FAQs

INVESTMENT LICENCE

UIA is a neutral party which cannot directly recommend individual machinery suppliers. However UIA can in a generic manner point investors to possible suppliers of machinery.

On the other hand, UIA holds government that it can lease to investors. Additionally, UIA has an active Land Registry  comprising of vetted privately owned land and frequently guides investors to negotiate with the landlords.

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Yes. UIA encourages Ugandans at home and in the Diaspora to invest in Uganda.

UIA is a Government Agency but not a membership organization. Its doors are open for those seeking and those with investments in Uganda.

UIA does not have any investment funds for investors to borrow from to implement their projects. However UIA has a network of partners local and international where prospective investors can seek finance information from. Additionally government and other partners provide funds for UIA to provide professional support to investors particularly those in the SME sector.

No. It is not a requirement to have a local partner’s participation before foreign firms carry out business in Uganda. The investment and trade environment in Uganda is liberalised where 100% foreign holding is permissible.

An individual or a legal entity duly engaged in the business of value adding, manufacturing and like activities which create jobs, introduce new technology and pay due taxes when s/he makes a profit.

The Investment Licenses in Uganda are free of charge.

It takes a maximum of three (3) working days and if all the required information is submitted the Investment License can be issued in 24 hours.

Foreign Investors require a minimum of US$ 100,000 for their investment project to qualify for an Investment License. For local investors the minimum requirement is US $ 50,000.

The license gives added confidence to the holder to engage third parties when making arrangements necessary for establishing the business enterprise in the license.

  1. It assists in getting the secondary licenses.
  2. It assists in recommending the investor for various services ie Commercial Banks, Development Partners, Equity Funders etc.
  3. Assists by recommending and following up acquisition of work permits.
  4.  It is a requirement for allocation of land in Government Industrial Parks and serves as added advantage for approval of leases and linking to private land owners
  5. Acts as reference when match making domestic investors with inward investor missions for possible Joint Venture Partnerships, raw material suppliers or markets for finished products
  6.  Holder enjoys the benefits of UIA investors’ One Stop Centre by getting first hand information.
  7.  Holder gets priority aftercare services when faced with specific challenges such as tax disagreement, closure due to non compliance that needs negotiations with other parties i.e. Government Departments and Agencies etc.

SMALL & MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

Yes, foreigners may invest in and own Small and Medium Enterprises.  They however may not own Micro enterprises since the capital requirement are below the minimum threshold for foreign Investors.

They are categorized as;

i.    Micro Enterprise is an enterprise that employs up to 4 people, with annual sales turnover and/or total assets of maximum U.shs 12 million.
ii.    Small Enterprise employs from 5 to 50 people, with annual sales turnover and/or total assets of up to U.shs 360 million.
iii.    Medium Enterprise employs from 51 to 100 persons, with annual sales turnover and/or total assets of over U.shs 360 million but not more than U.shs 30 billion.

Yes, provided that the Investment capital projection in the business plan meets the threshold of US$ 50,000.

There is limited space at the UIA SME Park located in Mbarara. UIA is also in the process of setting up a multi-purpose business incubation centre at Kampala Industrial Business Park (KIBP) in Namanve for SMEs.

No, all businesses applying for land allocation are evaluated based on the same criteria.

No, UIA links SMEs to Business Development Service Providers who help them to write project proposals.

UIA offers  various services to SMEs  which include among others ; Enterprise development programs; Cluster development, support for regional exhibitions , SPX, B2B, National Content in Oil and Gas  advocacy ( refer to the SME flyer either on the UIA website or pick a free hard copy at the front office).
These can be availed on request or incorporated in the divisional work plan. To access UIA services you may send an email to info@ugandainvest.go.ug, with your request or walk in for a face to face to discussion with one of the officers.
You may also choose to make a specific request  addressed to the Executive Director, Uganda Investment Authority. Please note that the training are done in groups of at least 40-70

Business registration is highly recommended. Owners and employees of small and medium enterprises may register their businesses at district level or at national level with Uganda Business Registration services Bureau. Registration at national level gives a SMEs access to national markets in Uganda and across borders while registration at district level may restrict market access to the district of registration only.
UIA assists SMEs to register their businesses by providing platforms where registration services can be accessed through the One Stop Center at UIA offices or through mobile registration clinics during workshops or through partnership with member based Associations.

UIA assists SMEs to increase their productivity through;
i.    Capacity building, for example; Technical Skills training for value addition, Entrepreneurship Training
ii.    Enterprise to Enterprise visits, and
iii.    By organizing into production clusters through which they are able to access professional advice from government agencies, Private sector and Academia/Universities and other research centers.

UIA organizes domestic regional exhibitions through which, SMEs are able to showcase their products at minimal cost. In some cases UIA facilitates outward missions to enable SMEs to tap into regional markets

Yes, UIA encourages SMEs to ensure that their products are tested and certified by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) before they go to any market, both domestic and foreign. In the event that products are not up to the standards set by UNBS, UIA recommends that the SMEs contact the Uganda Industrial Research Institute    (UIRI) for incubation services to improve their products.

UIA promotes legal entities. A legal entity is registered and it trades in legally accepted goods and services. We also hand hold those who are not legally registered to enable them to register.

Uganda’s economy is fully liberalized, so there are no restrictions in sectors of Investment except for those that pose a threat to national security.

It is an obligation by all enterprises to pay tax as stipulated in the Tax Act.  Businesses are encouraged to consult URA officer at the One Stop Centre for guidance on whether the business is within the tax bracket and the type (s) tax to be paid.

LAND AND INDUSTRIAL PARKS

UIA is a neutral party which cannot directly recommend individual machinery suppliers. However UIA can in a generic manner point investors to possible suppliers of machinery.

On the other hand, UIA holds government that it can lease to investors. Additionally, UIA has an active Land Registry  comprising of vetted privately owned land and frequently guides investors to negotiate with the landlords.

No. Government does not give free land to investors whether domestic or foreign. However, fully subsidized land can be leased to investors in some pre-determined critical areas of the Ugandan economy.

The laws of Uganda don’t allow foreigners (self or company) to buy land outright but can lease land up to 99 years. UIA can help licensed investors to obtain leasehold tenure

INCENTIVES

Investment Incentives given in Uganda are categorised into two:

i.    General Incentives
The general incentives are grouped into (5) five areas as
a)    Import based incentives
b)    Export based incentive
c)    Investment Capital Allowances
d)    Deductable Capital Allowances
e)    Special Deductions

ii.  Sector Specific incentives

  1. Sector Specific incentives are given to investment projects in priority sectors. These vary according to the prevailing National Development Plan and other Government policies.

For more details visit Uganda Revenue Authority

Yes. All investors (domestic and foreign) are eligible to tax duty incentives, provided they meet the requirements under the respective incentive packages.

It is an obligation by all enterprises to pay tax as stipulated in the Tax Act.  Businesses are encouraged to consult URA officer at the One Stop Centre for guidance on whether the business is within the tax bracket and the type (s) tax to be paid.