How To Do Business In Uganda

What Is Business?

A business is defined as an organization or enterprising entity engaged in commercial, industrial, or professional activities. Businesses can be for-profit entities or non-profit organizations. Business types range from limited liability companies, sole proprietorships, corporations, and partnerships.


Step 1: Conduct Research

If you already have a desirable business idea, you should evaluate its viability and cross-reference it with your plans. Start with researching Uganda’s market through focus groups, prospect customers, conversations with those who have succeeded in your field of interest.

Conducting thorough market research will clarify your perspective about the business feasibility. In the United States alone, companies spent approximately Ugx 259513.47 billion on market research in 2019, intending to gain deeper market insights for business development. Such figures show the importance of market research.

What is the easiest business to start in Uganda?

  • Start Blogging as a Business.
  • Private refinery business.
  • Dry cleaning service.
  • Business of recharging Sim cards.
  • Start a Restaurant Shop.
  • Start a writing service.
  • Bakery Shop.
  • Staffing agency.

What business can I start in Uganda?

  • Selling second hand clothes.
  • Salon or barber shop.
  • Boda boda business.
  • Mobile money-business.
  • Poultry Farming.
  • Printing and photocopy business.
  • Boiled eggs and smokies.
  • Manicure/Pedicure business.

Step 2: Write a Business Plan

A business plan summarizes how you intend to organize and implement the various essential activities necessary and sufficient for the venture to succeed. This is why plotting a business plan is one of the most crucial aspects of your business to succeed.According to research, having some form of a business plan can help your company grow 30% faster. Therefore, you should take time and come up with a standard, feasible and realistic business plan. Also, remember proper planning prevents poor performance.One factor to consider when writing a business plan is the capital you will spend to provide a product or services to your customers. Evaluate how you will expand the volume of your business using a combination of equity, technology and skilled labor.

Step 3: Source and Plan for Capital

Before you seek financial help, you need to create a budget for your initial period. This will guide you on the amount of money you need and how to allocate it. Your budget should include; Rental costs for your premises, company registration costs, capital for the inventory, salary bills, transport, among other business overheads.But, if you have limited financial resources, take the initiative of consulting the existing financial institutions like banks for business financing options. Also, personal savings, grants and soft loans from family members are convenient sources of capital.

Step 4: Choose a Business Structure

A business can be a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company, or a limited company in Uganda. The type of business will influence key activities like paying taxes, the number of individuals you employ, and the choice of the business name.Suppose you are not knowledgeable enough on which entity or structure to take up. In that case, Therefore, you might want to consult lawyers, business advisors and other key stakeholders to get a better sense of the business structure that you will follow.

Step 5: Register Your Business

The name you choose for your business should be thought through critically. Usually, you are required to apply for the picked name by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau. The name is then searched through a database to pass the similarity, desirability tests to ensure its availability.In the case of successful results, you can then proceed to start a business any day. If results show similar names, then another has to be selected until it passes this stage.

Step 6: Acquire Business Licenses and Permits

The type of licenses and permits you are obligated to acquire depends on the class of business and the location you choose. Uganda, just like most countries, has different laws when it comes to acquiring business permits and other operational licenses.Talk to the relevant Ugandan authorities to get a better understanding of licenses and permits. This paperwork is vital before you can legally operate the business. It’s highly advisable to have a lawyer present during the registration.

Step 7: Select a Suitable Location

Uganda recently passed new regulations surrounding the sharing of workspace through hubs that support young people looking to start a business. Business owners are now required to choose between buying or renting working premises.Remember, other factors like the cost of production and transport play a massive role. If you intend to reduce the costs incurred in production, and transportation your location should either be next to the market or the source of raw materials. All these arrangements will also depend on the type of business.

Step 8: Recruit Skilled Employees

If your business requires employees, you should recruit a team of workers. However, take your time to Identify the various positions to be filled and stipulate the responsibilities and skills needed by your future employees.It does not matter if you are a sole proprietor; you still need to organize your team, including mentors, family, or business coaches, who will support you in the process.If you are a foreign investor looking to make investments in Uganda, consider using staffing and recruiting companies. Top employment organizations like Flexi Personnel offer recruitment services as they are well connected with talented employees and senior managers.

Step 9. Open and Advertise Your Business

Now that your business is up and running, you need to lay strategies to attract more customers to your business. Remember, you are the business owner; you know best who your customers are, so only you can best understand how you want to be noticed by them in the market.Uganda has become one of the best places to do business in Africa, as it is endowed with a landscape of new roads and infrastructures like shopping malls, hotels, and apartments. This offers entrepreneurs various business opportunities to venture in.You can start a profitable business anywhere in Uganda with sufficient capital. And with more capital, you can venture into bigger businesses like real estate and property sales and management. There are several business opportunities in Uganda, and here are

The Best Business Sectors to Invest in Uganda

In Uganda, the secret to making successful investments lies in identifying any business that caters to people’s everyday needs. For instance, selling products in high demand will make you profits.Some of the trading businesses you can start with a capital of less than Ugx 355497.90 include; selling secondhand clothing, firewood, newspapers, foodstuff, frozen fish, or drinks. Also, with a capital of more than Ugx 3554979.00, you can open a small restaurant, a coffee shop, a mobile phone accessories store, a grocery store, a cosmetic product store, a supermarket, or a jewellery store.With that said, the following are the top sectors in Uganda that you should consider investing in.

