Business Environment

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In this page: Accounting Rules | Tax Rates | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework | Standards | Business Practices

 

Accounting Rules

Tax Year
The tax year is the calendar year.
Accounting Standards
The Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) released a Uniform Act on Accounting and Financial Information (AUDCIF), which came into effect on January 1, 2018 for individual accounts and on January 1, 2019 for consolidated accounts, combined accounts, and financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS.
As of 1 January 2019, IFRS Standards are required for all listed companies and companies making a public call for capital.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Gabon (ONEC)
Accounting Reports
According to art. 8 of the Accounting Act of the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa, companies must publish a balance sheet, a profit and loss account, a statement of cash flows and notes to the financial statements.
All listed companies and companies making a public call for capital must use IFRS standards for their financial statements.
Publication Requirements
Public limited companies must submit audited financial statement every year. Limited liability companies must appoint an auditor in one of the following cases: capital of more than XOF 10 million; more than 50 employees; or a turnover of XOF 250 million or more.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Gabon (ONEC)
Certification and Auditing
According to art. 8 of the Uniform Act on Commercial Companies of the Organisation for the Harmonization of Corporate Law in Africa (OHADA), private limited companies that meet, at the end of the fiscal year, two of following conditions are required to appoint at least one auditor: the total amount of the balance sheet is greater than CFA Francs 125 million; the annual turnover is greater than CFA Francs 250 million; the number of permanent staff exceeds fifty people. For private limited companies that do not meet these criteria, the appointment of an auditor is optional. Nevertheless, such an appointment maybe requested in court by one or more members holding at least one-tenth of the stated capital.
In public limited companies, supervision is exercised by one or more auditors.
Accounting News

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Value added tax (VAT) - Taux sur la valeur ajoutée (local name)
Tax Rate
18%
Reduced Tax Rate
A reduced rate of 10% applies to manufacturing operations and sales of certain products (such as mineral water, cement, chicken, and sugar) listed by Article 221 of the Gabonese Tax Code.
Exports and international transports are zero-rated.
Other Consumption Taxes
Excise duties are levied on luxury goods, alcoholic drinks, perfume and cosmetic products, caviar, salmon, cigars, and cigarettes, with rates ranging from 5% to 40%, plus a specific tax based on quantities.
A special solidarity contribution (SSC) is levied on good and services at a rate of 1% (calculated based on the amount invoiced, after deducting the taxes) on companies whose annual turnover, excluding taxes, is at least XAF 30 million.
Stamp duties and registration duties are also applied.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
30%
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
If foreign companies have a permanent establishment in Gabon, they are required to pay taxes as local companies. In case they do not have a permanent establishment, they are subject to a withholding tax at the rate of 20% for incomes generated in Gabon.
Branches of foreign companies are subject to a 20% tax on repatriated earnings (10% where the foreign company is located in a country that has signed a tax treaty with Gabon) in addition to the corporate income tax.
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains are generally taxed as ordinary business income.
Capital gains realised on the disposal of a fixed asset in the course of trading are excluded from income for a period of three years, if the taxpayer records the capital gain in a special account and reinvests the gain in new fixed assets within the same period.
Net capital gains realised through intra-group operations are taxed at a reduced rate of 20%.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Under certain conditions and provided that a specific request has been made prior to the incorporation of the company, a start-up can use an accelerated depreciation method on the acquired equipment goods during the first five years of activity. Bad debt can be deducted from the result of the fiscal year during which the debt became completely unrecoverable. General provisions cannot be deducted unless they relate to existing liability or loss. The Gabonese Tax Code provides for a five-year carryforward for net operating losses, whereas the carryback of losses is not permitted.
Rentals granted to a company are allowed as a deductible expense if they are at market prices.
Charitable contributions made to organisms of public interest located in Gabon can be deducted (within a limit of 1 of the company's turnover). Under certain conditions, management fees paid to a foreign parent company can be deducted. Fines are not deductible, same as for most taxes (except certain professional taxes).
Other Corporate Taxes
A tax is levied on buildings at the rate of 15% of the rental value after deducting 25% of the value for deterioration and maintenance. Non-built properties are taxed at the rate of 25% of the taxable revenue corresponding to 4% to 5% of the rental value or 10% of the purchase value.
Remote transfer operations carried out in Gabon towards countries outside the Central Africa Monetary Union (UMAC) are taxed at a rate of 1.5% of the amount of the funds to be transferred.
A business license tax applies to both individuals and entities engaged in a profession, business, or industry in Gabon, regardless of nationality. The rate may vary between XAF 15,000 and XAF 540,000.
A franchise tax between XAF 10,000 and XAF 500,000 is levied on any company that carries on a trade, business, or activity that is not expressly exempted, according to the size, nature, and location of the company.
Insurance premiums are subject to taxation at rates varying according to the type of insurance, between 0% (life) and 30% (fire).
Employers must contribute to the National Social Security Fund (CNSS) and the National Disease Insurance and Social Guarantee Fund (CNAMGS), for a total contribution of 20.1%, with various annual taxable basis ceiling (e.g. XAF 18 million/year for the National Social Security Fund and XAF 2.5 million/month for the National Disease Insurance and Social Guarantee Fund).
Other Domestic Resources
Directorate-General for Taxation
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Gabon Sub-Saharan Africa United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 50.0 36.6 10.6 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 632.0 284.8 175.0 218.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 47.1 47.3 36.6 48.8

