Doing Business in Bangladesh
Implementing a private sector industrial project in Bangladesh either local, joint venture or 100% foreign follows a rather simplified process. Once an investor plans to do business in Bangladesh, the first thing is to have relevant, sufficient and reliable information on the investment and business climate, opportunities, competitive strengths, industry structure etc.
Step by Step procedure.
The chart shows the five basic steps you will probably want to go through to start your business in Bangladesh.
Step 1. Info searching
There are many information sources. These days you will probably start with the internet. BOI can also help and suggest other government agencies, chambers of commerce, and professional associations, international organisations such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UNCTAD and IFC. There are independent consultants too.
Investors are advised to apply to the BOI for registration as early as possible in order to benefit from the many incentives and tax concessions available. The application form can be found online at this website.
Step 2. Physical verification
Make a physical verification of your researches by visiting Bangladesh. Make your own travel arrangements or let BOI arrange things for you and benefit from our Welcoming Service.
Business travellers may request a visa for limited or multiple entries which can vary from one month to five years. Given certain conditions there is also the possibility of a landing permit and visa on arrival. BOI or the Bangladesh diplomatic mission in your country can advise you on this.
On arrival investors can take advantage of in-depth BOI counselling. Professional investment and business counsellors can offer advice and practical assistance over the phone, via email or fax or, best of all, at a personal meeting in the BOI offices here in Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Khulna and Barisal.
Step 3. Getting Structured
You will need to set up an appropriate company structure. By this stage you will know if you are going to operate as a branch/liaison representative office (or Buying House) or if you will be establishing an industrial project. This is relevant to the type of business structure you will then need to form.
Business in Bangladesh can be carried out by a company formed and incorporated locally or by a company incorporated abroad but registered in Bangladesh.
The incorporation or registration is done by the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC&F).
Companies may be private or public limited companies or unlimited companies. In establishing a place of business of a foreign company, the company has to be registered with the RJSC&F as the place of business. Such registration is required in respect of capital issue and obtaining clearance from the Bangladesh Bank.
To open or extend a branch/liaison representative office of a foreign company, the company has to apply to the BOI.
Step 4. Plant Set-up
BOI can help with the following tasks:
-Obtaining industrial plots.
-Approval of foreign loans, supplier’s credit, PAYE schemes etc.
-Obtaining utility connections: water, gas, electricity, phones.
-Registration for certification for importing raw materials.
-Work permits for foreign nationals and key staff.
-Registration with the Factories Act which regulates work conditions.
-Registration with environmental legislation.
-Remittance of royalty, technical know how and technical assistance fees.
Step 5. Commercial operations
After starting commercial operations BOI will be following up with what you need subsequently.
Investors need to a submit half-yearly performance report to the BOI on production and employment in their projects. Any changes to the information provided in the registration should be indicated to the BOI.
Investors should remind that BOI is at their disposal to facilitate the process from first enquiry through registration to implementation and beyond.