Food Processing

Much of the food consumed in Uganda is imported. Therefore, the tendency of the country to spend millions of dollars annually on food importation creates huge opportunities for businesses that produce and process foods locally.The food and drink sector in Uganda accounts for roughly 21% of the country’s total GDP (gross domestic product). It also accounts for about 46% of the country’s total export revenue, generating jobs for more than half of Uganda’s population.The Ugandan dense population–especially in the urban areas–offers a ready market for food, increasing the demand for quality food. If you have a low capital base, you can start a small food processing business offering value-added processed foods like grains, nuts, cereals, fruits, and vegetables.

Construction Industry

With a capital of less than Ugx 3554979.00, you can start a brick-making business that makes and sells cement blocks or stabilized earth bricks. Also, there is a growing demand for construction products and services due to the increasing number of new buildings and structures in Uganda.However, with a capital of more than Ugx 3554979.00, you can venture into a concrete pipes-making business or start a business that leases construction machinery such as trucks, asphalt mixers, bulldozers, concrete mixers, concrete vibrators, etc.In addition, with a capital exceeding Ugx 177748950.00, you can either establish a plant making concrete slabs, beams, pillars or lease sophisticated construction machines to big construction companies.

Real estate

Real estate is another rapidly expanding sector in Uganda that you can explore. With sufficient capital, you can start a real estate business by offering low-cost houses for sale.The sale of medium-cost houses requires a capital somewhere between Ugx 177748950.00 and Ugx 355497900.00.  You will require a start-up capital above Ugx 355497900.00 to invest in houses such as residential villas, apartments, office space, and housing estates.

Small manufacturing industries

Small manufacturing industries are small-scale businesses that manufacture products that are in high demand. And can be started with capital between Ugx 3554979.00 and Ugx 177748950.00For example, you can start a sewing or tailoring business producing clothing for men, women, and children. Also, you can invest in businesses that offer printing, typesetting services, furniture, or soap-making businesses with capital between Ugx 3554979.00 and Ugx 177748950.00 . And if your capital exceeds Ugx 3554979.00, consider starting a business that manufactures plastic wares.

Tourism and hospitality

Uganda is one of the most visited destinations in Africa because it hosts many domestic and foreign visitors annually. Therefore, there are opportunities for investors to make money off this tourist. With around Ugx 3554979.00, you can set up a resort or lodge for tourists. Also, you can set up a hotel or motel. But If you have little capital, it’s an option to turn your home or unused space into a bed and breakfast lodge for tourists.

Transport services

Transport is an everyday necessity, which explains why there is always a huge demand for transport services. With a big capital, you can start a business that offers intercity transport services. But if you are on a low budget, then consider investing in a local taxi service.

Cyber Café: Computer and Internet Services

With the increase in demand for quality internet services, both Small and Micro businesses need it for web conferencing and browsing. However, this business needs a specific budget, but it’s more scalable when you start small.Also, the technological advancements in the internet have increased the need for being both computer literate and internet savvy. This is because many Ugandans are not familiar with computer operations. This creates opportunities for you to provide computer and internet services.

Digital Marketing

Most Ugandan businesses are going online by opening websites; therefore, they need digital marketers to improve their online visibility and advertise their opportunities. Also, being an online marketing company based in Uganda, you don’t just have access in Uganda, but the rest of the world too.

Laundry Services

Laundry and dry cleaning can prove to be a lucrative business in urban areas where more of the population is busy with their day jobs and have little time for laundry.To get this business running, you need to acquire a washer/dryer, iron, and maybe an assistant. Also, you need a premise with a spacious interior and a consistent source of water.

Day Care Center

Another profitable business idea is the daycare centers for kids, especially in an n treasure. Most families have working moms. You can start with home-based daycare with an option for limited children too. However, you must equip the centre with entertainment facilities for both kids and human resources to manage them.

Solar energy

The growth of the renewable energy sector is revealed by the massive use of solar energy by the population. So, there are huge opportunities for businesses that offer solar panel installations and sell solar power accessories.

Other services

Apart from buying and selling, there are other lucrative businesses to venture into in Uganda. Opportunities also exist for service providers. Examples of services that are in high demand include hairstyling, mobile phone repair, barbing, furniture making, car rental, tractor leasing, and so on.

In Conclusion

Setting up a business in Uganda requires more than just capital. You should strive to educate yourself concerning the intricacies present in the Ugandan market. With that said, there are numerous business opportunities in Uganda. Not only that, but the government of Uganda has offered many incentives and subsidies to attract both local and foreign investments.For such reasons, it would be in your best interest to consider the steps and sectors mentioned above in setting up your business in Uganda. It would also help if you got in touch with HR solution providers such as Flexi Personnel to help you get started.