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Income tax Progressive rate from 0% to 35%, multiplied by the taxpayer's family charges ("shares" - up to a maximum of six dependent children)
"Q"= ratio determined according to the "shares"
From XAF 0 to XAF 1,500,000 0%
From XAF 1,500,001 to XAF 1,920,000 5% x Q - 75,000
From XAF 1,920,001 to XAF 2,700,000 10% x Q - 171,000
From XAF 2,700,001 to XAF 3,600,000 15% x Q - 306,000
From XAF 3,600,001 to XAF 5,160,000 20% x Q - 486,000
From XAF 5,160,001 to XAF 7,500,000 25% x Q - 744,000
From XAF 7,500,001 to XAF 11,000,000 30% x Q - 1,119,000
Above XAF 11,000,000 35% x Q - 1,669,000
Complementary tax on salaries (TCTS) 5% of the salary, indemnities, and emoluments (the first XAF 150,000 per month are exempt)
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
A standard 20% deduction on individuals' gross income can be applied to the adjusted gross income for business-related expenses. Such deduction is limited to a maximum of XAF 10 million.
The family status of taxpayers contributes to form the base of the personal income tax brackets ("shares").
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
Individuals are considered to have a habitual residence in Gabon if they have a house in the country (as owner, tenant, or beneficial owner), or if their main place of residence is in Gabon.
Individuals who have their habitual residence abroad are liable to the individual income tax for all of the revenues originated in Gabon.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
List of double taxation treaties signed by Gabon
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 20%; Interest: 20%; Royalties: 0 (residents)/20% (non-resident)

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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
Intellectual Property Office (Ministry of Industry and National Entrepreneurship): visit this page for contact information.

Industrial Property Center of Gabon (CEPIG)
Regional Organisations
Gabon is a member of WIPO and of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
According to Freedom House, the executive branch effectively controls the judiciary. The judiciary is accountable to the Ministry of Justice, through which the president has the power to appoint and dismiss judges. Judicial capacity is weak, and Gabon’s courts are subject to political influence.
Legal safeguards against arbitrary arrest and detention are not upheld by police in practice, and detainees are often denied access to lawyers.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreigners cannot always expect an equal treatment: the country’s large population of noncitizen African immigrants is often subject to discrimination, including by police. Indigenous people reportedly experience discrimination in the workplace and often live in extreme poverty.
The Language of Justice
French
Recourse to an Interpreter
It is possible to have an interpreter in Gabon.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The legal system of Gabon is derived by the French civil law system and by customary law. The main sources of the law are the Constitution, regularly signed and ratified international treaties, acts of parliament, ordinances, decrees.
Checking National Laws Online
Library of the U.S. Congress
LegiGabon

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Standards

National Standards Organisations
Agence Gabonaise de Normalisation (AGANOR)
Integration in the International Standards Network
AGANOR is a member of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
Classification of Standards
GAB
Online Consultation of Standards
ISO website - Gabon standards consultation
Certification Organisations
Agence Gabonaise de Normalisation (AGANOR)

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Business Practices

General Information
Opening Hours and Days
Banks' timings may vary from one bank to another. In general: 8am–4.30pm Monday to Friday and 8am–1pm Saturday.
Shops 8am or 9am to 12.30pm and 3.30–7pm Monday to Saturday.
 

Public Holidays

New Year's Day 1 Jan
Women's Day 17 Apr
Easter Monday 22 Apr
Labour Day 1 May
Ascension Day 30 May   
Eid al-Fitr 4 Jun
Whit Monday 10 Jun
Eid al-Adha 11 Aug
Assumption Day 15 Aug
National Day 16-17 Aug
All Saints' Day 01 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 
 
Holiday Compensation
Not applicable
 

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Christmas time December
 

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Latest Update: November 2022