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Specific Licenses

Although general business in Namibia is not too regulated, certain sectors do require special licenses, permits or similar authorization from the government or their agents. Before commencing on any specific activities, advice should be sought on whether any special licenses or registrations are required; for example:

  • Tourism sector: Tourism Levy registration; Public Driving Permit
  • Fishing: Fishing license / quota
  • Mining: Mining licenses
  • Professions: Registration with professional Institutes or bodies
  • Transport: Vehicle special licenses

For some licenses and other matters, e.g. tender applications, a certificate of good standing or tax clearance certificate must be obtained from Inland Revenue.

Foreign Investors should take note that:

  • Direct or indirect ownership of 50% and more or beneficial control of agricultural land (farms) is prohibited in terms of legislation.
  • Dividends payable from companies or distributions from Close Corporations attract NRST (Non-Residents Shareholders Tax) at generally 10%, unless a double taxation agreement exists between the domicile country of the foreign investor and Namibia which provides for a different rate.
  • Foreign Exchange Control mechanisms are in place and the repatriation of any funds to a country outside the Common Monetary Area (CMA – consisting of Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland) may be difficult if certain rules have not been followed BEFORE funds are invested in the CMA.
  • Local companies owned by foreign shareholders are restricted in terms of borrowing funds (e.g., from a foreign holding company) to one third of the issued share capital of the local entity.
  • The Namibian Income Tax Act provides rules for Transfer Pricing issues.
  • Royalties paid to an entity outside Namibia attracts a withholding tax calculated at 30% of the corporate tax rate (currently 34%), thus 10,2%.
  • In terms of the Foreign Investment Act, 1990, the Minister of Trade & Industry has by notice in the Government Gazette (15 April 2010) prescribed that foreign nationals may only by special permission from the Minister engage in any retailing business, public transport services or in a hair dressing / salon or beauty care business.