide shareholding ownership by the citizenry via a fair and transparent process.
Modern Stock Exchange.  The Lusaka Stock Exchange has been set up as a modern stock exchange based on the most current international standards and practices. – Lusaka Stock Exchange