Sri Lanka is an island country located to the south of India in Asia. Known for its rich cultural history of being a port during the earlier centuries, Sri Lanka is now one of the foremost places in South Asia for tourism. As such, business registration in Sri Lanka has become quite popular for foreign nationals. After gaining its independence in 1948, this multiracial country has made great strides to rebuild its economy.
If you are looking to register a business in Sri Lanka, you will find that the process is simple. In fact, doing business in Sri Lanka will not be difficult in terms of communication. This is because Sri Lanka has three official languages that are in use. They are English, Sinhala and Tamil. While all three languages are commonly and officially used in Sri Lanka, by far the most widely spoken is Sinhala. As such, having a command of the Sinhala language would be most beneficial to you in several ways. The first is the access it allows you. With a command of Sinhala, you can market your business to a new demography. In turn you will be able to draw in more customers. Moreover, many Sri Lankans are proud of their multilingual heritage.
Thus, if you as a foreign national show signs of acclimating to Sri Lankan culture, you will gain more popularity. This is because you will build loyalty in your customer base. And as such, your business will grow. Fortunately, there are several classes available for foreign speakers to learn Sinhala. These classes are also offered for a range of skill levels- from complete beginners to intermediates and beyond.
Many times, foreign nationals who register a business in Sri Lanka find themselves thriving if they engage with the local customer base. A small business can be defined as an independently owned and independently operated company. This company is also limited in terms of size and revenue, but this depends on the industry. As such, as the owner, you are in charge of direction your business will take.
Even if you are aiming for only a small business registration, it is still best to do it through official channels.
The process for Sri Lanka’s business registration can be completed online on their official website (eROC). Below is a guide that summarizes the process for Sri Lankan business registration.
However, do ensure you meet all the following requirements for Sri Lankan Business registration:
Steps toward small business registration in Sri Lanka
Business registration in Sri Lanka is a fairly straightforward process regardless of the legal structure you choose. Comprising of only five main steps, this process will take minimal time and effort.
- Step 1- Selecting your company name
The first step to any business registration is to select a name. This step is of utmost importance as one of the first impressions of your business will be formed based on its name. In order to ensure that the name is available you may conduct a search on the eROC website. Then, you may reserve your name for a fee of LKR 2300.
You will then receive a name approval number.
- Step 2- preparation of documents
Next, ensure that you have all the other documents ready at hand:
Completed company registration form- Form 1 (Section 4(1) of Companies Act No. 7)
Requires these documents and details:
- Business name
- Type of business
- Registered address
- Names of directors’ names + passport copies
- Number and details of shareholders
- Details of the secretary
Completed directors’ details form- Form 18 (Section 203 of the Companies Act No. 7)
Requires these documents and details:
- Directors’ names
- Directors’ occupations
- Their address
- Their passport number
- Their email and phone number
- The date of their appointment
Form 19- the consent form from the secretary.
Your articles of association.
- Step 3- Registering online
Now that all your documents are ready, you may submit them online. This can be done after first registering an account on the eROC website. Next, submit all the documents detailed above as well as your name approval number.
- Step 4- Payment of fees
Now, you will have to pay the following fees. This must be done online through either a credit or debit card:
- Name search: LKR 1000
- Form 1: LKR 10
- Form 18: LKR 5
- Form 19: LKR 5
- Registration of Form 1: LKR 15000
- Registration of Form 18 &19: LKR 1000
- Registration of Articles of Association: LKR 1000
Do note, you will have to pay an additional 12% of these charges as VAT.
- Step 5- Announcing your business on a public forum
The final step to register a business in Sri Lanka is to announce it on a public forum. Usually a newspaper will suffice. This advertisement/announcement can be as big or small as you like. However it must include the following details: your business registration number and your registered address.